Asking an atheist how his Easter was is kind of like asking a Hindu what she did for Passover. It just doesn’t apply. But, this hasn’t stopped many people at the office, who know full well that I am not religious and that I go to a Zen Buddhist mediation with the partners of the firm every week, from asking me “How was your Easter?” The truth of the matter is, I was barely conscious it was Easter at all until The Wife reminded me of that fact at about 3:00 that afternoon when we wondered why so many stores were closed.
Now, we had written Easter cards last week to our family, in a nod to the holiday that we know most of them celebrate even if we do not. But after I put the cards in the mail, that box got checked off and was no longer on my list of things to think about and the concept of “Easter” vanished from my mind as completely as had my recollection of what I’d eaten for breakfast (if anything) on February 17.
My Easter Sunday was not particularly enjoyable, as it turns out, although that had nothing whatsoever to do with the coincidence that a string of annoyance occurred on a morning coinciding with a Christian religious holiday. But you don’t respond to a social question like “How are you?” with an honest, detailed answer; no one really wants to know that, for instance, you just can’t get rid of that uncomfortable piece of earwax or you’re still mad about your husband leaving the toilet seat up in the middle of the night.
So I figured that a blow-by-blow of my many minor travails on Easter Sunday was not what people at the office wanted to hear and told them I had a relaxing day with my wife and a nice dinner. If I told them the truth, I might have drawn a lecture about how none of those bad things would have happened to me had I gone to church -- as if that could possibly have kept the cat from shitting all over her pillow. The cat didn’t know it was Easter, either.
Most of the people asking this question, by the way, seem to have had unremarkable Easters themselves. They pretty much all went to church and then ate ham with their families. Aside from the eerily uniform choice of main course for the big meal of the day, that isn’t really all that much different than most other Sundays for observant Christians, is it?