Infest the Waters: A Blog About Design, Life and Making Stuff

Zen and the Art of Egg Decorating

Easter eggs

Whenever my students get back from break, they ask me if I had a good break.  I think they don’t realize that just because they have a break, it doesn’t mean that I do.  But I feel like I had a mini-break this past weekend, as Ben and I took a trip to his parents’ house outside of DC for Easter.  Even though they really live in a metropolitan area, I always feel like going to their house is like going to my country home.  (I feel the same way when I go to my mom’s house.)  A girl can pretend, right?

Since we spent Easter with Ben’s family, the Easter rituals were obviously different than what I grew up with.  Specifically, Ben’s family decorates Easter eggs differently than I did growing up.  My mom always bought whatever novelty egg decorating kit was en vogue that particular year, we hardboiled a bunch of eggs, put down newspaper on the off-balance kitchen table (which made things all the more exciting when you set the round eggs down on the table) and went to town.  Some years the kits were more successful than others.  I’m still mourning the fact that Dudley’s discontinued its Shake-An-Egg kit, which was kind of like the equivalent of Shake ‘n Bake for eggs, except the finished product was a pretty color, and it wasn’t coated with that weird crunchy brown stuff.  The Glitter Egg year, however, was thankfully never repeated.  (You have no idea how difficult it is to remove glitter from a de-shelled hard-boiled egg.  It’s like if you licked your skin and sprinkled glitter on it.  Gross.)

Ben’s family doesn’t do the hard-boiled thing.  They blow their eggs.  As a result, they get to keep their eggs from year to year, so there are eggs still around from Ben’s childhood.  I must say they make a very colorful centerpiece, and I’m sure that getting the eggs out every year is a little akin to getting the Christmas ornaments out every year.  It affords you an opportunity to reminisce on Easters past.

In spite of all this, I was still skeptical about the new egg-decorating strategy.  Before dying the eggs, they decorate them with permanent marker.  This seemed like it was somehow defiling the purity of egg-decorating, and I was initially planning on just dying my eggs.  Ben’s mom was even kind enough to hard-boil a few for me so I could take them home.  However, then I had a flash of inspiration as to how my eggs might be improved if I drew on them, and Ben’s mom had also bought some new markers for the occasion.  Ever since I was little, I’ve been a sucker for new markers, so I figured I’d give the whole drawing-on-the-eggs thing a go.  (This may not seem like a big thing to you, but just ask any of my family or close friends–I loathe change when it comes to rituals.)

As it turned out, this new egg-decorating strategy wasn’t so bad.  I might even venture to say it was good.  And in fact, I might even do it again next year!  Judge for yourself below.  My eggs are the owl, hot air balloon with rabbit and alligator eating an egg.  (Had to work an alligator in there, of course.)  Ben’s is the carousel with the upside-down horse.  Don’t ask.

Easter eggs

And now I’ll get to visit the fruits of my egg labor whenever we go to Ben’s parents’ house for Easter.  Maybe sometimes rituals just need a little updating.

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