This morning, in my customary “mailing-things-off-at-the-last-minute-style,” I bought the last few chocolate eggs and assorted dolci to send to Baby Cole for Easter. The over-sized Kinder Surprise egg won’t make it, I’m told, as if i didn’t already suspect this, but, hey, chocolate is chocolate to a six-year-old, and a cracked egg tastes just as good as a whole egg, and requires a lot less work to get to the goods.
Well, I saw the oddest thing this morning as I was leaving the supermercato with my chocolate egg n’ bunny stash. You see, I was still in my scour-for-Easter-type-regalo mode, so when I saw a yellow-green plant wrapped in a cellophane-like cone container, well, it caught my eye. I took a double take before asking Peppe if what I thought I saw for sale, was indeed, what I saw for sale.
And, it was!
On either side of the entrance to the supermercato was a man selling leaves for Palm Sunday!
“But, what are they for,” I asked Peppe again, certain I didn’t understand the true reason these men were selling palm leaves.
“For people to take to church tomorrow,” he repeated.
“But…but…why?? Why do they have to buy them?”
(Sometimes I am kinda slow…)
“So they will have one to take to Mass.”
(My Peppe is so patient with me.)
“You mean the church doesn’t GIVE you one for FREE?” I am in shock, here…
“Well, you don’t have to buy one,” he assures me.
But, I don’t want us to be the only two people in Mass tomorrow who were too cheap to pay a few euro for our palm leaves.
“…but, don’t worry, Cherrye,” he continues. “They’ll be selling them outside church tomorrow morning. You can buy one then.”
Now, is it just country girl, Southeast-Texas-Me here, or is it strange that people sell leaves for Palm Sunday? Apparently, it isn’t even the church selling them to make (or even recuperate) money, but any ole “Joe Blow” off the street can set up shop. I mean – what a business! Of course I’ll buy one, either for fear of sticking out like a sore thumb for NOT having one, or out of Catholic guilt for being too cheap to spare a euro, but I imagine I’m not alone. In a country where more than 90% of the people claim to be Catholic, there is a lot of guilt going on around here.
Anyone want to go into business with me next year?? Anyone?