Saturday, November 1, 2008


It’s raining today … I mean, really raining for the first time since we moved here in July. It’s kind of nice, too. Everything smells fresh, and the birds were raucous this morning. It gave me a reason to hunker down, get some rest, and even take a nap. Elizabeth has been heavy into her computer, we watched the “Sex in the City” movie (really a two and a half hour episode), and now “Lawrence Welk” is on television. Real cozy, family type stuff and I really needed it.

What a week … on Thursday, I pulled off a wildly successful Halloween event at work. It’s a trade off for what we can’t do on Christmas because we’re so busy honoring religious tolerance. I coordinated a week’s worth of decorating competitions, departments competing against one another with elaborate scary scenes, followed by a gathering and awards, with an office full of trick-or-treating for our children, and tables of children’s crafts projects. We had helium balloons everywhere, so when people arrived at the party, they would know they were some place special. Elizabeth came with one of her girlfriends, too and got more candy there than she did at home on Halloween night. The committee and I decorated everything in sight, casting aside professionalism in favor of fun and merriment. I’m talking about seriously cheesy decorations and tackiness around every corner! I worked for a week on my VooDoo Queen costume, too, determined as I was to dress for success. I hit the nail on the head. I had so much fun.


I find it slightly amazing to have a creative outlet like this in the office. People keep asking me if I’m ready to quit because they think its so much work, when the truth is, I’ve hit my stride, and feel at home there. I got personal satisfaction out of helping everyone come together as a team, in the spirit of competition, and then coaxing them into fully participating and having a splendid time of it. It was terrific. It’s been such a serious and uncertain year, everyone needed a dose of silly.

It was satisfying and exhausting.

I approached Friday, Halloween, and a short day in the office, already tired, but there was cleaning up to do. In the elevator, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and discovered folks from the party committee arrived early and had everything in order! All I had to do was euthanize a bunch of tired balloons and take down the decorations in my work station. It was all I could do not to throw myself at Mary’s feet in thanks. I ended up giving them a bottle of red wine to take home.

The Tunnel of Terror

Speaking of home … there it was another story. The neighborhood barricaded the street for a block party, so of course, we had decorating to do outside. We got the obligatory inflatable skeleton head and all the trimmings, which the little kids couldn’t resist and parents stopped by for photo opportunities. Mother Nature was apprehensive and threw sprinkling rain on us now and again, but for the most part, She kept the worst at bay until today.

I have to admit, it all felt a little strange. Elizabeth went door to door on the block for a little while, but her bag was already full of candy from the office. She was in full costume, an undead convict, and had more fun giving candy to the itty bitties … let’s see, we had witches and skeletons. There was Minnie Mouse and Buzz Lightyear, too. They were adorable, but it was too dark to take decent movies, and so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I’m not sure what Leslie and I expected, but it wasn’t this. Maybe it was the block party people (we stayed at the house), drinking their margaritas and lighting fire crackers down the street, or the young, yuppy parents lit up like Christmas by the time they got to our house. Leslie definitely disliked them, and I found myself tolerating them. I’m unsure if it was the horrible Halloween experiences we had in Connecticut compared to the warm and cozy Halloweens we had on Sunnyside Drive in South City. Maybe we just expect too much, in general. That’s entirely possible.

From this, Leslie has determined that we don’t belong in the peninsula, but rather should be closer to the city, where there is even more diversity (and less tipsy yuppies). I have to agree. It’s very nice here, and I love the birds. Yet the house is very small (besides, we’re only renting it), and we’re living on an anthill. Like I said, we expect so much.

At the end of the night, as the rain got a bit heavier, we left a cauldron of candies outside the door under the easement, and settled into the fresh crab Leslie picked up at Whole Foods. They were fresh and scrumptious and topped a long, busy week off deliciously. Before sleep, I went outside and brought in the decorations I didn’t want ruined by the rain … my ravens, brooms and our mummy … you know, the important stuff.

I’ve spent the day reflecting on all this, the mixed feelings, and ultimately feeling very thankful for the good fortune we have in general. So, with this, I cast all the Halloween spooks back to the land of the dead and with them all the expectations. Next, when they come back, I’ll have more candy.

Maybe I’ll save all this left over for then.

I’ve got to do something with it, don’t you think?


Jane said...

I'm glad you had fun at your office party, anyway. I saw the pics on FB, :-) I've not been much of a holiday person since my kids left home, but I can tell you're the type who'll be celebrating when you're 90!

Donna L. Faber said...

I certainly hope so ...

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