halloween, all the way back last year, decided to schedule itself at a very poor time for me... the week before mid-term elections. my life was unraveling and my oceans of anxiety were rising. it was work work work all the time. it stretched from first thing in the morning until last thing at night. it went beyond bedtime. it consumed. but, it also paid and kept us from living in a cardboard mansion.
i tried to get a jump on oliver's halloween costume. we decided on DJ Lance Rock, of course. i mean, that thing is hilarious. i squelched my over-ambitious daydreams of fashioning his outfit myself and began ignoring the negative reviews of the manufactured costume. i drove children twice to the spirit costume store looking for it and worried i was causing psychological trauma to oliver. that place is kind of scary. this was his favorite.
to help frame it, i discussed proper dental hygiene and the negative behavioral effects of eating too much candy laced with red dye. poor uncle charlie. if only someone had told him the same in time to save him.
oliver fingered a returned item marked something like GHOST BRIDE and said that was what he wanted to be for halloween.
spirit peed on my parade by not having DJ Lance Rock in stock and i eventually had to go ahead and order it unseen.
the reviews were right. the hat arrived too small for even violet. it probably would have been about right for ozzy. the glasses were too big for me. they had to be tied to oliver's head with string, and even that wasn't working too well, if you can believe it. it was frustrating. i was saddened DJ Lance would put his name on something that was obviously lacking in quality and designed to disappoint.
while i plugged away at my political scripts, i searched my brain for the best way to fix the hat issue.
i quickly found myself down to the wire. i squeezed in a trip to target and managed to find a $2, adult-sized touqe in pumpkin orange. later that night, as i continued to run out of time, i had brian go to joanne to get bright orange fleece and bright orange fuzzy monster fabric. the fuzzy monster fabric immediately shed the second you thought about touching it and it was quickly confined to its bag and later, the trash can. after finishing up work at midnight, i made a very quick and very sad attempt at fashioning something workable out of the fleece. i wasn't pleased. the touqe won. i cut out two irregular stars from white and yellow felt and sewed them on and went to sleep.
friday morning, brian put on his work halloween costume. this was the first year, i think, that he wasn't dressing like a lady and bringing home the prize(s). he went into the bathroom and shaved off his face for the first time in the six years i've known him. i was busy working even before school and was so stressed out and at mental capacity that i refused to look directly at him. there was no room left for processing the face of a familiar stranger. it's very difficult carrying on a conversation with someone and keeping your eyes from automatically darting on over to their face. and i would receive a pang of the weirdness quickly approaching.
i dressed oliver in his finery and slapped a vintage (vegan) ice cream man pantsuit on violet and hauled them both down to the school for the halloween parade. oliver ended up looking pretty awesome, as you know, and even mrs gavin knew who he was supposed to be. i felt immensely ridiculous when mrs bailey whispered, "now, tell me who he's supposed to be so i'll know," and i was forced to answer, "DJ LANCE ROCK."
i took violet to the parish hall in order to beat the crowds lining the hallway and it was a rather low-key procession back there as all the students looped around the room and spent a lot of time standing in line, for some reason. i ran back home, likely to do an hour's worth of work, and then ran back to the school for the halloween party. i can no longer remember if that's the party where i brought homemade banana muffins. if it is, then i'm sitting here right now impressed that i found the time.
as it always is on party day, it was also a half day of school. so both children came home with me.
that evening, i continued working and continued denying brian's face. he took oliver out into the cold to see my nephew, dylan, play with his high school band at a football game in duncanville. my sister had a little shock when she saw them and thought a stranger had oliver.
saturday morning, we had a soccer game. at the last moment, word was sent out that we could attend in costume. so, we dragged out the hold horse costume that was worn for all of 10 minutes last year and saddled oliver up. when we arrived, it initially appeared no one else was dressed up and i thought perhaps i had gone insane and invented the email. and then spiderman and darth vader and a couple of others popped up. oliver had to abandon the horse during the time he spent on field. what a shame. it would have provided quality entertainment even if it was a bit of a running hazard. it's not like he spent much time traveling on the field.
my sister was there and held violet, the chicken, on her fancy soccer-watching loveseat. it was a beautiful day.
i'm sure things happened later in the day. i know many of them included working. but i had to buckle down and address the elephant in the room that was the still uncarved halloween pumpkin. we settled down on some newspaper with an assortment of utensils unsuitable for children and got to work. oliver maintained his opinion that pumpkin guts are disgusting and could not be sold on the awesomeness that is squeezing pumpkin goo through your fingers. violet, on the other hand, rolled up with a fork and spoon from the little kitchen and prepared for snack time. oliver was in charge of deciding the face this time.
we made a break for it sunday around noon. it was halloween proper and we were going on our second annual trick-or-treating expedition at the arboretum. the timing interfered with the precarious nappings of claire, so we were going solo. somewhere during my life at that point, i suppose before i had baked those muffins, i ordered tiny muslin bags and stamped half with Os and half with Vs. i had also procured a jack o'lantern bucket and fruit cereal for violet and vegan halloween gummies for oliver. i slipped into the party store to get puppy dog pencils and curious george party napkins. at the last minute, i locked myself in my bedroom, much to oliver's curious dismay, and assembled the goods.
it was brian's job to scout ahead and dispense two little bags at each of the trick-or-treating locations. he told me at the first couple, he was saying the kids suffered from celiac and couldn't have mainstream candy. that made me feel a little dirty and i think i scolded. about halfway through and after some confusion at some of the stops where they put the candy into the little bags, brian huffed down the crape myrtle trail saying something along the lines of, "this is SO fucking STUPID. i'm not doing this again next year!"
and the tears arrived in my eyes and i became sadly enraged and i seethed back something about how i had busted my ass putting all this together and all he had to do was deliver it and he could have told me he didn't agree BEFORE i had busted my ass putting all this together. and i tried very hard not to blubber. i tried to be done with it all, but i think we ended up finishing and went to the lawn to have lunch. and brian apologized for the misunderstanding and he meant he thought it was stupid we should have to do that just so our kids aren't eating a big pile of shit every other day and he was irritated by the looks some of the trick-or-treating people gave, i think.
20 seconds before the meltdown. what it would look like to poop in a pumpkin patch.
we decided to take away from roti grill after. oliver got a talking to on the way in. oliver declared it a picnic.