Get lost!!!! (in Hallowe’en…)

I love Halloween.  Dressing up completely fuels my imagination and so I was thrilled and ecstatic when one of my best friends decided to have a Hallowe’en party – costume mandatory.

I began discussions with Mr. Niceguy about coordinating our costumes.  Apparently, coordinating costumes is a foreign concept to Mr. Niceguy for while I was thinking Wills and Kate or Harry Potter and Hermione he was thinking, military guy circa before a time we were born.  What would I go as?  This was not a game of good guys versus bad guys.  It wouldn’t make much sense for him to go as a sniper and me to go as a vampire, now would it?

In any case, after a number of no-way’s and veto’s, we agreed:  we would be secret service agents, dressed in black suits, white shirts, black skinny ties, ear pieces, sleeve mics, fake guns and sunglasses – the 3 year old and 7 year old even volunteered their props!  The best part of pretending to be secret service agents was our plan to make an entrance by hopping the fence into my friend’s backyard and just “materializing” in front of her glass patio doors (I even downloaded the Mission Impossible song onto my phone as the theme for our appearance!)

HollyGolightly

Alas, Mr. Niceguy came down with a terrible cold and I was left to go solo.  With a wandering mind, perpetual ADD, and commitment issues, I decided!  I clipped on some fake bangs, put my hair in a bun, threw on a black dress, and transformed into Holly Golightly (aka, the timeless Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s)!

The best part of Hallowe’en is entertaining people…and even freaking some people out!  And though I had initially intended to do the freaking out part, I settled for being entertaining instead.  Despite the lack of a pair of long black gloves and the iconic cigarette holder, I daresay, this costume was a success!

Over the years I’ve really taken advantage of Halloween.  I’ve been Princess Jasmine, a Hawaiian hula dancer, an angel (complete with wings!) a 1960s go-go girl (who hasn’t?), and even a Japanese Geisha.  The trick is, I think, to pick something that is not a big stretch…

At this party, there were a number of different costumes:  the Queen of Hearts, her Knight in tights, a “Mad Woman” (i.e. Mad Men) a cat, 80’s girls (you can’t have a Hallowe’en party without them!), and even a pair of swashbuckling pirates…ARRRGGGGHHHH.  Then the doorbell rang…and I heard a pair of voices in the front hall.  The Mad Woman warned, “you do not want to see her.  She’s very freaky.”  What had our friend done?  My adrenaline started to pump…

disturbing babyIn walked the most grotesque “thing” accompanied by a giant, grimacing baby.  The “thing” had a deformed face with weird eyes and was very obviously a mask.  But the giant grimacing baby…it was so unnatural.  So strange.  It’s gigantic head was in proportion to the rest of its body had the baby actually been 5 feet tall.  It was an abomination!  It was a masterpiece!  My deepest, basic instincts took over.  I wanted nothing more than to scream, to push it away and to destroy it!  I was at once terrorized and mesmerized by the way it danced and pranced around the room.  Witnessing this costume had made repulsion and admiration, one.

Had my basic instincts taken over so much that I’d gone absolutely mad?

I recalled a Hallowe’en long before Mr. Niceguy… I had been cajoled into walking through a haunted house full of booby traps and monsters that would pop out of the shadows and try to grab you.  I remember our group walking through the maze – all holding hands, moving together in the dark.  Suddenly, a thing came out of the shadows and tried to grab a hold of me!  There’s a saying:  when you’re being chased, you only need to be faster than the slowest person (thanks Diary of a Wimpy Kid).  So I broke the chain and ran screaming out, leaving the fourth behind as sacrifice.  That fourth was my then boyfriend.

Though at the time I had regretted that I was willing to leave him behind for my own safety, and I had questioned and analyzed what my behavior truly said about the kind of person I was, today, I take a lighter approach.  Costumes, dress up and Hallowe’en are a time for abandonment.  The best part about Hallowe’en is taking advantage of the reprieve from the norm.  Of not feeling like you have to be responsible.  Of pretend, fear and hysterical laughter.  Of imaginations running wild.  Lose yourselves for one day.  Happy Hallowe’en.

Holly and baby

 

Advertisements

I’m a convicted felon!

Well, not quite…but I sure do feel that way…bridget1

About ten months ago I parked in a spot I really shouldn’t have, for a reason that probably wasn’t good enough…I had found the perfect dress for a very fancy wedding but when I went to pick it up, there was no parking to be found, except…

After swearing to Mr. Niceguy that I had absolutely nothing to wear, and scouring most of the stores near my work for an option (or two?), I ducked out of the house earlier than I had promised (okay, escaped) for a meeting I had to attend.  Even the MOST quintessential multitasker can use a few extra minutes!

What Mr. Niceguy along with most men don’t understand is just how difficult it can be for a woman when it comes to events.  No, I cannot just change my tie and therefore the whole outfit is new.  I have spent literally hundreds and thousands of dollars on dresses that have only been worn once or twice – I’ve even been known to buy a replacement dress or outfit just hours before because it was more perfect than the one originally intended!  But I digress…

My route was clear…no real traffic (given the horrible snowy weather) and I was in front of the store before I knew it…destiny was on my side!  But, destiny knows that I like a challenge and so despite my easy travels to the store, there was nowhere to park.

At that time, I was nursing an extremely painful injury sustained after a car accident which had resulted in sciatica; on most days, the pain would be a constant reminder of that single event.  So, ignoring my better judgment, I pulled the car into one many empty handicap spots rather than park significantly farther away.

I felt very guilty doing it, but the pain that radiated from my back, to my butt cheek and all the way down to my ankle was all the justification I needed – that and some quick thinking on my part as I called the store and informed the salesperson that I was going to jump in for a quick swish-swipe of my card and to please have everything packaged up for me and ready to go!

Upon entering the store I didn’t waste a single moment:  I handed over my card and voila!  I was with outfit.  With a very large smile across my face, I started on my way out of the store…but then something shiny caught my eye…a beautiful, bejeweled belt.  And surely this belt would really make my dress pop! Surely this belt was the finishing touch; the subtle green colour of the jewels would be a nice contrast to my dark hair and olive skin.  And after all that I’ve been through, don’t I deserve the opportunity to look really good?  Don’t I deserve the right to dazzle?  Ahhhh…the way the light reflects off the belt…it’s perfect! 

A second swish and a swipe later, I walked out feeling complete.  Realizing that I had spent much more time picking up my outfit than originally intended, I picked up the pace and started to rush back to my car as best as I could…only, Oh.  My.  God.  To my absolute horror, I saw a police officer the size of a house come into view after looking at the dash of my car.  I could feel the red heat rise up from my chest.  My hobble turned into a full-on limp run (picture Captain Hook running on his wooden leg), my garment bag dragging in the slush, bejeweled belt clasped in hand and I made it, right to my car door!!

Panting, totally out of breath, hair sticking to my face and cheeks flushed from the biting cold, I tried to compose myself and sweetly greeted the officer with a pleading look on my face…

But just one look told me that baby, although my dress was the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas, my goose was cooked, see.  This officer was the real McCoy, totally on the level, and wasn’t about to bend any rules for this doll, you hear?

In other words, like Bridget Jones in Thailand, I was totally screwed.

Bridget Jones in jailAnd more than 11 months after the fact, I finally made it to court.  The road was not easy – what with the occasional night sweats and the fear of the book being thrown at me.  But more than that, I truly felt bad for what I had done – the guilt that I may have taken a spot from someone who couldn’t even hobble…the atonement felt like justice being served.  But my reality was even more impactful.

On the day of my trial, I matched my demure outfit with my feelings of regret and attended court.  I stood in line with all of the other rule breakers.  And while I thought that I’d be surrounded by a motley crew of real evil doers, they were people just like me…my imagination had run wild and I’d forgotten – this was only traffic court.  From my seat in the middle of the courtroom I shyly looked around and saw him:  the house of a police officer.  I remembered that moment all over again.  How he wouldn’t let me explain.  And next to the terror and remorse that washed over me came just a little bit of anger for not having been heard.

To my relief, the prosecutor announced a massive reduction in fines for the guilty.  And while I waited to be called to the bench, relieved that I would tell my story and the “house” would have to listen, the most unexpected thing occurred…

Together with a handful of others, I was moved to a different courtroom, where a different justice of the peace was dealing harsher punishments than to what any of us had agreed.  And probably against better judgment, this time I found my voice.  This time I explained my situation.  And feeling a renewed sense of courage I explained that although I was guilty, I’d already come to terms with the reprimand of the other court.  At which point I was told that I should have simply applied for a permit and was lucky to not be receiving the full punishment of the crime.

And in a moment of absolute clarity, I agreed.

 

 

Thanksgiving…thanks goodness it’s over.*

Thanksgiving is not really a holiday I get all that excited about so I’m glad it’s behind me.  For starters, I am not a fan of turkey – whether cooked breast up or down, wrapped in bacon, stuffed with bread or rice, nuts and berries. It just seems like a wannabe Christmas…except it’s missing the best part, PRESENTS.

And Thanksgiving in Canada has nothing to do with the pilgrims in Massachusetts celebrating their first successful harvest and breaking bread with the Native Americans – so I always find it kind of odd when I see “pilgrim inspired” decorations – like the big black hats with gold buckles or historical pilgrim costumes. Pilgrim turkey

And finally, why turkey?  Why not something else all together different and more delicious, like a roast?  Or spaghetti?  Or roast and spaghetti?  Now that’s a fun and tasty meal.  I mean, were there really that many turkeys roaming about that someone thought, hey!  Now that’s a convenient meal?  After some digging, here’s what I found…

According to an article in Slate, turkeys have taken the centre stage as they were fresh, affordable and big enough to feed a crowd.  Furthermore, as cows and chickens were more useful alive and ham or pork wasn’t considered fit for special occasions, turkey became the choice by default, “because the birds could be slaughtered without a huge economic sacrifice.”  Seriously?  Poor turkey.  And they were cheaper (and apparently easier to deal with) than geese.  So these nice, sweet turkeys spend all of spring and summer eating insects and worms and grow to just the right size by Thanksgiving feast.  Well now, that’s enough for this girl to maintain the current status as non-turkey-tarian.

Regardless of the main dish though, I still always find a way to eat too much, lie flat on the ground and complain ad nauseam ad infinitum of a bellyache and turkey coma (despite the fact that I don’t eat the stuff), and pretend to be at least 4 or 5 months pregnant as I drunkenly (on food, not booze) waddle about waiting for dessert. But not this year.

The weekend started early for me as fortunately, I had a reprieve from work.  Though unfortunately for me, the boys also had a reprieve from school.  So after we kissed Mr. Niceguy goodbye (no reprieve for him which turned out to be the reprieve…my, how twisted the universe is sometimes…wait for it) boys and I decided to get dressed and ready to start our fun filled day of monitoring my computer should a work crisis arise and shopping for the ingredients of a fancy salad I had promised to bring.

And that’s when things unraveled.  Literally.  Moments after Mr. Niceguy’s departure (and seconds after my too short hot shower).  The 7 year old and 3 year old tore into my room, screaming with fits of laughter, all while I was trying to straighten my unruly hair…and that’s when I saw it.  Or should I say, them.  The 7 year old had a lump right in the middle of his forehead the size of a small quail egg.  It looked like it was the result of some sort of insect bite. And while examining him, the 3 year old came in for a look when I noticed that he had a lump the size of a small chicken egg on his neck!  But no sign of a bite or any other sort of trauma.  What could it be? Meningitis?  Mumps?  Mono?

All plans on hold while we rushed to the doctor’s office.  I knew we were done for (along with our plans to go up North the next day) when the doctor came in and exclaimed, “Ugh.  What’s that?”  Not a good sign.  No.  Twenty minutes later, and the explanation that it would either go away on its own (with a little help of some antihistamines) or become the size of a tennis ball requiring hospitalization, we walked out of the office – them ecstatic to be leaving and me completely panic stricken.

And in that state, we accomplished two Thanksgiving dinners.  Two dinners complete with family that we hadn’t seen in such a long time.  Truly lovely, yes, but these meetings always seem to give rise to the sorts of conversations that involve me having to recall people, places and events encountered at a time when I don’t even think I was sentient!  Like, “remember when you were a baby and you would only drink milk after your mother would drop blue food colouring in it?”  True story.  My peculiar particularities started at an early age…but no, I can’t remember!  Or,

did you know, we found out we were pregnant with you just months after we were married when your dad took me to the doctor because I was constantly sick to my stomach!

Great.  A guilt trip on Thanksgiving…  And by the way, gross!  Didn’t a stork deliver me?

But I survived.  And fortunately for us, the lump went down the better path, and started a slow shrink to normal, all under the extremely watchful eye of Mr. Niceguy, who was so worried that he decided to camp at the foot of the 3 year old’s bed until he drifted to sleep.

So Thanksgiving, I’m glad you’ve passed.  But I haven’t forgotten what you stand for and so here goes:

I’m thankful that the chicken egg lump went away.  And the quail egg lump too.

I’m thankful that my illusion of a stork delivery was blown out of the water…the truth shall set you free.

I’m thankful that time with family brings out shared history – and whether I was there or not, recall it or not, it will get passed on and form part of my legacy…and to that end, I’m also thankful that Mr. Niceguy hasn’t run for the hills!

Finally, I’m thankful to have had the luxury of not just one, but two thanksgiving dinners full of too much food, too much laughter and too much love…I know it’s much more than some will ever have.

*Not a typo…just how my mom has always said thanks.  Like “Thanks God”.  I love you mom.  Thanks God for you!  And you too, dad!

Happy Thanksgiving