This is straight from childhood. Everyone loves deviled eggs, and most everyone loves egg salad on a crostini. Egg salad is a childhood memory. It’s a feel good. And, it goes anywhere, even a fancy dressed up party that is not a baby shower.
I’ve added yellow mustard, green olives with pimento, and sharp cheddar cheese. It’s the egg salad I grew up on served at the counter of the drug store across the street from my house. Most of you are probably too young to remember drug stores that had soda fountains and served sandwiches.
Tuna, chicken and egg salad were standards. The egg salad was special because of the cheese and olives. To this day, if I say “egg, olive and cheese” to my childhood friend, she will smile and remember the vanilla soda and bag of chips that came with it. I think I’m lucky to have a history of sitting at the soda fountain. It was one of the ways we stayed social in our immediate neighborhood. I miss that.
I remember my first dates with three different boys who were all best friends. Over the course of one week each boy took me to the drug store for a soda. I never swallowed my cherry coke, because I thought my swallowing made a noise and at 13, I was self-conscious of everything. When Boy Number One made his awkward move, I froze and wouldn’t give him a goodnight kiss. He did what 14 year old boys do. He told everyone, and I became known as the girl who said, “I don’t want to.” I was teased at school as different boys would come up to me and say “I don’t want to, I don’t want to.” Part of me felt backward as I had never been kissed and part of the “I don’t want to” was I didn’t know how to.” But part of me didn’t care, because I didn’t want him to be the first and as awkward and shy as I was at that age, I still was in possession of myself. Since Boy Number One was rejected, Boy Number Two, took a chance and took me to the drug store, but I was so appalled by his new short hair cut, I went home before there was any chance of his trying. Thirteen year old girls can be fickle like that. Boy Number Three not only teased me with “I don’t want to” he yelled out my weight on the school bus for everyone to hear. It wasn’t a weight to be proud of, so I was shocked when Boy Number Three phoned. He skipped the whole drug store ritual, probably realizing it had a rejection curse attached to it, and asked me straight out if I would be his girlfriend. I remember my response to this day.
“Me and you? You and me? It was incredulous that someone who had stayed in the background watching me be courted by his best friends, while he chose to poke fun of me and publicly humiliate me in the school yard and on the school bus, had a secret crush on me for as long as I had one on him. This is either a very beautiful take on romance or another reason for all girls’ schools.
He won my heart and became my first boyfriend, my first kiss, and a part of my heart history. I’ve been thinking about him a lot for the past week because he passed away prematurely right before Christmas, and although I haven’t seen him in 15 years, at a high school reunion where he insisted I be his date which is a whole other story, it hit my heart and brought me back to that drug store. I’ve had dreams of him.
I unexpectedly grieved a bit. I realized that the things that happen in childhood and teenage hood are profound to our identity and our emotional makeup. He meant a lot to me many lifetimes ago, and although I moved on in high school, college and into adulthood, he was a part of me, and a part of my history.
His sister is still my best friend and I wasn’t surprised by the news, knowing he had a long term illness. Part of me regrets not having sent a note his way, but I didn’t want to disrupt things with his family. I think I fooled myself into thinking the past was the past and it wouldn’t touch me. But it did, and that makes me think that all relationships have meaning and purpose, even if they don’t end up in the “happily ever after.”
- 6 hard boiled eggs (Go here for perfect hard boiled egg technique)
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced olives
- 2 tablespoons cubed sharp cheddar cheese
- salt, pepper
- Mix yolks with mustard and mayonnaise until creamy.
- Chop egg whites. Mix together with olives and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.