Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Blahs: Dinner, Day 5

Any dinner that features reheated frozen broccoli and cauliflower deserves to be called "blah". Not even the leftover roast lamb from Easter dinner was enough to save the day. One day's passover is the next day's barely passable. Surprisingly the best part of the meal was the simple salad of greens, tomatoes, and fresh buttermilk dressing. No company, no gathered family, and no sugary Peeps or starchy potatoes.

Is dining alone more palatable when the food is more interesting, or is it that it's easier to take shortcuts in the preparation when there is no family to care for and no guests to cater to? I know single women who scrounge the fridge every night for leftovers, sometimes satisfied to stand over the sink with a days-old chicken leg and a pudding cup and call it dinner. I used to belong to that tribe. Or some nights I'd open a bottle of wine and forget to eat entirely, content with a book and network TV.

When I remember all the subsequent suppers of kid food that later took the place of over-the-sink leftovers or dinner in a bottle, I'm pretty grateful. That I had fish sticks, mac-and-cheese, and hot dogs meant I was sharing them with two of the most wonderful little boys a mother could ask for. It meant I was spending time at the table getting to share who those little people were turning into.

Here it is, now, the day after Easter and it's easy to sink into the Monday blahs if we think about it. The family has dispersed, the guests have gone home, and the plate is full of leftovers. On a spiritual note, the church choirs and musicians gave it all their best yesterday, with jazz bands and brass, organ music played too loudly, and children's processionals. A lot of clergy spent this day at home, relaxing and thanking God another Easter is in the can.

There will be a huge drop in church attendance next Sunday. There always is. No one wants a plate of leftovers, and church attenders know from experience that the sermon may be tepid, the music overdone, and their fellow congregants are taking the weekend off after the Lent season of faithful attendance.

I take this as a look-me-in-the-eye spiritual challenge. Not a challenge to the preachers to make the sermon more interesting or to the musicians to entertain us all the more. Rather, I take it as a look-me-in-the-eye and face the amazing nature of resurrection. The nature of resurrection demands that we confront the possibility of living new and fresh on the day after Easter, because the whole point of doing Easter was to give us a starting point for renewal.

If I could only get that part right, I'd be satisfied with a week-old chicken leg and a pudding cup over the sink, because the true feast remains.

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