Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Very First Time I Ever Went Trick-or-Treating Door-to-Door

We didn't celebrate Halloween when I was growing up.

In an effort to protect us from eternal damnation and demons entering our minds, my mother forbid my brothers and me from celebrating Halloween (or any other holiday "of pagan origin") when I was growing up. This included Valentine's Day, Christmas and Easter.

You may be thinking, "What do you mean 'pagan?'  Christmas and Easter are about the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ! How can that be pagan?!" But no. According to my mom, the association with Jesus these holidays have is just a front the Devil uses to trick people into celebrating "his" holidays and worshiping him.

No costumes, no trick-or-treating, no holiday parties... you name it. Anything that had any association with "Halloween evil" was not allowed.  This meant I couldn't even eat the candy and other treats passed out to all the students during classroom parties. She had us so sufficiently terrified of God's wrath (and hers, if she ever found out about it) that we refused to sneak even a piece of candy corn.

The teachers were at a loss since they'd never really encountered anything like this before, so they would just make my brothers and me sit to the side of the room during the class Halloween party and watch all the other kids have all the fun.

Yes, it was as awful an experience as you're imagining it was. 

All that's just to explain why I had my first experience going trick-or-treating door-to-door at the ripe old age of 27.  Tootise was three years old and the twins, Teensy and Turbo, were two at the time. I was so excited. After all those years of being denied the simple Halloween joy of demanding strangers give you handfuls of cavity bombs, I would finally get the chance to live it vicariously through my children.

We were ready. Tootsie was absolutely darling in her white bunny costume, Turbo was dressed as Robin, and Teensy was a cute little pumpkin. With the twins locked and loaded in their double stroller, which I pushed with one hand, and Tootsie at my side with strict instructions not to let go of my other hand, we set off.

I had recently moved in with my grandma temporarily and I wasn't very familiar with the neighborhood, but I could find my way around well enough and I felt pretty sure I knew the rules: don't go down unlit streets, knock on the doors of the houses who have lights on, prompt the kids to say "Trick or treat!" I even had Tootsie memorize a couple jokes in case any older folks wanted her to tell them one.

Ready to trick-or-treat!

We knocked on the first door. No answer. (Odd... their porch lights were on. Hmm...)

Second door, same thing. (What the hell...)

Tootsie was starting to get a little confused. "Where is the candy, Mama?" Okay, well maybe the people at those houses don't celebrate Halloween or left the lights on by accident.

I made sure the next door we knocked on was fully decked out in Halloween decorations. These people definitely celebrated Halloween! The porch lights were on and we could see television lights flickering through the living room blinds. They were definitely home, too! Yes, now here we go. Finally, some candy!

I knocked on the door. After a little while, a man opened the door. "Trick or tweeeeeeeeat!" my kids called out in unison with their cute little babyish voices.

"Huh?" he replied. 

"Trick or tweeeeeeeeat!!!!!!!!!!" my kids shouted again.

"What are you talking about?"

Shit. Don't tell me it's the 30th or something and not the 31st! But no, I was sure it was October 31. "Umm," I said. "You know, trick-or-treat? Halloween? Candy??"

"We ain't got no candy." was all he said. Then he shut the door.

What. The fuck. How the hell are you home on Halloween night with your lights on and a friggin' shit-ton of Halloween decorations up and you look at me like I'm the crazy one?! 

Oh boy, were the kids starting to get disappointed! After hitting up a couple dozen houses, we ended up with only about four houses (mostly older folks) that were actually passing out candy. My kids were devastated. Is this it? Tootsie's face read. All this hype about Halloween and for just this??

I ended up hauling ass another half mile across the neighborhood, pushing the double stroller with one hand, uphill, carrying Tootsie on my hip with the other cause her little baby-legs were getting tired, to our babysitter's house since I knew for a fact she was planning on passing out candy that night.

And she did not disappoint. Our trek was rewarded with several handfuls of name-brand candy bar minis for each kid. Not a very big trick-or-treating haul, but plenty for my kids to feel like all the effort had been worth it.

And all was well that ended well. Tootsie was happy. Teensy was gleeful. And Turbo delighted in practically slipping into a candy-induced diabetic coma with all the sugar-filled crap he crammed into his gob.

Ah, good times.

I later found out that most people with children don't typically go trick-or-treating door-to-door in our area. The preferred event seems to be trick-or-treating at the mall or other stores, or going to a church "trunk-or-treat" event. More on that in my next post...

So what about you? Do you trunk-or-treat or hit up the mall, or is it good old-fashioned door-to-door trick-or-treating all the way? Got any good trick-or-treating stories to share?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Venus what???

This is my first post and I figured I'd start off pretty basic and answer a question some of you (and considering I have no readers yet, I suppose I mean "no one") may be wondering.

What does Venus Genetrix even mean?

According to the Wikipedia Powers-that-Be, Venus Genetrix is the representation of the goddess of love, Venus, in her aspect of mother. Not only do I just like the way that sounds, but since I'm a Libra and my ruling planet is Venus, if we pretend astrology has any credibility at all, then this is particularly fitting.

And as for the profile pic, it is a painting by my favorite artist, William-Adolphe Bouguereau. The name of the painting is Le Printemps, or The Return of Spring. Fitting because the goddess Venus was associated with the arrival of spring. The subject of the painting is surrounded by three adorable little cherubs who seem to absolutely adore her (and who appear to be pestering the shit out of her). So that is also fitting.*
* Incidentally, all of the subjects in the painting are nude. Is that fitting as well? Does that mean we enjoy our naked time around here? Well, I'll just leave that to your imagination (then call you a dirty pervert for imagining such a thing. You should be ashamed of yourself. Really.)  

Why? Well, I gave birth to three children within 13 months. Currently, their ages and aliases are:
Tootsie:  age 8. Nicknamed Tootsie because she's a real sweetheart. She's as clever and precocious as they come (which we all know means she's a little-miss-know-it-all). Tootsie is the spitting image of me and I frequently hear comments along the lines of her being my "Mini Me" or little clone.
Turbo:  age 7. Nicknamed Turbo because he is always on the go. If we are at the library, he immediately tries to climb up onto the checkout counter. If we are at the grocery store, he is trying to scale the checkout lane. Recently diagnosed with ADHD, surprise surprise.
Teensy:  age 7. Yup, that means Turbo and Teensy are twins (and now you can stop scratching your head over the 13 months math). Fraternal, not identical, obviously since identical twins are always the same sex*. (Though you would not believe how many people asked me if they were identical or not when they were babies. Which was especially strange considering they didn't even look identical.) Teensy is tiny and cute as a button. This fools a lot of people. She's sly and has a scandalous streak. She loves nothing more than to shock people and then giggle over her handiwork. 
* Unless there is a mutation during development in utero. Just to be precisely accurate.

Yes, they are my adorable (and adoring) little angels. But yes, they sometimes pester the shit outta me. Yet I love them with all my heart.

I must admit I am a little nervous about starting this blog. I know about cyberbullying; I've seen the Dateline NBC special. (No, I haven't. I felt pretty confident Dateline would have covered this topic though and Googled to verify. They have.) However, that's what comment moderation is for, right?

Overall, though, I am excited to finally start posting here. I have toyed with the idea for a while, and have had friends insist that I needed to start a blog, so here it is. (I also have a lot of friends who insist I should start a restaurant, so in addition to talking about myself and my kids, I'm sure there will be posts here about yummy food from time to time as well. So if you're a food whore like me, look forward to that, too.)

Welcome and thanks for stopping by!