Friday, February 22, 2008

Go buy a commemorative mattress or something...

My mother celebrated every single holiday that popped up on the calendar, which accounts for the fact that I never really noticed such a thing as “the winter blues” until I was grown. February, March and April in those days was chock full of minor holidays, from Groundhog Day on and every one of them received some sort of celebration, usually involving food (you knew that was coming).

My mother was the diva of food coloring come February, conjuring pink cakes and green cakes (you had to use your imagination for the green cake, which was actually gray and unappetizing, but we were, if nothing, supportive). There were hot cross buns on Ash Wednesday and St. Joseph’s cake (the lone store-bought cake of the genre) on St. Joseph’s feast day. There was even a tradition that, when you went job hunting and you got a job, you had to bring home a cheesecake to signal that you were now employed. I suspect my mother made that one up…

There were small observances at school on these little holidays, usually a craft or something because we actually had an art teacher in our elementary school. The cafeteria would serve some weird dessert, vaguely connected to the day (the one I remember was brownies on Lincoln’s birthday – I guess because the brownie was brown and square like a log cabin?).

The reason I’m dragging you all down memory lane is that holidays around here usually do elicit feats of domestic derring-do. But since I’m not my mother, the minor ones have fallen by the wayside – perfectly in keeping with how they are treated throughout the rest of the country.

Honestly, I was never a fan of George Washington’s Birthday as holidays go – for a very specific reason. Usually the craft for the holiday was to make silhouettes of each other. No big deal? Yeah? It was for me. My silhouette looked exactly like that of the day’s honoree, a fact that never ever went unnoticed.

So you will have to forgive me if I didn’t jump out of bed this morning and immediately bake a cherry pie, to commemorate something that never happened, but a strong-surviving myth nevertheless. Honestly, not many around here like cherries all that much.

Except Dirtman (you knew that was coming too).


So, in honor of George Washington, a cherry Pop Tart will be consumed by Dirtman at lunchtime today.


Me? I’m spending the day trying to not cast a shadow.

9 comments:

Gwynne said...

Yesterday was George Washington's birthday?? Who knew? But I love that you've reduced the celebration down to a single Cherry Pop-Tart.

And the brownies? Oh, my. Those lunch ladies were not known for their sense of humor...or political correctness. Wasn't it Lincoln who freed the slaves?

Sisiggy said...

gwynne: ya know, I never thought of that...ya think? I mean this was in liberal New Jersey, though a more rural section...Wow, that never occurred to me.

Gwynne said...

Well, I only know that my lunch ladies were capable of such things, but then, I grew up in Kansas (you know, where a certain Mr. Brown had to sue the Board of Education), so I may be more sensitive to these things.

tracy said...

Wow. So cool that your mom celebrated life that way!

Dark Garden said...

I gotta post a somewhat serious comment this time. Reason being... I was making this cake for the progeni the last week, and I specifically tried to link it to some president's birthday! I remember those days.

My dork-ass used to get excited about coming home from school to celebrate the holiday of choice. Funny thing was, because I was also usually the one volunteering to decorate the hallway bulliten board, I thought everyone celebrated this stuff! Those ingrained, embedded memories haunt me still.

It is our cross to bear... This... traumatization over a cake.

Dark Garden said...

Oh... I just thought of this one!

Didn't we have these sickeningly red colored heart cakes on valentines day?

I gotta go do something... this is freakin' me out.

Sisiggy said...

DG: You are the only one I know who can turn a happy memory like a minor celebration with cake into "trauma." This is my whole "thing" lately -- stuff we've determined made us "dorks." It's all media hype keeping us from happy stuff that requires very little purchasing and steering us toward adrenaline extremes requiring purchasing the products they want to sell.
And yes, there was a horrible heart-shaped cake with seven-minute frosting that was pink, actually. The "red" buttercream icing cake was your request for your birthday (before the days of paste food coloring all you could get was a sicking dark pink using several bottles of red liquid food coloring.

Dark Garden said...

Traumatic in the sense that these stupid celebrations were friggin' PARAMOUNT in my life. I would look forward to that stuff days in advance. It made working on the bulliten boards that much more fun!

... and perhaps, it also gets me extremely melancholy wanting it all back again. Just a taste of it. To be able to feel it one more time...

Uh oh.... My blog may be calling...

JACKet said...

Hello, what on earth is the pink stuff, on the pop tart? Jacky