Happy May Day!

Posted by barb on May 1, 2003 in Random Thoughts |

When I was in first grade, my Mom told me about the May Day tradition of making up baskets full of goodie. leaving them on the doorstep of friends, and trying to get away without being seen. She didn’t tell me about the rest of the tradition. My friend Corky knew the rest of the tradition, though.

It must have been 1978 when Mom told me about the May Day tradition of May Baskets. That year, on May Day, I made little baskets out of construction paper. Mom and I went to the store and bought a couple packages of candy, and I dolled them out between my homemade baskets. The memory of who I made baskets for has faded — certainly there was one for Gretchen and one for Debbie (two of my best friends) — the one person I remember, though, was Corky. He was my one friend who happened to be a boy.

When I had all my baskets made up, Mom drove me from house to house to deliver the baskets. All of the other deliveries were uneventful. I left each basket on the doorstep, rung the doorbell, and ran behind a nearby tree or bush. When the coast was clear, I went back to the car, and Mom would drive me to the next stop.

Corky’s basket was the last one I delivered. I remember his house being on a bit of a hill, with the road at the bottom. I trudged up the hill, left the basket on the doorstep, and ran around the side of the house. Just like all of the other deliveries. Except this time, I heard Corky coming around the house, too. I frantically looked around for a better place to hide, but I didn’t see anywhere — not that I could get to without completely exposing myself. Mom was trying to get me to run down to the car, and make an escape that way, but I didn’t see her. I was done for. He was going to find me.

I ran when I saw him round the corner, but I had nowhere to go (going to the car didn’t occur to me for some reason). Plus I’m not, nor ever have been, much of a runner. It was easy for him to catch me.

And when he did catch me? He kissed me! My first kiss.

I must admit that the kiss wasn’t entirely welcome. Mom forgot to tell me that May Baskets were really part of a courting ritual, and that a young man was expected to kiss the lass who left him the basket, if he could catch her. I’m sure Mom thought that it was very precious. I, however, was not the least bit amused.

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