Monster Mash Aftermath

So how was Halloween? My husband got home from his business trip on Friday, and so Saturday was a whirlwind of activity: in addition to the usual Saturday morning karate/ workouts/ grocery shopping, we carved pumpkins and the boys helped my husband put up the finishing touches in our yard. The front yard was filled with giant ghouls, skulls, and gravestones, as well as a number of animatronic motion-sensored ghosts, spiders, and shrunken heads. It was very spooky! In the words of a tiny Ariel who came to our door, “Your house is TOO SCAWWY.”


The pumpkins weren’t the scary part. Can you tell which is mine?

In fact, we only had eight trick-or-treaters, which is really average for our old-people street, but of the eight, one refused to climb our steps, and two of them cried in terror. A tiny, nervous Minnie Mouse accepted my offerings of a giant handful of chocolate bars, at which inopportune moment an animatronic spider and shrunken head began to descend, cackling loudly. Minnie Mouse burst into tears and started screaming for her daddy, while her older brother rolled his eyes at her and said, “It’s just PEE-TEND.”

The upside to only having eight trick-or-treaters is that when my kids go out, they really clean up. All the people in our immediately neighbouring houses dote on them, and so they came home loaded down with candy and chips. Oh! So many chips. It is TORTURE. The only reason I haven’t eaten them all is that the kids really love them too, and know how many they have. It’s hard to be a chip thief under those circumstances, which is good news for my pants.

Their haul was the best I’ve seen in a long time – a huge variety of candy, and no random handfuls of unwrapped peppermints like last year. Also no ecstasy or razor blades! I have always thought that was an urban legend anyway – who would spend money like that to put in trick-or-treat bags? – but then someone told me she once found a rolled joint in one of her kids’ bags, so I guess it could happen.

I related the story of the worst item I ever received on Halloween to my kids. I was about six years old, and dressed as a mouse. At one door, a man – who I now recognize was most likely inebriated – came to the door, laughing hysterically. When I said “Trick or Treat!” he told me to hold on for a moment. I was brought up to be very polite to adults, and if an adult told me to hold on a moment, I would wait. Wait I did, for several minutes until the man came back to the door, still laughing, and handed me a banana.

A banana! My husband, who grew up in a fruit-growing region, said the worst houses were the ones that handed out apples. But I say a banana is way worse. For one thing, there’s no chance it would survive the walk home, in a pillowcase filled with candy, bumping my legs the whole way. For another thing, it’s a banana.

After trick-or-treating and discovering no joints nor bananas, we headed to a party at a friend’s house. I had thought long and hard about my costume, and I was so excited about it. I drew a P on a plain shirt, and then coloured one of my eyes black with an eye liner pencil. A black-eyed pea! I was just overcome with the cleverness. Except that it was a total bust. Not one person got it, and in fact, it seemed like some people weren’t even sure if they should comment on my black eye. At first I wondered how shitty I look in daily life – I mean, how big are my undereye circles? – but then I realized that NO ONE WANTED TO MENTION MY BLACK EYE IN CASE IT WAS AN ACTUAL BLACK EYE.



“I tried to warn you it wasn’t a good idea, but you didn’t listen,” my husband said to me. “And now people are looking at me weird.”

I posted this photo and I got everything from politely startled comments about my husband to an actual hashtag #batteredwife. Now, I was shocked for a couple of reasons: a) that people would think that dressing up as a victim of domestic abuse was a socially acceptable idea, and b) that people would think that I THINK dressing up as a victim of domestic abuse was a socially acceptable idea.

In any case, it was a bust, and for the Costume Family Dance on Friday, I’m definitely digging out my non-slutty pirate costume or my witch’s hat, because I just can’t go through that again.


At least everyone understood their costumes.


  1. Oh, poor sweet Nicole!

    It was a clever costume. It was! Grown ups are sorely lacking in imagination, sometimes.

    I can’t believe *anyone* would think “black eyed wife” was funny or appropriate OR that they’d think you would think that. Yeesh. No no no!

    It was a cute idea. I’m sorry it fell a bit flat to your particular audience.

    8 kids is the lowest number I have heard yet for Trick or Treaters, by the way. You win! So there’s that! 😀

  2. I thought you were going to say the banana guy gave you a piece of cheese…because mouse.
    Sorry about the costume. One year my sister and her boyfriend went as Heat and Cold Miser and the costumes were really good but half the people had no idea who Heat and Cold Miser were…because philistines.

  3. I totally got that you were a Black-Eye Pea! Like, DUH. I thought it was funny!

    But you know, the year of H1N1 I went as a flu vaccine (long story) because it was the scariest thing anyone could think of that season (remember?) and it fell completely flat.

    And lest anyone forget the one time I dressed up for the family Halloween dance – I wore a brown paper leaf bag and a tiara, so OBVIOUSLY I was the paper-bag princess, but not one kid got it, and three of them thought I was a potato.

    We had a dental hygienist on our route. Every year, she gave out those tiny lunch-box sized packs of raisins, dental floss, and stickers with smiling teeth on them. NO. BAD. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU HALLOWEEN. You may tell Mr Boyhouse that the ‘healthy teeth’ bag beats his apple every time.

  4. I probably wouldn’t have gotten your costume either, but I would have asked what the heck were you?

  5. No one knew what I was either …..and I wore a NAME TAG!

  6. Ha! All three of Hannah’s stories above cracked me up. The healthy teeth bag! Now that’s how you do horror.

    I am always super impressed with people who go all out for Halloween. Your house looks fab – my kids would have eaten that up.

  7. I’ve seen the Black-Eyed Peas, and it was two people doing the costume – that might have worked better, or, sorry, maybe your friends are just too dumb for your insanely clever costume idea (says the girl who walked around all night explaining that she was an Easy Reader).
    “And now people are looking at me weird”. I shouldn’t find this funny, BUT I DO.
    Your house was amazing. Ours was pathetic. But Eve’s pumpkins were cool.

  8. I ate my son’s chips.

    He carefully sorted and counted all his treats, put the bag on the kitchen table, and promptly forgot his inventory. He only remembers the lollipops (and that’s very specific, including the number of each colour). So I’ve been taking some. I figure in 3 more days, I can hide the bag, and he will just forget. We’ll see. He’s getting older.

    And thus, I have figured out where my candy went when I was a child. Because I kept a careful inventory and remembered what I had. I even drew a bar graph for math class one year. And yet, candy beyond the approved parent tax went missing.

    (my parents each claimed their favourite type of candy bar. They got all of that type, to the extent that I’m in my mid-30’s and have never tried an Oh Henry because I’m conditioned to give them to my dad).


  1. […] Why, then, do I look like an extra in the Thriller video? No wonder no one knew what I was dressed up as for Halloween – my undereye bags are like extra-large undereye […]

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