First and foremost I would like to say, Happy Easter/Resurrection Day to those that celebrate it. It's been a long time since I've participated in the colonizers holiday celebration but I understand that for many it is still a day of great importance. The whats and whys of why I no longer celebrate Easter is not the point here nor is it really relevant to the topic at hand. What is important is and relevant here is the following list of dos and dont's for the upcoming holiday that is literally right around the corner.
In my previous life, this is would be the weekend I spent being extra with everything because for Black folks, Easter isn't about Jesus. It's about finally having a chance to "one-up" the First Lady with the biggest and most obnoxious hat you could find in the corner of Mondawmin mall.....
Spare me the lessons on what Easter represents. No need to pull out your Bibles and remind me of the multitude of scriptures outlining the significance of this one day. Don't bother. I am truly not interested in hearing it. I've heard these same stories a good majority of my life and it doesn't change how I feel.
As I finish writing this, I am sure a good majority of you have already completed putting the final touches on your new outfits for Easter Sunday. I know you are excited and I am not here to be your Debbie Downer. In fact, I am here to reflect and reminisce on some of the things I looked forward to whilst preparing to kill them with the "ultimate Godly slay" during my time as a Bible thumper. And I use to kill them, baby. The anticipation of reactions I was going to receive as I made my way up the right aisle (because everyone knows the right side of the church is where the youth sits) as I glided to my seat was almost unbearable.
"What until I show up to Sunday School with these on...BOY...it's over!"
It was something like a game to sit around weeks to the big Easter celebration and discuss among ourselves who we thought we would see this Sunday. We would make bets on what "Holiday Saints" would be in attendance Sunday morning and plans were made to make sure that we were there bright, early and on time (for once) so that we could have a front row seat at all of the "fake" that was about to be unleashed in the atmosphere. What? Don’t look at me like that. You know what a holiday saint is, don’t act like you don’t. If you grew up in the Black church then you are fully aware that the holidays bring all the saints to the yard especially those that have fallen by the wayside (looks around…Heathens).
Easter Sunday or Resurrection day, as the saints like to call it, always seems to bring a certain group of folk to the church. You know the ones you haven’t seen walk past a church in over a year much less step inside one. All of a sudden they are in a frantic frenzy trying to piece together a little bit of change to get those colorful Easter Sunday outfits off of lay-away. Okay, maybe that is a bit harsh but it is not far from the truth.
I don’t know what it is about Easter Sunday but the holiday seems to bring out the “holy” side of people. Even the neighborhood crack head puts down the rock for this one special day, because you know…every other day of their lives is well….less special. If you are going to church this Sunday morning (or if you have already been) you are guaranteed to see a few of the following sightings:
1. People that you have never seen in the church before and/or people who you haven’t seen…since LAST Easter
Easter Sunday has always been the one day out of the year that every church in the city is full to capacity. Even the smallest, hole in the wall type churches that have a max of ten people on a regular Sunday have every seat in the house filled. From the smallest church to the biggest every saint, sinner and person in-between will be in church today. Praising the Lord in their new suit, dress and pumps that they can barely walk in.
I can honestly say that out of the some odd years that I have been on this earth and the some odd years that I have spent attending church, Easter is one of the most dreadful days because it is always crowded and uncomfortable. Nothing makes my teeth itch like walking into the church thinking that I am going to get my favorite seat and seeing someone in my favorite seat (back pew, corner seat closest to the isle). I know I know, Iprobably shouldn’t be thinking about that, but dangit I can’t help it. I want my seat!
2. New clothing and big hats
I don’t know who made the rule that Easter Sunday was the time to play Stunt 101 (cues G-Unit). It is like some unwritten rule that on Easter Sunday one MUST be decked out in a brand new outfit that one cannot afford. On Easter Sunday you will see so many bright pastel outfits with matching hats. Looking around you would think that you just sat down in a box of sidewalk chalk. Pinks, blues, greens, oranges, yellows….AH! Then they have the nerve to have the hats to match. Lawd, it’s too much!
I have literally seen people go crazy trying to figure out the perfect outfit to wear that will (excuse my French) BOO BOO on everyone else’s outfit. Young girls will arrive to the church looking little princesses, young boys will arrive dressed like young “playas” and mommas are ready and prepared to snatch the wig off anyone who dares to think that their child looks better than the next.
3. Bad outfits
For some reason people think that Easter is the time to be creative with their clothing/hair so they will mix together different colors/patterns/fabrics in hopes of appearing different only to ultimately look like a plum fool….literally. FYI: Purple and Pink…NO! Leave it alone. Color blocking isn’t for everyone.
Trust me. Despite what some may think, this is so NOT the time to experiment with your look. Walking into the church looking like you just stepped right out Wanda's closet..
…is SO not the business.
4. Lots of church fans and broken air conditioners = melted faces, socked armpits and sweated out curls
Like clockwork the air conditioners in the church ALWAYS seem to have some type of malfunction on Easter Sunday. It never fails! You spend hours getting ready for this 2-14 hour service depending on where you go (you know black churches take FOREVER). You curl your hair just right, got that perfect outfit (in your mind), makeup is on point and when you get to the church and step inside it all goes to hell, literally. You face starts to melt, your armpits start to drip and you find out that because there are 8,000 people in the church all of the fans are gone which means that you have to use your flimsy little church program to fan yourself which will only make you hotter because of the excessive arm exercise you are getting trying to fan with a piece of paper.
To all of that I say no thank you ma’am. I am so good. You guys can have all of that. I will not abide.
This Easter instead of making a mad dash for the church two hours early in an attempt to secure my seat in a hot church full of people dressed like extras in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, I am going to sit right here on my couch with my feet up and watch my child run from one end of the yard to the next looking for Easter eggs, because Easter is all about the chocolate.
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