Easter eggs, who could have imagined these sweet treats could have inspired such rivalry.
The ultimate test of supremacy, the definitive battle of sibling willpower and psychological warfare.
Each year, the Easter egg selection would be presented to us a week before the big day. My aunt worked in Cadbury’s on the north side of Dublin where she had access to staff discount. The best perk of the job, a shop for staff each Friday where they offloaded bargain chocolate, broken bars, squashed sweets. A sweet was a sweet, all delicious whether squashed or misshapen. My nine year old self had lofty aspirations of working in Cadbury’s when I grew up.
The weekend before Easter she would bring the goodies. With a selection of Buttons, Roses, Flake or Milk Tray eggs on offer we would surround her claiming ‘first pick’. Placed on display like a prized ornament they would adorn the shelf to be admired for a week. Only after mass on Sunday morning could they be opened. Very carefully (as the silver paper was to be saved) I would skilfully remove the foil, scoff the back of the egg, replace the foil so that it looked intact, untouched. This was all part of my game plan. The prize in this game of psychological warfare was to lord it over everyone else when you were the only family member with remaining chocolate. That done, the egg would be returned to the shelf to be admired again. After a couple of hours, myself and my sister would eye each other to see who would last the longest before returning for another bite of the cherry. If she gave in, I’d allow myself another piece. The egg at this stage no longer looked untouched, nevertheless it would be put back together again, returned to the shelf to be admired and the test of willpower would resume. Back and forth, taking smaller nibbles each time. Eventually, there would be a small piece left and I would sigh and declare “I’m sick of chocolate, I’m saving some for tomorrow”. This was obviously part of the act, it never lasted until tomorrow.
My brother always won this game. He was the undisputed king of self denial. He always had a piece left the next day so that he could wave it in front of us, taking smug to a whole new level. “Mmmm, don’t tell me yours is all gone”.