Pre-haunty Warning: I’m going to try posting less frequently (twice a week instead of the usual three, but we’ll still keep the Saturday bonus feature) for a while, in order to avoid what happened this time last year. Clearly, I am unable to manage all of my time commitments in an adult fashion: when I get overwhelmed, I either A) keep doing everything, super-hard, nonstop, until I have an actual breakdown; or B) just stop doing everything and wait for the world to go away and leave me alone.
This year, I’m going to try to avoid option B, where I stop writing and then keep on not writing out of shame for the fact that I’ve been not writing, until it’s Christmas and you’ve forgotten who the hell I am.
As part of my careful* preparation for the Halloween season, I’ve been going through old notes that I totally meant to share with you at the time, but then didn’t do, for one reason or another,** and I’m thinking now’s as good a time as any – better, really – to actually share those with you.
This one comes with a bonus Story Time, from the long long ago when Offspring was little and cute.
One Halloween, when Offspring was maybe four, we were out trick-or-treating with him and had stopped at a home haunt*** to let him go through while we waited outside, at the sidewalk. After a few minutes, a clearly frightened little girl came up with her father in tow, and nervously asked Husband, “Is it scary?”
Husband considered the question for a moment, then replied, “I don’t know… I’ve heard lots of screaming, but nobody’s ever come out!”
Because he’s a horrible person, and we’re going to hell together.
The little girl, who had obviously not been raised by Properly Sarcastic People, failed to adequately absorb his answer before beaming a giant grin at him. “Okay!” And off she went, tearing up the driveway toward certain doom. Her father might have laughed at Husband’s joke, but at his daughter’s headlong rush into danger the full weight of Parental Responsibility – and perhaps the realization that his wife would blame him for the inevitable tears and nightmares – creased his face and he drooped before our eyes, then shuffled up the driveway to face the music. Or, in this case, screams.
HIM: (reminds me of this story just as we’re approaching the checkout counter)
ME: Yet another reason we won’t be having any more –
ADORABLE CASHIER: (smiles) Kids?
ME: (nodding) – because of the sick, sick games you play with them!
ADORABLE CASHIER: WHAT?!?!?!
ME: (realizing what this must have sounded like) Oh, no, not like that! NO! Okay, see, now I have to explain…
Sigh. We really need to be more careful in public.
* Frenetic, near maniacal
** See Option B, above.
*** Note for people not fortunate enough to share my holiday: haunted houses are usually some sort of big project, either as a community thing or a for-profit business, but some people also set them up in their garage or on their property, and those people are insane but also kind of my heroes, because it’s a lot of work.