Things were simpler back in the 80s. We only has three things to do the week before Halloween:
1. Watch the Great Pumpkin.
2. Carve a pumpkin. No one helped. If you cut your finger off, oh well.
3. Run to Woolworth’s and pick out your plastic costume that tied in the back like a surgeon’s gown and suffocating mask you could only see out of one eyeball at a time. Trying not to kill yourself tripping over the pavement was half the fun.
And that was it. Our biggest worry at the time was the ever ubiquitous ‘old man hiding razor blades in apples’ trick, which we were all scared of but no one actually ever saw.
I long for those simpler times. My week has been, shall we say, a bit more complicated.
1. Who has time to watch the Great Pumpkin? I have a Halloween party to plan at school. Except we can’t call it Halloween, so it’s a “Harvest Party” (with costumes) in grade 3 and a “Mystical Science Party” (with costumes) in grade 5. Two weeks ago I was summoned to a summit of all the room moms so we could coordinate our party activities, which were delegated as follows:
- candy potions lab
- luminescent fingerprint experiment
- homemade spooky finger cookies
- dry ice punch
- Pretend blood coagulation experiment
I missed the meeting. When I was asked after the fact what I’d like to do I offered to contribute some sort of preserved creature in formaldehyde, which was the best I could do. I was assigned plates and cups.
2. Pumpkin carving has now become an Olympic sport.
My garage is filled with half-used Pumpkin Masters and the sad remnants of plans gone awry. This year, we’re painting them and calling it a day.
3. Costume shopping began two months ago when the Chasing Fireflies catalog arrived. They cost a small fortune, but they are the only catalog where ten year old girls are still allowed to be ten year old girls.
“Why aren’t you wearing a costume, Mommy?” asked my daughter.
“Because I can’t find anything I like, honey,” I responded.
“How about a dog?” she asked. “You like dogs.”
“Maybe I’ll just be a veterinarian,” I said. “That’s hard to mess up.”
Desperate, I tried to think of the least sexy things on the planet. A lamp. A body bag. A hazmat suit.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” I said to her. “Maybe we can just get Brody a costume instead.”
Or maybe not.
Go home, Halloween. You’re drunk.