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It’s Holiday Season Again: Halloween

Let’s face it.  Halloween is one of those holidays that people either love or hate.  There simply is no middle ground when it comes to All Hallows Eve.  As I grow older I find myself in the crossroads of hating and loving Halloween. 

 When I was a kid I loved all things Halloween.  The costumes, the trick-or-treating and especially all of the candy.  It was the one time of the year that my folks would let me run loose around the neighborhood soliciting sugar high-enducing treats.  My parents were so cool that they didn’t even go through my candy claiming to pull out the unsafe looking pieces while secretly culling out the good stuff for them selves.  Nope, I was free to tear into every razor blade-infused apple, every drug-laced, unwrapped candy, and even those nasty ass candy corns.  Although I have it on good authority that they would sneak into my stash once I finally crashed from my sugar high. 

As I grew a little older the trick-or-treating would give way to just running wild through the neighborhood wreaking havoc on people’s Halloween yard art and kicking in the faces of their lovingly carved jack-o-lanterns.  Rather than begging door to door for candy I would simply steal the candy of a younger ‘treater.  Yes, I know this is wrong, but kids did it to me and by God, I was going to have my revenge.  Plus, I couldn’t return home empty-handed and dressed like a zombie. 

As I entered the high school scene Halloween would shift gears significantly.  For me and my crew it was all about property damage.  We would steal pumpkins and drive around hurling our loot at unsuspecting brick mailboxes and parked cars.  Trick-or-treating would become underage drinking-themed house parties.  This trend would continue on into college with the property damage portion of the evening eventually fading away.  Call it maturation if you will, but I credit binge drinking and girls dressed in slutty costumes.  Who wants to toss pumpkins when you can stare at coeds while drinking your way to tossing your cookies just before you pass out on a stranger’s couch.  Man, I just realized how much I miss college.  These first 3 phases of Halloween are what I always loved about the holiday. 

In the years after college the fun would begin to fade.  Dressing up for costume parties would become a source of stress to have the most kick-ass costume.  Binge drinking would become a liability as we all had jobs and responsibilities.  I would also develop a hatred for overaged trick-or-treaters.  Why won’t those teenagers just move to the next phase?  Get to a party, get to stealing other kids candy, or get to smashing pumpkins.  Either way, just get off my porch you greedy little bastards!  Essentially, I begin to hate Halloween at this point in life.

Enter marriage and babies and the cycle begins again.  This time it’s my children entering phase one of Halloween.  It is such a great feeling to see the pure joy on their faces as they are handed a piece of candy from a complete stranger.  Their little eyes just light up at the sight of that dum-dum being dropped into their oversized plastic pumpkin buckets.  Watching them fight through the completely ridiculous costumes that we force upon them while trying to run to the next house brings forth a hearty giggle.  And perhaps the best part of the evening is when we have made our way home, candy buckets dumped onto the floor, and we drop the big one on them.  We tell them that they can have one candy before bed, and one candy only.  Their little, round faces become serious with the weight of the decision that is upon them.  Despite their selection we all win.  They get delicious and hopefully unlaced candy and we get to feel like good parents…for a night.  I think it’s safe to say that I have come full circle on Halloween.  Hell, I think I am gonna go smash my neighbor’s pumpkins and steal some poor kid’s candy just for the nostalgia.


My Little Zombies


Into The Wild: Installment 3 (The End is Near)

Mom and Dad are really starting to miss our little angel.  We both get home from work this evening and all that we talk about is that we both have gone from enjoying the spare time that we have had to wondering if GG has fled the country with our baby.  We scarf dinner down so that we can jump on Skype with M to see how her day went (and to see if she shows any sign that she recognizes her birth parents).

First things first; I must congratulate Skype, or the operators of our respective computers for a first attempt connection this evening.  So, we make the connection and after a several minutes of looking at the ceiling in GG’s house, we actually see M’s adorable face.  The adorable face that is burned into our memories is not exactly what we were met with this evening on the computer, but under the greasy hair and yogurt-caked face we see our little baby.  Both GG & M look equally zombie-like to their appearances last night, but something else is different tonight.

Our normally untamed spirit of a daughter is looking sulky and is kind of quiet.  We tell her that we miss her and she is quick to tell us that she misses us too in a whiney, tired voice.  This statement is followed by a hug…yes, she actually hugged the computer.  It was the sweetest thing that she has done since she has been away from us.  Mom and I exchanged tear-filled glances knowing that out daughter’s time at Club GG is nearing an end.

We are regaled with the tale of today’s adventures mostly by GG as M lie quietly on the sofa.  Our little zombie must have just fed on some fresh brain (which has the same effect on a zombie as turkey does on a live human) because she was beat.  GG spells out that M is, “M-I-S-S-I-N-G  Y-O-U” and our hearts melt.  In a wierd way, we feel loved by the daughter that so quickly abandoned us and hurled potty names at us just last night.  Speaking of potty name-calling, you will be happy to know that M decided not to insult her dear parents tonight.  I don’t know about you, but we are thinking that the end is near.

Of course, we are taking her lapse of love to be merely tiredness for the time being because we have been burned by this bluff before.  We will see how M feels in the morning when she awakens to a full schedule of swimming, shopping, or raiding third world countries for their jobs (see Installment 2  We have the eerie suspicion that we will be having bathroom insults hurled at us by day’s end tomorrow.  Stay tuned…

Into The Wild: Installment 2

We are recovering after the rough shelling that we took on D-Day.  M hit us with enough emotional shrapnel to make our hearts look like Swiss Cheese.  Thankfully, and this is probably the only time that you will see me type these words, but we were able to go back to work today which helped take our minds off of our bruised parent-egos.  We sit though dinner this evening mostly in silence.  Each of us wondering what tonight’s Skype call with our wayward daughter is going to bring.  Will she want scream and cry on the webcam begging to come home?  Will she hurl bathroom word-laden insults at us again?  It’s time for the call.  (If you would like to catch up on Installment 1:

Our stomachs are in knots as the Skype gods decide how many attempts we have to make before getting the webcams on both ends working.  The gods say 3 times tonight (it was at least 5 times last night).  Immediately we can tell that GG and M have had a long day.  They both look like our Skype ringtone woke them up.  Half-closed, drowsy eyes stare blankly back at us.  We pepper them with questions about Day 2 and quickly find out why they are a heartbeat away from being zombies.  They went to M’s great grandparents, they went to the mall, they went to build-a-bear.  Apparently there is a store where you go and build your own stuffed animals.  (What would the Taiwanese sweatshop workers say if they knew that rich Americans were out to get their jobs?).  They went to the lake beach again,  and finally they went to the park.  A pretty lazy day…if you are a marathoner, or triathlete…

Once again M showcased that she does not possess the ability to miss her dear parents (or primary care givers, as it probably sounds in her mind)  During the 2o-minute call we saw her little face a total of 5 minutes at best.  The other 15 minutes consisted of GG’s glossed over haze-eyes all the while there’s a purple blur shooting to and fro in the background.  One thing did improve in the fact that ony one of us gets to be called a bathroom part.  Yes, it was me and I get called “Daddy Butt”.  The rest of the conversation from M revolves around her panhandling for Mom and Dad to make funny faces.  I think that we may be raising a future homeless person.  She does not seem to care where she lives, and apparently she is already mastering panhandling skills.  I say that she is mastering begging because when we sat through that 20 minute Skype call with our tongues out and making pig noses.  If she were on the street she would have just earned a cool five bucks for “gas money”.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment which is now a quest for our daughter’s affection…