Boo! (Or is it Boo Hoo?)

watermelonThere was always a lot of crying around our home come Halloween night. I come from a long line of Harrowing Halloween Haters, so my disdain is justifiably genetic.

Two weeks in advance, my own mother would buy the mandatory bag of Hershey’s fun size bars only to partake in a little too much fun. She would then need to replenish the bag before All Hallows’ Eve arrived. Six different times. When we’d run out of candy by 7 p.m. on the night of the actual festivities, mom simply tacked a sign on our front door stating, “At store buying Snickers.” And then another notice beneath it, “Please don’t egg our house … haven’t you heard of binge eating?”

Now that I have children of my own, there’s always the same conversation regarding this holiday and it always goes off in some bizarre tangent.  Listen . . .

Daughter: Can we decorate the outside of our house for the holiday?

Me: Why certainly.

Feeling organized, I proceed to put up exactly one pumpkin, one gobble/gobble turkey, and a token Santa Claus. Why not? Stores do it.

Daughter: But we wanted scary and evil looking things on the front door.

Me:  Sorry, Halloween was originally a Paganist celebration.  We’re not into Pagans.

Youngest Son: But I love Madagascar and Happy Feet! They’re so cute when they waddle their black and white bodies.

Huh??

And don’t get me started on overtly sexy costumes. Why does a wicked witch need garter belts? To hold up her black lace fishnet stockings, of course. I think the holiday greeting needs to be changed to “Trick-or-Discreet!”

We're DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

We’re DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

Costumes are also quite costly. I’m as creative as the next Martha, but shelling out $120 at Party City for a cowgirl outfit (with six-inch stiletto heeled boots, mind you!) or spending major money at Michaels craft store for supplies to make an iPhone costume is ridiculous. Anyone can do that. As far as I’m concerned, the real “Trick” in “Trick or Treating” is convincing your child they already own a fantastic costume. In their closet. And it’s free.

Last year, I had my children shove heavy textbooks inside their backpacks, announcing they were dressed-up as Straight-A Students. This season I’m trying a different tactic.

Me: Hey son, wear your black and white striped shirt to the party and be a referee. And as for you sweet girl, remember that white flower-girl dress? You’ll be a perfect Angel.

Daughter: (stamping feet) I want an Elsa costume from Frozen and I want it now.

Me: Oh good, it’s settled. You’ll go as Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka, you spoiled little brat!

As for me?  My lovely sister-in-law throws an annual (and elaborate!) costume party, refusing to let me in if I just wear a tee shirt proclaiming, “This IS my costume.” She insists on something different each and every year. Seven years ago, I bought a frilly (and versatile) little pink dress and so far I’ve been a little toddler girl holding a lollypop, Little Miss Muffet holding a tuffet, Little Bo Peep holding a sheep (alright a stuffed lamb) BUT then I gave it new life by adding a veil and calling myself a child bride! The following year, I stuck a pillow in my abdomen and became a pregnant child bride. This year I’m wearing red contact lenses and I’ll be the Evil Little Girl who comes out of elevators. I love repurposing.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you're trying to be Little Miss Muffet.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you’re trying to be Little Bo Peep.

What a difference a veil can make - - instant Child Bride!

What a difference a veil can make – – instant Child Bride!

But next year (In keeping with my true feelings for Halloween) I’m going as a mash-up of Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch and uh….Gretel.  Why Gretel? Because I love alliteration and it works with my “Gr” theme.  But I’ll be a sultry, sexy Gretel with mini skirted, low cut bodice rags.  Watch out Hansel!

Happy Halloween.  What’s been your most creative costume?

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Is There A Doctor In The House? And Someone Else??

images (7)Since my boyfriend is in the medical field, he’s kindly brought back making house calls when his patients are in too much pain to come to his office. I decided this made perfect sense and it should be the wave of the future by ALL professionals. Wouldn’t it be great to never have to leave your home? Here are my experiences from a day last week when I tested the waters. You can certainly benefit by knowing what worked and what backfired.

HAIRSTYLIST – – I called my beautician to tell her I was having such a bad hair day that I couldn’t leave home and then inquired whether she would come to me to work her scissors magic? After a long pause she asked about electrical outlets (was she plotting to shave my head as punishment?) and if I had a basin with a long sprayer hose? We decided I would wash my own hair in the shower prior to her arrival rather than dunking my head in the kitchen sink with the sticky maple syrup dishes from our pancake breakfast. But she soon became extra snippy in my living room, taking off three more inches than I requested, blaming it on my red walls and then I had to vacuum my own hair off my purple couch (yes red walls, purple couch – – my interior decorator does NOT make house calls!) plus I had to tip this very put-out woman extra $$ because my cat triggered her asthma. Other than that, it wasn’t too terribly harried (no pun intended) of an experience.

DENTIST — I explained to the receptionist I had a phobia with rinsing and spitting away from the privacy of my own sink and would the DDS consider making a house call just this once? She said since Dr. Barry lived in my neighborhood he would stop by after his morning run. When I opened the door, my dentist stood panting and perspiring in a jogging suit, carrying a portable aquarium and a large plaque (the kind you hang over a fireplace mantle, not the kind that Crest toothpaste prevents), which read, “The Tooth Will Set You Free!” He eyed my ex-husband’s tool kit, (particularly his power drill) with a little too much lust before getting down to business filling my cavity while reclining (him, not me) in an easy chair in my den. All in all, things went fairly well, but he really set my teeth on edge when he shouted, “There’s no such thing as a tooth fairy, there’s just me — Dr. Barry!” to my youngest daughter as he slammed out the front door. Sheesh.

HOUSE CLEANER – – When I called Merry Maids to ask if they would come to me, they sounded rather mad, not merry. It turns out most of their clients transport their homes to them for a good scrubbing. Finally a disheveled woman wearing a stained apron (didn’t inspire a lot of confidence) turned up on my doorstep, insisting on using my broom, my mop, and finally my vacuum (which was full of my hair from the earlier beautician) and then demanded I fix her a BLT sandwich on her lunch break. I’ve decided that next time we’ll meet halfway in someone else’s place of residence.

BANKER — Though he thought it was quite unconventional, the manager at my local branch came to my door very cooperatively — albeit a bit mixed up regarding how this whole thing should work.  First I had to break a hundred dollar bill for him from the wallet in my purse.  Then I had to take a hammer to my youngest’s piggy bank so he could roll up some quarters. And lastly he asked if he could stash his Rolex watch in my jewelry box for safekeeping?  He left saying it was a pleasure doing business with me, without even so much as offering me a lollypop. 

OB/GYN – Whatever excuse could I come up with to justify not going to my gynecologist’s office? I decided on confessing that all my Victoria’s Secret panties were in the laundry . . . and they bought it! When Dr. Spanky efficiently arrived, he shouted at me to boil some water fast! Was a baby being born? Turns out he just wanted a cup of tea. He then requested two wire coat hangers, which he quickly twisted into makeshift stirrups just a little too adeptly. This guy was slick – – he even brought his own exam table roll of wax paper, which made the appropriate amount of crinkly noise when he covered the nice soft flannel sheets on my bed. I wasn’t surprised when he issued those typical orders – – “Scoot your bottom down please. Just a little more. Stop! That’s too much. You almost fell into your dirty clothes hamper!” However, I was slightly taken aback when he requested I bring him a can-opener for use as a speculum.exam table

PLUMBER: An online ad said “We now make house calls.” I had to call them up and ask what other calls a plumber could possibly make? They told me “Houseboat calls!” If a sailor has a leaky ship, they’ve got far bigger problems than a clogged toilet!

CONCLUSION– With all these professionals coming into my home, the last thing I wanted to hear was my doorbell ringing and “Avon Calling!” cheerfully shouted from my front stoop. That did it! I was going stir crazy cooped up inside these four walls and needed to get out into the big, exciting world ASAP. I called my boyfriend excitedly to confirm our date night was still on for dinner out, followed by the The Phantom of The Opera at the theatre downtown.

“Are you serious, Stephanie?” he asked wearily. “I’m exhausted from all the house calls I’ve made today. All I want to do is bring in Chinese and watch a movie in your cozy living room.”

I knew it.  House Call Dating.  What’s next?!