Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Spin Cycle this week is Halloween. I'm reposting a Halloween post from last year, those of you who have been coming here for awhile may recognize it...
When I was young and growing up in the San Fernando Valley with my two sisters, Halloween was a huge deal. We COULDN’T WAIT for dinner to be over and dark to descend so we could go trick or treating. My dad had this horrid awful mask that he would drag out, not only for Halloween but also for slumber parties. It came from a movie set and beat the shit out of anything they sell today. It was SO REAL. Not at all rubbery. It was the scariest, creepiest, wrinkled, evil face ever. At least that’s the way I remember and I’m sticking to it. He’d wait until our guard was down, which means sitting on the floor, sorting our candies, and with mask, trench coat, and big ol’ boots, he’d slam open the back screen door and come tearing at us. Clenching hands and BRUUUUUHAHAHA. I’m surprised we never pissed our pants. That’s how much we fell for it every year.
Daughter was just over two and we had mostly managed to keep her from chocolate and sweets. Instead of taking her trick or treating, we dressed up and took her to a restaurant/club. You see, my husband and I met working at Bobby McGee’s. I was cocktailing to pay my way through college and my husband was a waiter. EVERYONE wore a costume at this crazy place to work. Even though we had both moved on, we still had a lot of friends there and they did a happy hour thingy on Halloween. So we dressed as the Flintstones. Cave clothes- mine and Daughter’s hair twisted around big, fake bones. It’s a great picture of back in the day when my husband and I used to both work out. Daughter was two and was the most precious Pebbles ever. Not that I’m prejudiced or anything. We went at, like 5 PM, and even after a shitload of fun and frivolity, we were back home by 8. Within 5 minutes of sitting down some kids came trick or treating. There was no hiding from the two year old the fact that I was giving stuff away and that was the end of her not getting candy for Halloween.
We had just bought our home that summer and it was Son’s first Halloween. He was 16 months old. He had the CUTEST fucking tiger costume. He toddled along and I swear our block looked like that scene in ET, where swarms of kids come out right at dusk. Being a new neighborhood, it was a beehive of toddlerhood. I was holding his hand and waited on the sidewalk as Daughter and our friend’s kids went up to the first house. Son could barely talk, but he sure let it be known that he had observed what went on at the front door. He grunted and grumbled to see inside the kids pumpkin buckets. When he figured out that they were partaking of give-away stuff, he pulled and pulled on my arm until I walked him up to the next door. That was the beginning of his professional status at trick or treating. Everyone thought the baby tiger was too too cute and gave him twice as much as the other kids. But half way around the block he figured out how to unwrap a piece of candy and that was the end. Afterwards he wanted to sit in the middle of the sidewalk and eat his whole loot. My friend had to take all the kids around so I could haul his little butt home and check his candy before he scarfed down a razor blade or an LSD tab.
My children are 17 and 14 and they have made plans to go out with some friends. Son is actually trick or treating in a friendly neighborhood that lets the teens keep up the good work. His professional status is still intact. Daughter is in a play and after rehearsals they are having a party. My husband has to work. I have the night to myself, but I’m being a Halloween Homebody and have decided I don’t want to answer the door and give away candy by myself. So I turn the porch light off and all the downstairs lights too. I go upstairs and treat myself to an aromatherapy bath with candles. As leave the bath I pause to look at myself in the candlelit mirror and contemplate the effects of the last few months. I’m still officially bald, but the first soft down of baby soft fuzz can be felt more than seen. My radiation treatments, finished just two weeks before, have left a thickening of red welts under my left arm. But it’s not as bad as they said it would be. The aloe must have really helped. My scars are still fairly new and jagged and my skin still has the sallowness of all that chemo. But I made it. I’m done with the treatments and have returned to work. I walk to the upstairs window and peek through the blinds to see the families on the sidewalks with their ballerinas and spidermen. I don’t feel the least bit sad to be by myself. I had insisted my kids not stay home for me; I want to make up for all those days and nights they had hung out with me in my room the previous summer. I curl up in bed with a book, grateful that the worst is over. Happy that life is moving forward and back to normal.
For more spins on Halloween, head on over to Jen at Sprite's Keeper. She puts the list up on Friday.
Labels: breast cancer, Halloween, memoir, survivor diaries
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This is a great and moving story of Halloween. Thanks for re-posting it. I missed it first time around.
Ah, sweet Pseudo. I, too, must have missed it the first time around. I'm so glad you reposted it.
You ROCK, woman.
I missed this the first time around, thank you for reposting these touching stories.
Happy to read this again. xo
You know, I realized halfway through that I'd read this before, but I kept reading because it's so good. Thanks again for sharing. :)
(Also, did/do you ever actually find razor blades or drugs in the candy??)
I don't remember this, before my time perhaps. But your father's mask, does it still exist? Can you wear it now and freak any kids that ring at the door?
a nice trip down memory lane...we lived in tampa at one point amd got bombarded one year with migrant workers...the truck pulled up and off loaded about 50 kids...no joke...the line was about 30 feet deep from our door..
lol. your dads mask trick is pretty funny, perhaps my boys would enjoy it...
i am glad life has moved forward...
I was not reading your blog at the time that you wrote this, as a matter of fact, I was not even blogging, I don't think? Nice to look back and then forward again!
I wasn't blogging two years ago so was speechless when I read the last part.
So glad that you've fully recovered (I take it you have because I haven't read a post which says othewise).
All the best.
Jeez, have I fallen asleep for a couple of weeks?
Just read your last few posts and they're all about your battle against cancer. Feel such a dick.
All the best seems such a lame ass reply now.
In actual fact it seems like I've never read your blog before but I know I have because you've been on my favourites for months.
Speechless and stupid but also sayimg a prayer for you tomorrow in Church.
I'm very glad you reposted this! Life's been giving you a run for your money these past few years, now hasn't it???
Your son as baby tiger reminds me of the Halloween when I opened the door to find a girl who was maybe two-years-old standing alone on the steps wearing a Casper the Ghost costume and holding a tiny sandwich bag while her dad watched from the sidewalk. She never said a word, just stared up at me through her mask. I gave her as many candy bars as her bag could hold, which wasn't many since all the other neighbors had apparently fallen under the spell of her cuteness and tried to cram it full as well.
I loved your looks back through the years but I sure woulda liked to have seen your Flintstones picture! :)
Last year, I did the lights out thing and it was so heavenly. But, I only get about 10-15 kids anyhow.
My dad had an gruesome rubber mask too. He would do the same, wait 'till our guard was down then jump out and scare the shit out of my sister, my cousins and myself. And I do believe I did piss my pants once.
Great Halloween stories :)
I love your stories!!
I missed this when you posted this last time so I sure am glad to read it this time. You are an amazing woman of strength. I always love reading your stories about your life. I have so missed reading your words these past few weeks. I am so glad that you share your story! XXOO Lori
This was fabulous. It always makes me pause, thinking about a certain date or holiday through the years. You did it so well.
How did I miss this the first time around? So glad you reposted. Yours is a great success story.
I'm here, Pseudo, I just don't do the Halloween thing and will spend it turned off over here so I don't have to put up with it. It might be hard for you to understand, as an American, but it's no fun to have this pumpkin-fest constantly shoved down your throat the other side of the world.
I didn't need to say all that...
I remember this... loved it again.
I remember this, and thinking it was a great way of looking back. And looking forward. Thanks :)
I'm so glad you reposted this, as it was before my time... :)
LOVED the look back, Pseudo - gave me goosebumps. You ROCK!
This is all new to me and I'm so glad your re posted. You are a wonderfully strong woman and I'm happy to "know" you through this wonderful world of blogging.
You are one of the few who can pull both giggles and tears from me in the same post. That is talent.
I was all laughing with the memories and then i was touched. You are amazing. I am soo very glad you okay! God Bless!
I love this. It's beautifully written and lovely.
Yep, my first time reading this too and what wonderful recollections of past Halloweens. I can relate to each of these, except the last, Pseudo. Am so glad you're well and happy today.
I loved reading about these memories and your dear family.
Hi. Happy Halloween :)
May this year find you doing exactly what you want. Thanks for reposting. I hadn't caught it the first time.
Quite an inspirational-and spiritual tale-Happy Halloween, Pseudo!
Great re-post. My Father could not be any less interested in Halloween...no fun!
I can only blame my pre-menopausal brain:
You won Ayelet Waldman's Bad Mother book and I need your address again.
Please send it to:
I am glad you decided to re-post this one; I would never have read it otherwise, and it is one to savor! Thank you for sharing it--it is funny and brave.
Great spin, Pseudo. I chuckled at your adorable little candy eating tiger because we took our Cookie Monster and Monkey trick or treating at the local aquarium over the weekend and ran into the same problem. Now they're both onto the great candy conspiracy and it's all over for us...
thanks for sharing - first time I've read it. It's awful how people get so scared about candy that could be tampered. I don't know of any actual cases but everyone seems so worried about it as if it happens all the time.
I love that you remember some of your halloweens. You must journal. I should have kept some thoughts down too. I forget almost everything.
I love the way that Halloween has changed for you over the years, but still is enjoyable.
Excellent spin. Thanks for sharing,
So glad you are here to repost! What an amazing woman you are. I'm sure I read this before?? My niece and nephew are going as pebbles and bam bam! Very cute!
I think when we were kids there was a lot more scaring going on! Love that your dad used to freak you out. My brothers were notorious for dropping dead and pretending to be zombies! Hope you have a wonderful halloween!
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