In the Episcopal church, especially in our Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s, we always greet Easter morning by belting out a soulful rendition of “Welcome Happy Morning.” Father Bob can’t get enough of that song. It just kind of sets up the whole service of joyful worship and, not incidentally, it marks the end of the 40-day season of repentance and fasting known as Lent.
Happy morning, indeed, because this is Hamburger Day. Every year, someone asks me what we’ve having for Easter dinner, imagining baked ham or roasted leg of lamb. “We’re having hamburgers,” I say. “At Five Guys.”
Every year I give up hamburgers for Lent. I adore hamburgers. I am like Wimpy in the Popeye cartoons, the character that ferociously downed hamburgers but couldn’t pay for his habit. “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” he would plead.
So this morning, after the 8:45 service, we headed to Five Guys. It is apparent that eating hamburgers was not a religious experience for most of the diners because they were dressed in t-shirts and shorts. Heathens. Oh, I’m sorry. Maybe they were all Jewish. Then again, probably not. It’s Passover and I’m pretty sure Five Guys is not kosher. Druids. They were probably Druids. Whatever.
You know how it is when you deny yourself something and the deadline for ending your fast draws nearer and nearer? You just want that forbidden thing all the more. For the past week, I’ve imagined hamburgers all day long. I’ve superimposed them over the faces of my friends.
A Five Guys burger with sauteed onions, mushrooms, lettuce and mayonnaise. Oh, yes. That’s what I ordered. I was tempted to tell the clerk at the cash register of this momentous occasion, my first hamburger in 40 days, but he was wistfully looking past me at the line of Druids still waiting to order so I just took my order slip, No. 71, and moved on to the Diet Coke dispenser. By the way, Mark and I were the first people in line. How is it we’re No. 71? I don’t get that.
Bliss. That’s all I can tell you. Worth waiting for. Worth dreaming about. Worth giving up because getting them back is so sweet.