Friday, October 21, 2011

'Tis the Season. Trick-or-Treat Season.

It’s a cold, rainy day in October and I can no longer fool myself into thinking that the warm weather is going to last.  Instead, I know we’re heading smack-dab directly into winter.  How do I know this?  Because I flipped the switch on the “butt-warmers” in my car this morning.  That’s a for-sure sign right there.  It’s as significant as when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and it means six more weeks of winter.  I probably won’t turn off those warmers until mid-April – whether I see my shadow in February or not. 

Plus, Vince finally turned on the furnace.  Fuzzy mittens and fleece-lined boots and winter jackets cannot be far behind. Sigh.

I’m not sure why we stick around Ohio, but we continue to do so year after year.  Maybe I like self-torture?  Probably.  Even when Vince suggests we move to a locale with a warmer climate (like Barbados, perhaps?), we don’t do it.  I start thinking about all the family and friends we’d be leaving behind and I get nostalgic and homesick before even thinking about packing that first teacup.

At least there are a few fun activities we can participate in before the snow flies.  Hopefully.  Like, we have a Halloween party to go to next weekend.  I’m looking forward to it because I think I have a cool costume – if it all comes together.  If it doesn’t, I might be wearing the same costume that Vince is wearing.  It’s a T-shirt that reads, “This IS my Halloween Costume!” 

Hey, it counts.  He won’t, after all, wear it to Sunday dinner with the in-laws.

Also, Vince’s son was over the other day and he wanted to carve a pumpkin.  So off to Kroger we went where they carefully reviewed their options and finally selected two decent sized pumpkins.  I assumed that Vince would be joining his son in carving the second one, but it turns out he expected me to carve it.  Me?

I have to confess – I have never in my life carved a pumpkin!  Seriously. I mean, sure, we had jack-o-lanterns for Halloween when we were kids, but do you think my father trusted any of us with sharp implements?  Not on a bet.  He probably figured we’d already filled our family quota of ER trips for stitches, broken bones and life-threatening fevers.  He wasn’t taking any chances.

So we all gathered around him while he did the honors and made the pumpkins come to scary life.

That was actually okay with me because the insides of a pumpkin are pretty gloppy and ooky. (And, yes, as a matter of fact, those are the technical terms.)  I didn’t really want any part of scooping out the guts of a pumpkin.

As I grew older, I realized that carved pumpkins were a target for neighborhood hoodlums and I didn’t ever want to walk around picking up bits of orange-y smooshed pieces of pumpkin goop.

Plus, I’ve seen more than my share of decaying jack-o-lanterns on neighbors’ front porches and stoops.  There IS an expiration date, people, and while a scary-faced jack-o-lantern that is caving in on itself IS even scarier than the original creation, it should probably be tossed well before Thanksgiving.  I can’t imagine it’s a fun chore to pick up something that has the consistency of a giant rotten tomato.

But mostly, I don’t want to carve my own jack-o-lantern because I don’t like scary faces.  I would’ve totally carved some happy face on the thing and it would’ve completely missed the point.  Halloween is supposed to be about scary witches and bad-luck black cats and ghosts and goblins.  Not about smiley faces.

So I wimped out in the end.  I implored Vince’s son to carve the second pumpkin, too, and he finally did.  Made the second jack-o-lantern afraid of the first one.  I thought it was clever.  And it was way better than my happy face idea.

So now we’re sort of in the Halloween spirit with two carved jack-o-lanterns gracing our doorway.  But I’ve come to realize that we’re woefully underdecorated for the holiday. Around the neighborhood, houses with strings of orange lights and blow-up ghosts on their front lawns abound.  They have Halloween-decorated wreaths on their doors.  And, if you’re lucky enough to be invited inside, they have some great Halloween decorations on their walls and tables, plus they’ve stocked up with bags full of the good candy.  In contrast, all we have is a bowl with a few expired fun-size Kit Kats. And those were probably leftover from last Halloween.

Huh.  When did it become a requirement to decorate for all these holidays?  Pretty much the only holiday I decorate for is Christmas and that alone is a big pain in the patootie.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the twinkling lights and festive atmosphere the holiday brings, but it’s still a pain to haul out all those lights and garland and wreaths and candles.

I can’t imagine decorating for Arbor Day and Valentine’s Day and Easter, too.  If I were to purchase more decorations for all these holidays, I’d just have to give up thinking that our garage could be used to house an actual car and instead we’d use it solely for holiday decoration storage.

Ah well.  Maybe those carved jack-o-lanterns will inspire me to get into the holiday spirit.  I’ll buy witchy wreaths and decorate with orange and black strings of lights.  I’ll fill the garage with more boxes of “stuff.” 

Or maybe not.  After all, unless I go out and buy some more candy, I’d have to give the Trick-or-Treaters the few expired Kit-Kats we have left.  And I really don’t want to walk around picking up bits of orange-y smooshed pieces of pumpkin goop when they smash our jack-o-lanterns in revenge for giving them crappy candy.

Plus, I don’t want to have to park in the driveway because years ago I vowed not to spend my mornings scraping snow and ice off my vehicle.  But that’s another story.

No comments:

Post a Comment