Category Archives: Halloween

Room Mom Woes and Wars

Let’s go back in time a bit, shall we?  Let’s go back to this time LAST YEAR, when I was the room mother for Snags’ kindergarten class, busy planning the Fall Party.  It’s the “FALL PARTY” because we cannot, in this era of political correctness, call it was it is, which is a Halloween Party.  No matter that parents send in decorations of bats and witches and mummies.  Those things, as everyone knows, are signs of AUTUMN, just as surely as the leaves changing color and the air turning crisp.  In fact, if you play your cards right (no, it’s not politically correct to admit to gambling), you just might find bats and witches and mummies hiding under that colorful pile of leaves you just finished raking.

But I digress.  The FALL PARTY.  I was the room mother.  My duties as room mother were to coordinate with the teacher and enlist parents to help donate supplies, food, crafts, and their time at the party.  I had a particular interest in this because Snags has food allergies, and without some role in the party planning, especially the food, the classroom could quickly turn from a party atmosphere to a danger zone.

And I gather, from talking to other room moms, that I was lucky.  Snags’ kindergarten teacher had a thing for SIMPLE.  One snack.  One game.  One craft. Perhaps two crafts if time allowed.  The party ran for approximately 2 hours, and all 18 children had to get a turn at the snack, the game, the craft.  Or two.

And things went well.  I survived the fall party, the holiday party (it’s really a Christmas Party, but please don’t tell anyone), the Spring Party, and the End of Year Party.  Things were simple, things were fun.

When first grade rolled around, I volunteered once again to be room mom.  I was told at first, by Snags’ first grade teacher, that another mother had “expressed interest” in being room mom.  When I explained that I’d like to be involved somehow, because of Snags’ allergies, I was told I would be THE ROOM MOM.  But that somehow morphed into being CO-ROOM MOM.  And I was okay with that.  Until…  My co-room mom called me, in SEPTEMBER, about planning the fall party.  The fall party is the day before Halloween.  So we had plenty of time, no?  And co-room mom went on about how she and ANOTHER CO-ROOM MOM (How did we get three room moms?), had been planning the craft activities and wanted to talk to me about the food situation.  And it was SEPTEMBER and OMG!  I can’t even decide what the hell to cook for dinner TONIGHT, let alone plan the snack for a party that is over 30 days away.

Eventually I agreed to meet, in person, with my co-room mom and HER co-room mom (whom I shall now call Thing One and Thing Two).  Thing Two seemed somewhat new at room mom duties and genuinely concerned about having the party be safe for my son, as well as the two other children in the class who also have food allergies.  Did I mention that food allergies are on the rise?  Note that three children out of 22 in ONE CLASS have them?  Thing One, however… Thing One.  Thing One was IN CHARGE.  She has taken it upon herself to be THE ROOM MOM.  Somehow, somewhere, and I don’t know how and don’t know where, CO-ROOM MOMS got dropped, and Thing One TOOK OVER ALL PARTY PLANNING AND PREPARATIONS THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The Fall Party THIS YEAR?  Starts at 2:30, Ends at 3:20.  Those times are PER THE TEACHER.  So we have, if I remember first grade math, 50 minutes.  To accomplish the following activities planned by Thing One, THE ROOM MOM, with 22 children:

• Frost and decorate pumpkin shaped sugar cookies.
• Eat frosted and decorated pumpkin shaped sugar cookies.
• Eat grapes.
• Eat potato chips.
• Eat Fritos.
• Drink juice.
• Play Bingo.
• Play Bingo.
• Play Bingo.
• Hand out Bingo prizes.
• Hand out Bingo prizes.
• Hand out Bingo prizes.
• Read a Halloween Story.
• Decorate Halloween Bags.  And no, I don’t know why we are allowed to read a Halloween story or call them Halloween Bags, but Thing One and Thing Two thought the children could use the bags to collect their Trick-or-Treat candy the next day.
• Count and weigh pumpkin seeds and compare the weights for dry roasted pumpkin seeds verses wet pumpkin seeds.

Now, if ALL THAT wasn’t enough to keep 22 kids busy for 50 minutes, Thing One met THING THREE who had an idea:  Stuff popcorn into gloves and paint finger nails on the gloves to make “monster hands.”

But wait, it gets better.  Thing Three wants to bring in an air popper to the class room and let each kid pop their OWN popcorn. In the class room.  At the party.  And then the kids will take that freshly popped and burning hot popcorn and stuff a plastic glove with it.  Then they will dip the ends of the fingers of the gloves (which, if I may point out, will probably be MELTING from the hot popcorn) into paint to make finger nails.  VOILA!  MONSTER HANDS. (and no, I’m not sure if the monster hands are meant to be the melting gloves stuffed with hot popcorn or the children’s hands that now require a thick slathering of burn cream).

And OMG people!  FIFTY MINUTES.  TWENTY-TWO children.  I hope these kids are fast.  Because I just pulled out a calculator and 50 divided by 22 is 2:27 minutes.  Less than 2 ½ minutes PER child, to accomplish all of the above.  Granted, they aren’t doing things one at a time.  They won’t be standing in a long line waiting for the classmate in front of them to just move along already, you’re eating into MY 2:27 minutes of party time, but still.  Fifty minutes.  Twenty-two children.

And so I’m thinking, hey, what the hell?  Why don’t we go ahead and have the children plant the corn, grow it, harvest it, shuck it, dry it, break it off the cob into kernels, THEN pop it and stuff the hot popcorn into the plastic gloves.  We’ll have time for that, right?  We’ve got a full 50 minutes, after all.

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Filed under Fall party, Halloween, life, parenting, party planning, room moms, Snags

Happy Blogiversary To Me (or How My Cousin Saved My Nose Piercing)

Exactly one year ago today I wrote my first post on this blog.  For those of you with nothing better to do than watch reruns, I will point you to that post here.

Since that time one year ago, I have written 125 posts; kind readers have left me 798 comments; and this blog has been viewed a whopping 16,478 times. 

But that’s not the point of today’s post.  The point of today’s post is to tell you about how my cousin (Hi Cousin!) saved my nostril piercing from early retirement.  Something I’m sure you all have a great interest in, no?  No?  Really?  Huh…  Then here, go read this instead.  It might make you laugh.

But for the rest of you, the story goes like this…

I was sitting on my front porch last Monday, Memorial Day actually, and I stood up to go take a look at something that my son wanted to show me in the yard.  And at the moment that I stood up it felt like someone had hit me in the back of my head with an axe.  A sharp axe.  And the pain, it took my breath away.  When I sat down, the pain disappeared. As long as I was sitting down, life was all flowers and sunshine and twittering birds with hearts overhead.   When I stood up however, the pain was back again, with a vengeance.  Think Michael Myers in Halloween.

Tylenol didn’t touch it.  Motrin barely made a dent in the pain.  And neither pill did a thing for the fear, for the anxiety, the knowledge, like nails dragged across chalkboard, screaming, THIS IS NOT RIGHT!

So early Tuesday morning I called the doctor and went to see her.  She felt the headache was probably the start of migraines, even though the pattern didn’t match any Google Migraine searches I had done.  Still, she gave me some headache pills and sent me on my way with an order to get an MRI, just to prove to me that this was nothing.  Not a tumor.  Not a stroke.  Just an invisible axe in the back of my head when I stood up and walked around.  Proof that life is best enjoyed napping or sitting quietly in the shade with a book and a cool glass of lemonade.

I scheduled the MRI as directed and read the instructions on how to prepare for the test.  My biggest hurdle would be removing my nostril piercing, because THOU SHALT NOT HAVE METAL NEAR THE MRI MACHINE, lest its powerful magnet suck you into some kind of break in the time-space continuum and fling you and your nostril piercing into outer space.

But my nostril piercing, I’d never changed it myself.  I’d read a lot about it, I visited the tattoo parlor where I had it done to ask for advice, and I shopped around and bought $25 dollars worth of clear plastic retainers, things that you can put in a piercing in place of your normal jewelry to keep the hole open.  Because according to all I’d read, these little holes from a piercing, especially the ones in your nose, can close in a jiffy.  Ten seconds flat, read one website.  And then, if that happened, I’d never be able to get my little diamond stud back in my nose.

Thursday night I took out my jewelry and after a bit of a struggle, managed to finally get one of the many different plastic retainers stuck in my nose in its place.

Friday morning I went for an uneventful MRI where they didn’t even care that my bra had metal underwires in it.  Hello?  Boobs surrounded by metal…giant magnet…fling into outer space?  Apparently, not a problem when they are merely scanning your brain.  Who knew?

But then came the tricky part.  After the MRI I came home and removed the retainer and tried to re-inset my nostril screw.  Without.Luck. I tried again.  And again.  And again.  And again. Eventually I gave up and put the retainer back in.  I drove to a local piercing place where they were “too busy” to help me. 

So I went home and tried again.  And again.  And again.  Think of it like the very first time you tried to change your earrings.  How the earring would go in, but you couldn’t get it to come out the other side.  Or if you were one of those lucky girls who changed her earrings without any problems on the very first try, then imagine trying to pierce your ear with a dull backed earring.  When you’re sober.  Ouch, right?

I tried numerous times throughout the day.  I emailed my cousin no less than six times with my Tales of Nose Woes.  And then, on Saturday morning, I gave up.  I took out the retainer and emailed my cousin to tell her I’d given up.  I was done.  Finished.  My nose, the nostril piercing, it was already closing up, healing, the hole was gone.

And I was more or less okay with it.  The hassle was too much, and how, I wondered, could I have my nose pierced if I was unable to take care of it, unable to change the jewelry by myself.  I emailed my cousin to tell her so.

She sent me an email back. She knew I couldn’t even manage to get the plastic retainer back in.  She makes jewelry for a living , and her nose is pierced too.  She said: For your nose…do you have a tiny regular earring you could put in there for the weekend?  I did, but I didn’t even want to try.  I was done. 

Except, apparently I wasn’t, because that one little question got me thinking.  And suddenly, I HAD TO KNOW whether the hole in my nose was really closed. Or not.  The same way I sometimes try to stick an earring in the 3rd piercing in my left ear, expecting the hole to be closed because I never wear anything in it but being pleasantly surprised that here, 20 years after I first got that hole, it is still open and I can still put an earring in it if I want.

So one more time I grabbed the nose screw and my tube of KY Jelly.  Oh stop!  I’ll have you know that the KY Jelly was purchased specifically for the purposes of changing out my nose screw because all the advice I had read on the subject said to lubricate the jewelry to make insertion easier.  And the tub of Vaseline I had was so old I was afraid to use it.  I bought the KY Jelly at the grocery store when I had a bunch of other things to buy because I was afraid if that was all I bought, I’d end up in the checkout lane run by the only male teenage cashier in the store.  And you and I both know he would barely be able to contain his giggles as he assumed the stuff was for something else, like the commercials suggest.

Anyway, so this was my last attempt.  I had no expectations because I had tried so many other times to change the jewelry and it didn’t work, and my nose was sore, and like I said, I had officially given up.  But what do you?  This time, it worked!  The jewelry went in!  And there it stays for fear of never being able to repeat this miraculous feat.

It may be that leaving the piercing empty for a day let the swelling and irritation of my previous attempts go down and that is why it worked.  Or maybe it was because this attempt was out of sheer curiosity and I wasn’t even really trying.  But I actually attribute it all to my cousin, who with that one little sentence, got me curious enough to try it one last time.

Thanks, cousin! And Happy Blogiversary to me!

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Filed under blogging, family, grocery shopping, Halloween, life, nose piercing, thanks

Halloween: Then and Now

Think back a bit.  No, further… further…a little further…  Nice try.  You aren’t THAT young.  Go all the way back to when you were a kid.  Six years old, maybe eight, maybe ten… Remember when you got all overly excited about Halloween?  Remember the costumes that came in a box and consisted of some type of cape or gown and a cheap plastic mask with a really thin elastic strap to hold it in place?  And if you didn’t buy one of those you likely made your costume, or your mother did.  You were a girl from the 50s, or a cheerleader, a vampire or a witch, or for those who waited until the last minute, a ghost or a hobo.

Remember school parties and school parades where you lined up and marched around the school parking lot or the school playground wearing your costume?  When I was in second grade (or was it 4th?) I was Casper the Friendly ghost and I wore my costume to school and my mom packed Cheetos in my lunch and I wiped my orange cheese dusty fingers on my costume.  I remember my mother wasn’t happy about that.  I mean, who ever heard of an orange streaked ghost?  Even a friendly one?

How about trick-or-treating?  Do you remember how it took FOREVER to get dark enough out to go trick-or-treating?  It was only recently that I realized nothing significant had changed with the general flow of time or light and darkness.  Rather, it took forever to get dark back then because I was a kid ripe with anticipation, home from school at 3 p.m., and it didn’t get dark until nearly 7.  I had hours to kill.  Now I’m an adult and driving like a bat out of hell to get home from the office in time to flip the porch lights on, light the jack-o-lantern, and scarf some dinner down before the first band of ghouls come knocking at my door with their little hands all outstretched. 

Remember how it was almost always cold out on Halloween night and your mom always insisted you wear a coat over your costume to keep you warm and how that pissed you off (although you didn’t know “pissed off” because you were too young.  You knew it “wasn’t fair” and nobody would see your costume and “I won’t need a coat! I won’t be cold mom!”).  But often, your mom made you wear a coat anyway, because conventional wisdom and old wives tales said that being out in the cold would give you a cold.  Now we have global warming, thicker skin, and stronger defiance, and coats are rarely seen on Halloween.  Now we know that colds are caused by GERMS. 

Then remember how you would go house to house to house to house trying to collect as much candy as possible?  And sometimes people would go a little crazy and their whole family would be dressed up in scary costumes and sitting on the porch to scare you or they would play frightful music from speakers aimed out their windows?  Sometimes they’d answer the door in costume and that was always a little strange too.  A grown up dressed as a witch, or a pirate and you felt, but couldn’t express how exactly, you found it a bit creepy.  Not scary so much as just wrong somehow.  That was an adult, and adults were too old for Halloween.  They were supposed to open the door and give you the goods and that’s it.

Remember the candy?  The chocolate and peanut butter and caramel gooey goodness?  Remember the candy that you loved and the candy that you hated?  I hated the lollipops and the bubblegum and the hard candies.  Especially the red hots and jaw breakers.  Yuck!  Me, I was all about the chocolate and the peanut butter. Mmmm, mmmm! And years ago candy bars were bigger, weren’t they?  Sure, lots of people gave out snack size bars, but I swear that even those were bigger and then there was always that one house that gave out full size candy bars.  Everyone wanted to go that house, get there before the big candy bars ran out! I always thought the people who gave out the full size candy bars must have been rich to afford that.

Then there was the house where a dentist lived, and it was obvious it was a dentist because they always gave out toothbrushes.  Or the houses where they gave out pencils or stickers or pennies.  BORING!

There were also the houses where the people gave out homemade popcorn balls or candied apples.  They always looked good, but of course your mother wouldn’t let you eat them.  They were homemade.  Maybe the person who made them was a little bit crazy and had poisoned them just for fun, right?

When you got home from trick-or-treating you always had to dump your bag out on the table and let your parents look it over, let them inspect the candy for hidden needles and razor blades before they let you dig in lest you slice your tongue off.  Later on, hospitals started offering to X-ray the candy…

Those were they days, weren’t they?

Halloween now, it’s different.  Costumes are different for one thing.  Masks are considered dangerous, everyone needs a flashlight or a head lamp, the parents are all out supervising the trick-or-treaters (Halloweeners my dad calls them) to make sure nobody grabs their child off a porch and drags them into their house never to be seen again…  And with the parents out, nobody is home to answer the door and hand out candy at at least half the houses!

Schools don’t celebrate Halloween anymore because it’s too scary or too violent or it violates somebody’s religion or it’s not politically correct, or whatever. 

Some towns don’t even encourage trick or treating anymore.  They advise parents to take their youngsters to the mall and the merchants all hand out Dum Dum lollipops and bubble gum in a well lit place and they do this a few days before the real Halloween so the real day can go unmarked.  “You already celebrated Halloween, honey!  We did that three nights ago, remember?  At the mall?”

In my neighborhood we still have Halloween and trick-or-treating.  My son is going out this year dressed as Darth Vader.  He’s got a cool costume with a mask (but he will probably have to take it off to walk between houses) and a red light saber.  And he’s excited, as he should be. It’s kind of funny that he should be so excited considering that he cannot eat the candy he collects.  It’s not that I am afraid someone will have poisoned the candy.  He can’t eat the candy because for him, IT IS POISON.  He’s got food allergies.  He is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts.  And there aren’t many candies free of those ingredients.

So milk chocolate is out.  Peanut butter cups, Charleston chews, Mary Janes, Mounds, Almond Joy, Snickers, all out.  Marshmallow candies, out.  Chewy, gooey, caramel goodness, out.  There are a few treats he can eat: Nerds, Twizzlers, Dum Dum lollipops, a few others as well.  So my son will go out on Halloween night.  He will go trick-or-treating.  He will collect candy just like his friends.  And when we gets home I will sort through his bag of poison, (and yes that is how I think of it, he is out collecting poison) and I will take away all that he cannot eat. 

In truth, for all that he can’t eat he might as well be out collecting farm pesticides and household cleaners.  I am just going to take nearly all the candy away.  Some of the candy that I have to take away, I will eat.  Some my husband will eat.  Some of the “unsafe” candy as we call it, candy full of his allergens, we will re-Halloween-gift into our candy dish to had out to the kids still knocking at our door.  What’s left after that we will probably haul in to the office and share amongst co-workers.

As I separate the poison from the few candies my son can eat, I count it all, putting hatch marks on a piece of paper.  I’ll give my son something in exchange for all the candy he cannot eat. Maybe a toy.  Maybe a video.  Maybe we’ll pay him a nickel, maybe a dime per piece of candy we have to take away (hence the reason for the counting).  He did work to collect it, after all.  Anything safe that he collects, any candy that doesn’t contain his allergens, he can eat. Not all in one night of course!  That much about Halloween remains true.

You might wonder, “Why, if she feels like he is collecting poison, does she let her son go trick-or-treating at all?”  Well, because he likes it.  This is life, right?  Halloween is part of life and trick-or-treating is what you DO on Halloween.  My son doesn’t mind all that much about the candy.  He’s never tasted a Reeces Cup so he’s not missing anything.  I’m the one who’s had to make the biggest adjustment, the holiday no longer the same as it was in my youth, and certainly not the same as I’d imagined it would be for my son that day six years ago when he was a tiny infant, just a few weeks old, and I dressed him in a chili pepper costume for Halloween. He was screaming bloody murder but I propped him up on the sofa, next to a Halloween bag filled with baby bottles full of breast milk and a few pieces of candy tumbling out as well, and I took a bunch of photos.  I thought of the future, how one day he would like dressing up in costume, going out and collecting candy, sitting in his room and stuffing his face with chocolate until he was too full for dinner… Ironically, I am the one missing what he can’t have, what I imagined he would one day have.

My son is six now.  He likes choosing a costume and going trick-or-treating with his friends.  He’s excited this year to pretend for a while that he is Darth Vader, that he has the ability to scare others, all the while being a little scared by the scenes outside: the other children in costume, the adults that dress up, the flickering jack-o-lanterns, the frightful music playing at some houses, the mean scary guy down the street who decorates his house in an alluring manner then grabs children’s hands as they reach into his candy bowl.  He’s scared my son two years in a row now, left him crying.  We won’t be fooled a third time. This year we’ll only look at his house from afar. 

My son likes to hurry home after trick-or-treating to help me hand out candy to all the kids that come to our house. I am careful not to let on that I feel a vital part of Halloween has been lost, that I am nostalgic over what he cannot have. I can’t talk about the deliciousness of chocolate and peanut butter mixed together, of Snickers and Almond Joys.  I cannot suggest he is missing out in any way.  I am sure in some way he suspects this, but thankfully he’s never had those candies to know.  He’s happy with the hard candies and lollipops that I despised as a youth (and still despise).  He’s happy with a new toothbrush or some stickers, a pencil, a few pennies.  Those things aren’t boring to him at all, rather, they are things that he can keep.  And that’s fine.  And this is life.  It’s Halloween!  And besides, that’s the whole point of Halloween, right?  It’s supposed to haunt you, just a little.
 

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Filed under costumes, food allergies, Halloween, life, nostalgia, then and now

Snippets

As I was driving to work today there was a very nice looking Cadillac SUV in front of me.  It had a vanity plate that said 4 God.  And below that, on the plate’s frame, was this:

Everything I Have Is

And I thought, even your Cadillac?  Really?  How do you plan to get that pretty SUV up to God’s house in Heaven?  Are you driving it to him?  Right now?  Or is it already his and maybe he’s letting you borrow it, drive it around down here for while?

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My husband and I have been married for 14 years now.  Our Wedding Anniversary was this past Tuesday.  On that very night I heard my son say to my husband, “I wish you and mom would get a divorce already!”  My husband was taken aback.  I heard him ask “Why? Why do you want us to get a divorce?” to which my son responded, “Because then I could marry mom!”  My husband assured him that even if he did come around and divorce me, that Snags still wouldn’t be allowed to marry his mother.  There are laws against that you know.

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I was out on a long run recently when I came upon two men running toward me.  I caught just a snippet of their conversation but it was enough to make me turn around to get a second glance at the speaker.  He said to his friend, “Yeah, it’s dangerous, but I do it anyway.”  I wondered if he thought he came across as brave, because I thought he came across as stupid, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his picture linked to a Darwin Award next year.  I am actually hoping to see this, so I can find out WHAT the dangerous thing he used to do was.

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I cannot sew.  I’m not proud of that, but it’s true, and I don’t try to hide the fact.  That is why I buy my son’s Halloween costumes.  This year, as you might have guessed, he’s going to be Darth Vader.  There is a kid in our neighborhood who copies my son’s every move and ends up with the same costume every year. This irritates my son and me to no end, and this year, as expected, neighbor kid is dressing as Darth Vader.  But neighbor kid’s mom is oblivious and happy because she has a cardboard Darth Vader mask and has decided that she can dress her kid in black pants and black shirt, and voila, she’s made a Darth Vader costume.  My son heard her telling me about this and he said “You aren’t supposed to MAKE Halloween costumes!  You are supposed to BUY them!”  Neighbor kid’s mom was not happy about that comment.  I suspect she will be considerably unhappier when she sees Snags dressed in his store bought Darth Vader finest on the 31st. 

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Filed under Halloween, humor, kids, life, religion, running

Please Check Your Calendars

Please check your calendar.  Somebody, no… EVERYBODY, please check your calendars.

Can you confirm to me that today’s date is, in fact, August 8, 2007?

And that means it is still summer, right?  At least, technically? 

I mean, I seem to recall that the official start of summer falls somewhere around June 21st on what’s known as the summer solstice.  And then fall doesn’t officially start until September 23rd or so, the date of the autumnal equinox.  And all the days in between… summer.  Summer, summer, summer.  At least, that’s the way it is here in the Northern Hemisphere. 

More so than the dates on the calendar, I have this other evidence to present in the hopes of proving it is still summer…

It’s 100 degrees outside.  It feels, when you walk out the door, like that Jaws ride at Universal Studios in Florida where you’re in the boat and there’s a big fiery explosion and the searing heat is more than a touch alarming and you check to see if your skin might be blistering before your eyes.  In the end, it’s really not, it’s just hotHOT LIKE FIRE.

Also, there’s baseball.  As far as I know, the major leagues are still in action. Then again, baseball season is so damn long that it might not be an actual indicator of anything anymore.  Still, I’m claiming it.  Baseball equals summer.

School hasn’t started yet either.  It’s still, for better or worse, summer vacation.  At least for a few more weeks.  And I know this counts because there’s that song with the lyrics, “School’s out for the summer!”  I think Alice Cooper sang it.  And I think, if it’s in a song, then it must be true.

So to recap the evidence:

a. the calendar says it’s August and August equals summer
b. It’s hot out, and HOT LIKE FIRE usually only happens in the summer (well, unless there’s an actual fire)
c. Baseball equals summer
d. Alice Cooper said so

So, if all evidence points to the fact that it’s still summer, then WHY, pray tell, is my local grocery store already pushing HALLOWEEN CANDY?

Why did I get this fall catalog in the mail today?

And most worrisome of all, why today when I bought some LEGOs for my son from Target, did the cashier put them in this large CHRISTMAS bag?

O Holy Night!

Give me some time to buy school supplies first, won’t you?

I don’t know.  Maybe the cashier thought I was buying the LEGOs as a Christmas gift since I was shopping alone and when she asked, I told her that I didn’t need a gift slip for them.  That must mean I’m keeping them, right?  But I’m a grown woman, and grown women don’t usually play with Star Wars LEGO sets, ergo, Christmas gift!

When she handed over my bags, all of my other purchases, like disposable razors and shampoo and Burt’s Beeswax (incredible deal on a 3-pack!) and gauze for wrapping up my husband’s mangled foot, were in regular Target bags.  You know, the white ones with the red Target symbol on them?  She handed over the LEGOs and said “And here is your toy.”  And she kind of winked and nodded at the bag which was not see through.  So I think she was suggesting that the LEGOs should be a Christmas gift and that I shouldn’t hand them over to Snags to play with the moment I walk through my front door.  Perhaps she thinks that giving children toys for no reason, in the middle of summer no less, is akin to spoiling them.

But I like to think I’m fostering his creativity because he got a mini-set of LEGOs and has been spending hours upon hours making things with them and entertaining himself for hours more.  And I was thinking that more LEGOs would allow him to make more things and be more creative and entertain himself for even MORE hours.  And more is better, right?  When you are talking about five year olds playing quietly with LEGOs for hours, more is better.  Just… trust me on this.

But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  I’m used to seeing Christmas stuff go up early.  It takes a lot of time to set up 20 trees with ornaments and lights and tinsel.  I start the day after Thanksgiving at my house, and I only put up one tree, some stockings, and a wreath.  So stores, with all their twinkling lights and snow globes and dancing Santa’s have to start early.

And then there’s the whole thing where they start selling bathing suits in January.  Now that totally pisses me off because if I wait the 6 months it will take me to lose enough weight to look good so people won’t vomit when they see me in a bathing suit, it would be June before I could buy one.  Only by then there won’t be any bathing suits left except for those on clearance, and those are all in a size 2 and I couldn’t pull one of those up past my ankles even with a weight loss.

But really, I don’t recall seeing Halloween Candy out THIS early before.  I’m especially perturbed at this because it means I have two additional months where I can stock up for trick-or-treaters only to say “Oh, what the hell, just one piece” and then before you know it, I’ve not only opened the bag, I’ve eaten the entire contents, all 240 pieces.  And then I have to go buy MORE.  This is bad enough when I do it through the entire month of October, because after that, I’ve still got Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies I can’t keep myself away from.  So come January and bathing suit sales, I’m in trouble.  Only now I’ve got August and September stretching before me with Halloween candy on the shelves, and with those two extra months, I can do some serious damage.  I might have to tape 20 large Target Christmas bags together just to make myself a bathing suit come January.

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