Saturday, November 6, 2010

All Hallows Eve

After a mere two months, it seems clear that my schedule this year has mostly sucked any interesting and/or insightful thoughts out of my head. I make two to three approximately hour-long trips to school daily, work part time from home, and have to make up lesson plans for the class I got drafted into teaching for free at Phartacus' and Slappy's school. Plus the usual homework and extra-curricular mom stuff that goes on. None of this is revolutionary in terms of what many moms do, but it has left me with virtually no time or brain power for reflection. Hence, blogging dearth. Expect this to continue through June.

But now it's Saturday night and my only goals are to eat pizza, watch questionable television, and catch up online. Last weekend was a different story. Sometime in early September, the idea of hosting a Halloween party for the boys sounded like a far-off seasonal delight. As October progressed, I spent days unearthing decorations, looking for green punch recipes, hanging paper spiders, downloading theme music, and so on. Last Friday was spent carving jack-o-lanterns, prepping food, stretching out spider webs, etc. Saturday was a whirl of scrubbing toilets, hiding papers, and all the fun things that go on around here when people are coming over. At dusk, the party room filled with Phartacus' and Slappy's chosen few, who bobbed for apples and carried on while the adults huddled in the kitchen for chili and beer.

Halloween party: check.

The next day I actually had to go through Halloween, which seemed somehow unfair. But I have to admit that I was curious to see how Phartacus' costume would go down.

Every year, Phartacus requires a costume that cannot be purchased in stores. While Slappy craves Walmart's finest polyester ensembles, Phartacus has a Charlie Brown mentality that I, in my foolishness, cannot resist, and so every October finds me hot gluing tarantula legs or sewing bat wings or figuring out how to make sure the eyeholes on ghost sheets stay put. This year, only a devil would do. You can find devil masks in stores or costumes online, but they are gruesome lumpy affairs, and Phartacus was to be an old-school dapper devil, the kind I remember from my own childhood Halloweens.

As dusk slowly gathered (I feel certain that the government officials who decided to push Daylight Saving Time past Halloween are child-hating sadists), I watched a stream of cars leave the neighborhood. A few might have been off to celebrate in other, more desirable neighborhoods, but I know for a fact that quite a few were the folk who believe Halloween is the devil's birthday and must be safely ensconced in church. So it was a pity that they missed Phartacus' birthday get-up, complete with red vest and tie, white dress shirt, black slacks, and plastic pitchfork, mostly courtesy of Walmart's dressy lads' section.

In recent years our neighborhood has seemed to be dying a Halloween death, with maybe five or six batches of trick-or-treaters, the rest presumably trunk-or-treating in some church parking lot, which is NOTHING LIKE HALLOWEEN because you are dressed in costumes, going from car to car asking for candy from sanctified trunks where they have definitely not been slaughtering puppies in pentagrams before handing out the Oh Henrys.

But this year there was a seven o'clock rush, which happened just after I returned home with polyester Slappy, who had the most ill-timed case of the shits I have yet to witness. Imagine only having cramps and the trots for the two hours during trick-or-treating. The injustice. Anyway, I brought him home, plopped him in the tub, and sent The Mister off to accompany Phartacus, at which point the doorbell started ringing. And kept ringing. Luckily, Slappy is five and unlikely to tip over in the bath, but he did need some help in the toilet and general sympathy departments, so I worked off a few fun-size Kit Kats running back and forth between the bathroom and the front door. I can't say I was unhappy about it, since I was pleased that business was booming, and it definitely livened things up from the previous Halloween when I stood out in the empty street fruitlessly hawking Skittles.

By the time Phartacus and The Mister returned, both the trick-or treaters and the bathroom fun had subsided, and a restored Slappy joined his brother in that time-honored tradition of candy counting and haggling. Phartacus didn't even receive any religious tracts, fruit, or Charlie Brown rocks. Score.


  1. So funny. I, nowhere near as busy as you, have had the lack of desire to blog lately also. I think I bore myself. :P

    This was a delight to read though.

  2. Love your writing, then, now, and forever!