Fake Chocolate Bunnies

April 8th, 2009 § 7 comments

I loved Easter as a kid. I got to eat loads of candy and wear a pretty new dress from Polly Flinders with a bonnet. All at the same time.

(All at the same time, while sitting on orange shag carpeting. We called it “The Spaghetti,” for obvious reasons.)

When I was grown up and out of the house, my mother loved to send me little cards and packages around all of the holidays. I might get some candy corn for Halloween, and maybe a set of cookie cutters at Christmas. I would receive some chocolates, red hots, and (if I was lucky) heart-shaped cupcakes at Valentines day. Thanks to her, I have a collection of seasonally-themed cheese spreaders. These boxes started to arrive when I was in college and never stopped, no matter how far into adulthood I was.

But her pièce de résistance was a fake chocolate bunny that came to my midtown apartment one early spring day some years ago. “What,” I asked, because someone had to ask, “What is the point of a fake chocolate bunny?” My roommate Colleen and I scratched our heads, baffled.

“Moms,” she said.

But over time I started to love my fake chocolate bunny. Even Colleen, a controlling aesthete in matters of home decor, grew fond of our little friend. He became a sort of mascot sitting on top of the TV and watching over us with his unblinking yellow eyes. Sometimes we talked to him, sometimes we made him hop, and sometimes we would pretend to take a bite of his ears and break a tooth.

I reported all of this to my mother. “See?” she said, “I knew you would like him.”

And so she sent me another one the next year. And the next.

There is another fake bunny who bears mentioning: My father. Some men dress as Santa Claus at Christmas, but my dad played the role of Easter Bunny for an Easter egg hunt at least once, circa 1981. He wore a fuzzy white costume that my mom made, and I remember her struggling to figure out a way to make the ears stay up. She did, and it was quite a site to see this man of six feet, never mind the girth, dressed as a rabbit with painted-on nose and whiskers. There is a photo of him arriving at my grandparents’ house one Easter Sunday to the great joy and surprise of my cousin Eric, who was young enough to believe that there was nothing remotely fake about that gigantic talking bunny.

That rabbit suit is in a box in my mother’s half-empty house.

And the fake chocolate bunnies, they sit on a high shelf above my stove, a little army of faux candy soldiers, or perhaps guardian angels. Anything made of actual chocolate would surely melt up there above the heat, but there they sit as they have for years, solid molded plastic reminders of the things that don’t last.

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§ 7 Responses to Fake Chocolate Bunnies"

  • Melissa Davis says:

    I LOVED the story! I, too got a new Easter dress and bonnet every year from our local boutique Tot to Teen. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jean says:

    Amazing how things can change over time yet stay the same. Not quite like the bunnies who i suspect wont change a bit. I Loved the story in its full context.

  • Charity says:

    You know, I thought of you the other day when I saw instructions for making your own “faux chocolate bunny”…on MarthaStewart.com. Happy Easter!

  • colleen says:

    …and sometimes Barb, we would put him in the fridge so he wouldnt melt! oh, i miss fake chocolate bunny fun.

  • kate says:

    Your writing is smart, funny and poignant. I loved the comment about your little aesthete. This piece is a real gem Barb.

  • Eileen says:

    I have small collection of faux chocolate rabbits. This is the only thing I have ever collected ! I love to put them out at Easter. This year they are in a display case at my school .
    I once told my grown daughter that when I die, I want my rabbits displayed on my casket. She replied with ” But Mom what if you don’t die around Easter”. We both laughed !!!

  • [...] Read about my visit to Patrick Roger’s workshop here, and my collection of fake chocolate bunnies (yep) here. [...]

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