Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ghouls and Gum Disease

Northern NY, where I'm from, is extraordinarily cold, to-build-a-fire kinda cold, and whatever costumes we worked by day were obliterated by heavy downs and Bills starter jackets by night. This, coupled with my parents distaste for wearing non-bathrobe items of clothing beyond 6 PM usually meant that on Halloween my dad would be dispatched to take me down to the old folks' home, where seniors would lie on their (adjustable) deathbeds, dispensing suckable candies/throat lozenges. I think this was supposed to be considered some sort of treat for them, but reflecting on the whole event years (of repression) later, I'm not sure the best way to ease the old souls' minds after a lifetime of hard work is to parade in younger, healthier specimens of themselves to ask them for shit. Either way, after my vocabulary became sufficiently large enough to include the words "creeped out" and "really uncomfortable", I managed to convince one of the 'rents to take me into the village where I went to school, so I could utter the words "Trick or Treat!" without some sort of painful reflection on my own mortality.

What I wanted from this man: Werther's. What I got: Halls.

Meanwhile, back at my house, my mother would be busily preparing giant ziploc bags full of king size candy bars, toys, sugar free gum, and toothbrushes and floss. As a dental hygienist, and a slightly unhinged one at that, she's supposed to intrinsically dislike Halloween, yet she took relish in the idea of giving treats to kids. We never actually got any trick-or-treaters, living too far out in the country to make the trip worth it, but each and every year, she stocked a bowl full of candy, which we continued to eat until December (see previously: Gastric Bypass Surgery) . I was personally required to submit to a thorough review of my bounty, not for fear of tampering (indeed, one year a highly, highly questionable, unwrapped "popcorn ball" sailed through the process without even a glance), but so that all hard sugary candies could be thrown away for fear of plaque. Later, when I turned 20 and discovered that my love of contraband Pixie Sticks and Mountain Dew had given me my first cavities, it was with no small amount of satisfaction that I informed my mother of the futility of her Halloween ritual. I don't doubt that if my family had any sort of money or possessions that could be sold for money, she would have disowned me right then.

Even worse? Razor-flavored suckers.

One of the benefits of living in a small village is that I was able to continue to trick-or-treat until the end of college without risk of embarassment, since a. all my friends were doing it b. I knew everyone and c. the town's teenage pregnancy rate left a healthy amount of leeway in terms of what exactly consituted "embarassing". There was a slight twinge of remorse upon showing up at my retired band teacher's door dressed as a Slutty French Maid when a decade earlier I had stood there as the Terminator (and lead snare drum!!), but the benefits of bringing a bag full of candy back to college after Fall Break far outweighed the downsides.

Is this the house giving out the Sarah Connors?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Halloween Costumes that I Wish I Could Be Were I Not Required by Society to Dress Like a Slut

1. Bea Arthur (don't know why, she's just such a strong presence, and pantsuits seem so comfy)
2. Central American Maid
3. Flesh-eating Zombie (Romero style)
4. Jesus from The Big Lebowski
5. Indiana Jones (presence of a whip does not necessarily imply sluttiness)
6. Centaur
7. Present Day Marilyn Monroe (as in, what she looks like now)
8. Librarian (no tearing hair out of a bun, whipping of glasses, unbuttoning of blouse. Just an organizer and catloguer of books and reference materials)

Shit I Have Went/Probably Will Go As Instead

1. Sexy Bea Arther (been trying to make this work for years)
2. French Maid (default sexy)
3. Nurse (the kind of RN that wears fishnets)
4. Sexy Huck Finn (Intrigued by general challenge of getting a man to go home with a 12-year-old boy)
5. Girl Wearing a Miniskirt, Blue Wig, and Some Extra Eye Shadow
6. Shit I Found in the Duane Reade Costume Aisle on October 30
7. Sexy Kitty Cat (bestiality implications are disturbing, though)
8. Prostitute

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My John. Part II.

In an act of solidarity , I decided I would be as timely in my blog postings as my handymen were in their destruction/repairing of my bathroom. That first day started out auspiciously enough, and Josef and his spry(er) young(er) help(er) did not give off the air of two elderly immigrants so beaten-down by the world that they would choose to spend two weeks crammed into my apartment. However, much like the two years I spent in love with my high school friend Kevin, whose shared love of show tunes and eventually, dick, would prove to be a "bad read" on my part, I was very, very wrong.

Vertical bathtubs- much better in theory than practice.

When I arrived home that first night, things didn't look promising. While relieved to find a decided lack of corpses in my apartment, my entire bathroom was gutted and had been relocated to my kitchen. Realizing the power these men held in their hands, I went out to purchase cookies and water, to hopefully win them over and expediate the process, and resigned myself to a not-so-fresh feeling the next day.

Yes, "Dogs Playing Poker". Like your Monet print is so much fucking classier.

The next few days passed in a blur of construction and dust-inhalation. While the idea of waking to a Polish man wandering my apt brought me back to VE Day, by Day 5, the romance was lost. Despite my almost worryingly inactive lifestyle, at two days sans showering, I get a little ripe, and I found myself relegated to using that ice-cold mystery shower that everyone has in their office building in case of chemical spills or CEO divorce. Between the fact that I hadn't washed my hair in four days and the fact that the act of showering at my office made me feel much like I had had a one-night stand with my job, I pretty much gave up on any sort of social life or activity that didn't involve sighing heavily while surveying my apartment.

That's actually just my nighttime skincare routine.

By Friday, my cookie budget was rivalling my income for the week, and with my bathroom sink still in the kitchen, I decided to starve the workmen into action. I got up early, confronted Josef, and laid down the law, which is difficult to do when the only common words you both know are "hello" and a questionably racist Polish term that your grandmother taught you. I'd like to think that my tone and body language themselves might have gotten the point across, but it would be another three days before I found myself able to leave out my birth control lying around.