Every spring when chocolate bunnies start appearing in stores, I think of the phone call I received several years ago from my mom, who was cleaning out the deep freeze in the basement storage room. Tucked far back in the corners, underneath the side of beef and baggies of frozen corn, were several chocolate Easter bunnies, still in their pastel-colored boxes. No doubt she smiled when she found them, rock-solid evidence of one of my many neuroses.
The truth is, as much as I love chocolate, I cannot eat a chocolate bunny. In fact, I cannot bring myself to eat anything with a face. As a child, I often received a chocolate bunny in my Easter basket, along with jelly beans and marshmallow creme eggs. When no one was looking, I would run down the stairs to the basement and gently tuck the chocolate bunny away in the deep freeze, where he would live out the remainder of his years, ears upright and frozen in time. Year after year, the bunnies accumulated, undiscovered and safely intact. That is, until my parents decided to get a new freezer.
The unfortunate thing about my assorted neuroses is that most of them have followed me to adulthood. A couple of years ago, we had some friends over for dinner. I was standing in the kitchen chatting with a guy we've known for years and reached into our refrigerator freezer to fetch some ice for his drink. The freezer door swung open, heavy with the weight of several pastel-colored boxes of frozen chocolate bunnies. As I fumbled past the bunny boxes to reach the ice cube trays, I realized that this particular neurosis was now fully exposed. When my friend finally stopped laughing and begged for an explanation, I told him that I can't eat chocolate bunnies because of their faces. I confessed how I had hidden them in the deep freeze as a child, and now, pathetically, had taken to freezing the chocolate bunnies from my young daughter's Easter baskets.
I've long since quit trying to rid myself of my various quirks and neuroses. While they certainly do affect the way I view the world, they really don't limit my ability to function in society. On my better days, I like to think that they add a bit of flavor to my personality. The one thing that I do hope, however, is that I haven't passed on too many of my neuroses to my daughter.
I thought I was doing pretty well on that front until recently, when I ran across a Peter Rabbit sucker, complete with a powder blue, sugar-coated jacket, which she had secretly squirreled away in the back of the refrigerator.