Peaster Weekend Wrap-Up

As with Festivus, my family's Passover-Easter hybrid celebration has its own specific traditions which I touched on a few days ago. There is no Airing of the Grievances because face it, we're Jews. We do that all year long. But there is the arguing over the name Peaster.

The names Eastover and Eggover are up for consideration to replace Peaster. While this debate comes up every year, the addition of children to the mix seemed to have increased the urgency of settling the matter. I do understand the argument that the word Peaster really only borrows the P- from Passover and the whole Easter from Easter, and that truthfully, our weekend is a lot more of the former than the latter. But I just can't come around to the name Eastover. To me, Eastover is where you summer. Like, Oh Staci, I'm so glad you'll be at the beach house in Southhampton again this year! I'll be right next door in Eastover. Eggover is another option, but I feel it's better suited to a low-cholesterol egg substitute than a holiday. I firmly remain in the Peaster camp if only because let's face it, it sounds funnier. I may even be alone here, but I'm fighting the good fight.

Saturday night's dinner pretty much went as expected--meaning total chaos.

Apologies to my brother and sister-in-law who thought they could reign in the cacophony this year with their lovingly abridged Hagaddah, and a well-considered system to organize the readings by drawing names out of a hat--but no dice. Seders with my family are loud, they're funny, they're rude, and we're okay with it.

We talked over each other. We yelled over each other. We spilled red wine on the white chair. We bartered our readings. (No fair, you got the Wise Child? I wanted the Wise Child! I'll trade you the Breaking of the Matzoh AND the Seder Plate for your Wise Child.) We made up our own Hebrew words to the song Dayenu, and we made up our own tune to the song Let My People Go. I think my cousin Adam described it as twelve singers and thirteen melodies. And of course, after leaving the door ajar for the prophet Elijah, whenever the wind blew open the door we all screamed, ELIJAH! Oh, that never gets old. It’s like the rule of thirty-sixes that I learned in improv class: If something isn’t funny once, say it again. And again. And again. By the thirty-sixth time it’s hysterical. But I'm sure those of you with toddlers disagree.

We did however add one new tradition this year that I hadn't expected: Anytime something funny happens, turn to Liz and say, "Are you blogging this Liz? You're blogging this, aren't you? Take a picture of this, Liz! This would be great on your blog."

Uncle Howard volunteering to be the first family member outed here.

The Easter-inspired aspect of Peaster is quite simple. You eat breakfast, and then proceed directly to the backyard for the annual Peaster Egg-dying death match.

On one side there's my stepfather, Christopher, the ultimate egg-dying purist. He believes that eggs should only be colored in single, vibrant hues. No pastels, no gimmicks. Chris will use his own dye recipe created from endangered animal parts and toxic chemicals if it will generate the desired color result. This is serious stuff; he has a physical aversion to anything less than perfect, let alone touching his own meticulous craftsmanship.

On the other side, there's Team Everyone Else. It's our goal to make Christopher as crazy as possible with creative, irreverent, or flat-out aesthetically displeasing designs. The more colors we use, the more wax, the more stickers, the better.

Now keep in mind that not one person in my family is under thirty years old. This is all the work of otherwise successful, intelligent, reasonable adults. In fact the day the next generation is old enough to participate, is the day we'll distract them with jellybeans in the front yard while the egg dying slaughterfest continues secretly in the back.

Yesterday, our team generated more impressive results than usual. There was the chicken pox egg, the patchwork egg, the 3-D gemstone egg, the stoned smiley face egg, the ohmigod I can't stop putting stickers all over this egg egg, and the New York gubernatorial candidate Elliot Spitzer egg.

But the one I believe put Chris over the edge, the one that caused him to snatch one of our eggs and eat it whole--shell, dye and all--in a fit of temporary insanity...was Nate's bloody eyeball egg.

Victory is ours. And it is sulfuric.

Colored egg photo courtesy Wade Wofford at flickr, because clearly Wade Wofford knew enough to pack extra camera batteries on Easter, unlike me.


Blogger Lisa said...

Awesome post! The eyeball? Very cool. Great idea.

4/17/06, 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peasterver? Passeaster? Peggster?

That last one sounds like an Internet start-up...

Now I want to set out a brightly colored wicker basket full of bloody eyeballs.

Happy Peaster, Mom101!

4/17/06, 1:36 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

LOL! That egg looks like something my husband would appreciate. I'm surprised he hasn't thought of it, actually. In a houseful of men, "gross" is an art form.

Peaster, huh? I could live with that.

4/17/06, 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Uncle Howard! More Uncle Howard!

4/17/06, 8:21 AM  
Blogger landismom said...

What I really love about Peaster is how the food traditions are absolutely incompatible. Like another slice of ham? How about some thick, fluffy bread?

It's as if the Christians, in their food traditions, set out to simply be NotJews.

4/17/06, 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who will star in the ads for Eggover? That's all I want to know.

Honestly, it sounds like a lot of fun. Way better than trying to dye eggs with a near 2-year old who was dropping them in the dye like large shit balls in a toilet "kersplash" -- [dye everywhere]

And love the eye - Nate missed his calling.

4/17/06, 9:26 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

That is the most awesome-est Peaster egg ever!

I like the name Peaster, because it sounds like Peace-ter. (And despite my June-Cleaveresque Easter Experience yesterday, I am a total hippie).

It looks like your family has a fabulous time at holidays. Thalia is going to have great fun growing up with so many wonderful traditions, no matter what you wind up calling your celebrations.

4/17/06, 9:31 AM  
Blogger Lola said...

BORRRING. That's what you say in envy when you're 3000 miles away and eating bad Thai while your family enjoys the joys of meeting Joy and watching uncles eat egg shells.

4/17/06, 10:18 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

how about or "passegg?" i think that pretty much summed up my own ecunemical weekend. that and ham on matzo crackers.

i think next year i will be integrating the warped egg decorating ideas into our traditions (and thus a new ritual is borne).

4/17/06, 10:21 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I want to see that Elliot Spitzer egg! The whole thing just sounds brilliant. This year I think we celebrated "Keester" (just my take on the mayhem known as egg hunt). Next year I'm celebrating Peaster for sure. It's much more civilized!

4/17/06, 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the stoned smiley face egg was left behind, lets hope Christopher takes the shell off before he eats it!!
Any one looking for more Uncle Howard has no idea what they are asking for. (Although I am willing to rent him out for the right price.)

4/17/06, 10:32 AM  
Blogger ms blue said...

That sounds like so much fun! You know that too much fun and it is likely illegal.

Oh and Roo's suggestion of Passeaster sounds like a holiday where bunnies lay eyeball eggs.

4/17/06, 10:37 AM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

I see the naming problem. Passter sounds to Protestant. Maybe you could just call it egg-matzo. Ooh, matzo-brei, my favorite, especially with vietnamese hot sauce on it.

You make me think I should write down some thoughts on this year's seder. I don't know, I'm pretty busy with Earlygirl's clapping and all. (Too bad you are so far away, between our kids we could get a clap-band together.)

4/17/06, 10:38 AM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

I'm with you in the Peaster Camp. Glad you enjoyed your celebrations. And thank you, MOM-101, for inspiring my 8 year old to try the eyeball egg thingy. He wants me to boil more eggs so he can gross out his sister!

4/17/06, 11:36 AM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

That egg is simply AWESOME.

And I think the rule of 36 was invented by toddlers.

4/17/06, 11:39 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I LOVE the bloddy eyeball!!

Peaster does just roll off the tongue...


4/17/06, 11:43 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Your family sounds like a riot. I would SO be into that egg dying madness.

I vote for Peaster. Just saying it makes me laugh. Peaster. Peaster. Peaaaaster.

4/17/06, 11:43 AM  
Blogger zinalasvegas said...

Oh my God, that is a riot. I know what you mean about the "Are you blogging this?" I always find that it totally bursts the "life bubble" when someone says that! I'm like, I don't know if I'm going to "blog" it because I haven't finished LIVING it yet!

And I am firmly in the "Peaster" camp. How about EasDER--a combo of Easter and Seder??? (I think this might reveal my Christian bias on the name...)

4/17/06, 1:08 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

aauughhh - that's gross!! lol!!

4/17/06, 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why, but I love Uncle Howard. Does he have his own blog?

4/17/06, 1:51 PM  
Blogger The Domesticator said...

That must have been a sight to see...eating that bloody eyeball egg!
I had the same feeling about Uncle Howard as mega mom....
How about Peastover?

4/17/06, 3:37 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

I LOVE the egg-dying death match!!! What a fun activity for the whole family. And Uncle Howard looks like a fun dude. :)

We did geneology-related activities at my grandma's house yesterday. Turns out some of my ancestors had some pretty screwed-up names. Like Thankful Hazeltine. And Truelove Carlton. Which led to a bunch of joking about what J and I would name our future kids. (Crystal Meth Riley, Ungrateful Riley, Oscar De La Riley, etc.) But I like the egg contest much better.

4/17/06, 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uncle Howard Rocks!! A brave soul to 'out' himself to all us wild wimmen!

I don't believe I am qualified to jump into the whole Peaster fray, but good luck to you. It sounds like whatever you call it, it was a good time!

And the eyeball egg? A scream. (Feel free to groan.)

4/17/06, 3:58 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh my God Jess, that's so funny. My pregnancy book has an entire list of names we were not going to name Thalia, like Crackwhore and Jesus.

4/17/06, 4:10 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Dang, I want in to your family. Just cuz they read your blog and don't get mad at you. Grr, jealousy.

I love the eyeball egg.

And what about the feats of strength?

4/17/06, 6:47 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I love your Uncle Howard! And your family is just oozing with creativity. And eyeballs, too, apparently!

4/17/06, 8:41 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Your Uncle Howard rules. I also love the eyeball. Archer, being the youngest had a lot of reading to do at our Seder. It took FOR-EVAH. hee.

4/17/06, 9:46 PM  
Blogger the stefanie formerly known as stefanierj said...

Love Unkie Howard. Love the name Peaster. No other name will do. Plus, according to my husband's Nana, "Easter" isn't Christian, it's pagan. Not kidding--she *only* refers to it as "Resurrection Day." Also, there is no "Merry Christmas"--it's "Happy Jesus's Birthday." Naturally, the family uses "Easter" just to piss her off. And that, my friend, is what you call a Protestant Holiday Family Tradition. See why everyone wants in your fam? Chosen people, indeed!

4/17/06, 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i gave everyone Reester Peanut Butter Cups... so i'm with you...Peaster is a definite winner!

...as is, i might add, that festive bloody-eye-ball egg. (you can ask anyone, i've always said nothin' says Peaster like a bloody eye-ball!!) : P

4/17/06, 10:53 PM  
Blogger kevin black said...

Bringing every girl and goy
Baskets full of Peaster joy
Hippity oy veh, Peaster's on it's way.

4/18/06, 9:53 AM  
Blogger doggerelblogger said...

At least you don't have to eat head cheese and blood sausage.

Do you?

4/18/06, 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg totally enjoyed this - as a jewish woman married to a non-jewish man, we rock Peaster too - hilarious..

4/18/06, 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, I would have paid good money for the bloody eyeball if I saw it on the shelf at Target. It would have been a welcome relief from all those nauseatingly cute little bunnies and frolicking babies in Easter bonnets. (said the cranky old lady.)

4/19/06, 1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom101- I come here and feel instantly less funny, less able to actually WRITE blog posts instead of just drawing them, posting picutres, or discussing knitting.

Creativity comes in zillions of forms, and what you've got going on over here is wicked.

Now continue on with your prolific and entertaining writing.

4/25/06, 12:18 AM  

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