I'm never quite on top of things with the holidays, and it wasn't until this week that I suddenly realized that Easter's right around the corner and the kids might want to dye some eggs. No big deal, I thought, I'll just pick up one of those PAAS® kits when I buy groceries tonight. My mind drifted to nostalgic memories of watching the tablets fizz and billow colors before using that flimsy bent metal wire to carefully dip my eggs, then marveling over the tinted results (while simultaneously reeling from the vinegar smell).
Well, as it turns out, those basic egg-dyeing kits aren't quite so easy to find anymore. Somewhere along the line, someone decided a box of dye tablets, a wire, and a cardboard "drying rack" weren't GOOD enough. Because when I went to find that good old PAAS® box I remembered, what I found was an endcap of Easter INSANITY.
Here's what I expected to find:
You know: the dye, the egg "stand-ups," the dipper, the sticker transfers. Okay, maybe it wasn't going to cost 29 cents anymore, but otherwise it would basically be just like that, right?
WRONG. People, the egg-dyeing display has become an explosion of modern merchandising MADNESS.
There were "Ultimate Spider-Man," "Marvel Avengers," and "Hello Kitty"-themed kits filled with what I can only assume were a thousand annoying stickers that I'd eventually find affixed to every surface of the house including the cat's tail. There was a "Spin an Egg!" kit that looked more like a toy than anything else, and featured a hand puppet (?) and "5 dazzling glitter packets" (I'm out). There was an earth-friendly option that included soy crayons and "organic extracts from annatto seed, curcumin, purple sweet potato, and red cabbage." (It cost EIGHTEEN DOLLARS.)
There was a foam self-adhesive "crafting kit" which allowed you to add ears, wings, and hats to your egg. The packaging advised me that the eggs were not actually included, but that "Use of a glue gun is recommended." A "24K" kit included packages of gold glaze, and had such a compelling photo of blinged-out eggs I actually looked up the Amazon reviews later. Ahem:
The glaze is extremely loose and drippy, doesn't cling to the egg very well and takes at minimum 20 minutes to dry, so when you turn the egg to paint the underside, tragedy is imminent: finger smears, streaks, drips, and blotches. (...) So imagine a five year old with little hands and not the smoothest stroke, trying to make a beautiful egg that ends up looking like a pickled egg that fell in a rain puddle and got peed on by a dog.
Finally, there was a "Volcano Eggsplosion" kit that trumpeted, "Cover your eggs in a blast of color! By dripping crayon shavings over your eggs, you will create beautiful, and completely unique, results!"
You guys. I don't want an all-day movie-themed glitter-festooned "eggsploding" craft project. Just coloring eggs is enough of a messy pain in my ass, thank you very much. What's going on with the egg-dye overkill? Why is every simple childhood ritual being replaced with increasingly complicated Pinterest-worthy multi-step enterprises that cost buckets of cash? 3-D ANIMAL PRINT MARBLEIZED EGGS, GET OFF MY LAWN.
(I eventually found the traditional kit. It was hidden behind a "Chrome Eggshaust" box that came with motorcycle and diamond-plate stickers.)
Who else misses the plain old Easter egg-dyeing kit? Or do your kids love the multitude of new options?