Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


It’s not that I don’t like Halloween… it’s just that… OK, I don’t like Halloween. I said it. I know, I’m in the minority. Everyone loves to dress up, decorate, and do the pumpkin thing, but let me put it to you from my perspective. It's just a whole lotta work.

Living in S. Florida means that we have to buy the pumpkin darn close to Halloween or it will rot. There’s none of that lovely ‘carve the pumpkin in the 2nd week of October and set it out on a stoop full of hay’ like y’all in the Great White North do. None of that at all. Pumpkin shopping happens in the 90 degree heat a few days in advance. You don’t carve the stupid thing until the day before. Otherwise you end up with a caved in pumpkin face fraught with mold and insects. Blech.

And for those of you who think pumpkin hunting is fun, I have three boys that were born with this innate “Bigger is Better” syndrome that turns into… well, we know what it turns into as they become men. Pumpkins are expensive and all three of them want their own pumpkin and they all want the biggest one on the lot. IF I ALLOWED THAT TO HAPPEN, which I never have, that would be $75 in pumpkins. Phht. Yeah, right. So they have a choice, they can each pick a medium sized pumpkin or we can buy 1 pumpkin… the largest on the lot. They have yet to go for the biggest and instead, we buy 3, which means hollowing and carving three. Can you say ‘pain in the butt’?

It’s my fault too. I started this when they were babies. I thought it looked cute with this family of pumpkins…. The Mommy, Daddy, and three baby pumpkins. Well, it is fun no more. That means we are looking at my calendar, which by the way, I have never posted on my calendar before, but I have 5 different color pens, one color for each person’s events. So we have to look at the calendar, figure out what day is best to fight over pumpkins in the sweltering pumpkin patch, then figure out what day we’re actually going to carve them. Some years they get carved on Halloween day… hours before sunset.

As luck would have it, I was too sick yesterday after the funeral, so it fell squarely on my spouse. Even better was the insistence of my 9 year old to do is own, and he did an AWESOME job, and my 7 year old to wanted to paint his, go figure. So we have two carved and one painted pumpkin.

Let’s move on to costumes. I buy their costumes the first Friday of October. It is a tradition. We beat the rush, they get what they want, and we get it out of the way. The bad part is, Son#3 cannot stay out of his costume. I pray the entire month that he can actually wear his costume on Halloween and it hasn’t been reduced to threads. I had to wash his costume today (Halloween) because he was playing with fire ants and they crawled into it. (Yes, do not go there with me and fire ants.) On the plus side, I get my moneys worth from HIS costume. Last year he went as Hulk and then one day a week thereafter he insisted on wearing his Hulk costume. At the end of the year, his preschool teachers handed us each a little memory book of pix they had taken of our kids throughout the year. Half his pictures he’s in a Hulk costume. The classic was when a Mother told me one day her 2 year old came up to her after school and said, “Mom! I got hurt on the playground, but Hulk came and helped me!”

Then of course there is the candy. Do you think I have the self control to have candy sitting in this house?! No! Sure, every now and then they pick things I won’t eat like Skittles or Starburst, but we always end up with some daggum variety pack that has chocolate in it… which means the earlier we buy the bag of candy, the higher the probability I will have to go out and buy more the day of as I will have consumed all the chocolate. It’s one of these… “Oh, I’m feeling tired… must have a piece of chocolate.” or “Blech, what a bad day… must have a piece of chocolate.” or “Off to run more carpools, let me grab a piece of chocolate.” or, as it has been more this year, “I miss my husband, I’ll have some chocolate.” Bad bad bad. It is the start of the ‘fat season’. Halloween candy followed by Thanksgiving, then quickly on its heels is Christmas and all the baking.

Yes… That said, I have the most decorated house on the block with really scary music coming out of my front window. *grin*


Blogger Tammi said...

That is exactly why I didn't buy candy this year. And it figures, this year I would have given at least 2 bags out!!

Your house sounds like mine ususally does. Next year - oh yeah....the neighborhood better watch out. Hell the management company for the houses around me just may use that as an incentive to rent things out that week. :-)

The one thing I don't get are the pumpkins. For all the reasons you stated. Plus, it's not the same as up north. Just doesn't quite work for me.

But man, you made me laugh!!

7:20 AM  
Blogger Contagion said...

Mahn, Halloween Rocks! It's my favorit holiday of the year. Althought the Fourth of July is a close second. I do my house up like a haunted house, I get all dressed up, I don't do the pumpkins until usually the day or two before Halloween to make sure they don't get damaged or start to rot. (Even here if you carve them too early and get a couple of warm days they will go bad). I have a costume I wear to hand out candy, I figure I handed out close to 12 bags of candy this year. And I give the good candy, snickers, kit kats, peanut butter cups, Nestle's Crunch, Milkyway, etc. Although this year I did get some gummy fangs to give the kids, I thought they were neat. I have people that drive into our neighborhood just to hit my house.

Last night while my wife was out with the boys Trick or Treating she said the surrounding neighborhood was pretty much empty, but our block was packed with kids all night. I try not to scare little kids, under 10. but 10 and over is fair game. I almost gave a 50+ year old lady a heart attack lastnight.

Now today, however, I'm bummed because it's over and now Christmas will completely take over. Even though they have had christmas displays up since the end of September in some stores up here. Now there is a holiday I that I hate... Christmas. It urkes me. Makes me want to climb under a rock and not come out until December 26th.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Anathematized1 said...


You forgot about your other ritual. That of the weather bleached pumpkin which is left to disintegrate on your front lawn. When the remains of the pumpkin are finally absorbed into the earth, it means spring has sprung. Sort of like some weird groundhog thing. It's rather cool, yet grotesque in the same way - every time you go over the pumpkin is whiter and more dessicated.

It also amazes me how you can mow your lawn around that thing...

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...'s an idea to add fun to your Hallow's Eve. At the end of the night TGOO would give the last trick or treater candy and (drum roll please) the prized Jack-0-Lattern. It was always masterfully carved...not like those traditional types.
The lucky kid would delight in getting the "grandest treat" of all. I always wondered what mom said as the guy entered with bag of candy and an armful of pumpkin.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have yet to see a picture of him in the Hulk costume!

Toluca Nole

5:12 PM  
Blogger _Jon said...

Replace the word "chocolate" with "vicodin" and you have my daily thought process.....

5:19 PM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

Crap, I'll send them to you, TN. I have a ton.

When did TGOO start giving away the pumpkin to the last trick-o-treater???

9:37 PM  
Blogger Contagion said...

Nah, I have to keep the pumpkin. Usually a night or two after Halloween I go out into my front yard with various swords and axes and proceed to "decapitate" said pumpkin. Hence leaving rotting chunks all over the yard. hehehehehehe. That's part of the reason my neighbors are scared of me.

8:51 AM  

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