Friday, April 22, 2011

A Traditional Family Easter (part 4 by Margaret Ullrich)

After forty days of fasting and scrubbing, Demi and Rita were lean, clean, Easter tradition machines.  Filled with the holiday spirit, they glared at each other.

    “What the hell is that?”  Aunt Demi spat.
    “It’s a dove, a symbol of peace, you idiot,” Aunt Rita shot back.  
    “It’s Easter.  We don’t need a damn dove.”
    “Throw that fish back in the sea.”  
    “The figolli is part of our tradition.”
    “Since when did Jesus swim with the fishes?”
    Waving a knife, Aunt Demi lunged.  “Give me that bread.  I’ll cut it up for sandwiches.”
    “Over my dead body.”
    “No problem.”

    My Aunt Liz was fascinated by her new in-laws.  She wrote down everything they said.  Maybe she thought the fight was part of our jolly ethnic holiday tradition.  I stayed close to Liz in case she didn’t have sense enough to duck.  

    Ma went back to the kitchen.  She knew she couldn’t reason with her sisters-in-law.  Her plan was to hide in the kitchen until the smoke cleared.  If they killed each other it would leave more food for the others.

    “Maria, get out here,” Aunt Demi yelled.  Ma came out.  The men and the younger children were nowhere in sight.  They were taking a walk to work up an appetite.  Demi and Rita were rolling up their sleeves.  Liz was taking notes.  
    “I went to all this trouble,” Aunt Rita whined.
    Aunt Demi barked, “Tell this idiot we are using the figolli.”
    “It took me forever to make this,” Aunt Rita whined again.
    Ma tried to be a good hostess.  “They’re so big.  We could put them on chairs near the table.”

    No luck.  The Aunts wanted her to choose one.

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