Thursday, November 5, 2009

What gets carved away

Blank. Empty. Rustling like discarded Halloween-candy wrappers.
The inside of my mind, I mean.
photo credit
creative commons license
Oh! There was an article in the newspaper saying that kids had actually found razor blades in Halloween candy. This surprised me, since I recently read that the razor blades and poison in Halloween candy were a complete urban myth. In one case, a drug dealer's child had gotten hold of some of his drugs and overdosed, so the father put some of the drugs on the kid's candy to divert suspicion from himself. In another, a father sprinkled cyanide on his son's candy to collect insurance.
So what's the deal? Did the urban myths surrounding these incidents actually prompt someone to make them real? And how pathetic is that? You can't even think up your own jackassery, you need to hitch on stories on par with some guy with a hook for a hand stalking people making out in parked cars?
We didn't carve our pumpkins until Saturday afternoon. If I dwell on this kind of thing, I get very discouraged. I took Eve to the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago, and we got big pumpkins to carve, little pumpkins to paint, and a couple of extra ones to stick in the Mr Potato Head-type eyes, ears and noses we bought at Party Packagers. Then, I don't know, life happened. Two nights a week get swallowed up by Irish dancing and piano lessons. The next night my cunning plan was to take off for book club and let Matt deal with them, but some pissed-off Japanese guy showed up in the office and had to be taken out for dinner, where he fell asleep in mid-rant over his steak, but prompted yet another trip to Japan this week, for which I hope a thousand lyme-disease-infested ticks nest in his pubic hair. Thursday my friend showed up with two possibly contraband armbands which could get my kids vaccinated for H1N1, and yes I took them and no I don't feel guilty (except possibly for neglecting the poor pumpkins). Friday we had a Halloween party. Then it was Halloween.
Damn these people, damn them!
Photo credit
creative commons license
It happens with most occasions, of course. The Valentine's Day cupcakes I envisioned lovingly decorating with Eve -- the careful placement of icing and sprinkles, the affectionate gazes we would exchange -- that ended with her standing buck naked on a chair throwing a heart-shaped decoration in their general direction before running back to her Barbies. The Christmas decorations that get halfway put up and half left in the box because we run out of time. The science experiment kit that is a big hit whenever we do an experiment, but somehow the 'experiment a week' plan gets shot to hell and it's more like an experiment every eight months.
I'm trying to let it go. I have to confess that Lynette's Facebook post about a huge uncarved pumpkin melting down the table onto the space heater and the floor made me feel guiltily comforted -- not the gooey orange pumpkin-smelling mess, obviously, but the fact that the pumpkin went uncarved. Is it pathetic that I just can't hear enough that everybody is letting something go all the time? Thursday night was supposed to be pumpkin-carving, pumpkin-seed roasting family togetherness. Instead we had bad fast food, hanging out upstairs at the community centre, sharp pointy injectiony family togetherness time, followed by toy store bribery family togetherness. We were still together.
I remember my mother getting really upset when holidays or vacations didn't match the picture in her head. But one of my fondest, most vivid Christmas memories was one year when my Mom started drinking wine before cooking and left a bunch of appetizers in the oven until they were mummified, and we razzed her about it for years.
Things don't have to be perfect. I know that. I love my kids and they know that. Everything else is just sparkly lights and orange fruit (fruit?). And it's expendable.

3 comments:

AmberDusick said...

Love this, so timely...have always felt the same about my BIG plans for a holiday. This year my husband and son carved the pumpkin but it literally got moldy and collapsed within 24 hours. Never even put a candle in the darn thing. Oops. Thanks for your comment on my blog...glad to find you, your posts make me laugh!

Amber said...

I have posted about this sort of thing before. I've decided that kids don't care if you don't think things are perfect. I've also decided that children remember the good times and sort of gloss over the bad. It makes me feel much, much better to believe these things.

alison said...

I'm with Amber. I'm always the one with the big plans/big expectations for things. The girls seem happy no matter what actually gets done. I am trying hard to learn from this.