in honor of halloween: some scariness

By now, it’s obvious I lead a classy and understated life. I hate to make a scene and I pretty much live to serve my husband and child. (

Even though Halloween isn’t considered a gift-giving holiday, it still ranks in my top three. Why? Because it’s perfectly acceptable to send my lovely little daughter out into the cold, dark night dressed in rags to beg for candy. The candy I promptly take away as soon as she gets home except for five pieces, claiming a genuine concern for her dental health. Really, I do it because I want the candy for myself. So, free candy for me and I get to dress like a tramp! It’s like winning the lottery, except I didn’t have to spend a dollar for a ticket.

In honor of my third favorite holiday, I’m sharing two scary stories.

Scary Tragic Story:

When Cal was just ten months old, I dressed her up as a Teletubbie and took her trick-or-treating. By “dressed up as a Teletubbie”, I really mean that she only had the Teletubbie cap on because she peed through her diaper and costume after the second house. I had to ditch the costume, change her diaper and continue on Cal’s First Treat-or-Treat Experience. Every house seemed a little hesitant to give a ten-month-old candy, but I reassured each candy clencher that I was saving the goodies for later. You know, for when she had teeth. I then smiled widely, grabbed the candy and ran off before they had time to call CPS.

After Cal went to bed that night, I helped myself to a few pieces of her bounty. I couldn’t believe how much more enjoyable every mundane task became with a little candy in my mouth. Washing dishes? Eat a Tootsie Roll! Folding clothes? Have a Hershey’s! Before I knew it, there was nothing left in the bag except for three starlight mints and some pennies. Fuck.

I planned to use the pennies in a drive-by later that week to pelt the offender’s lawn (pennies are useless). It’s a choking hazard and it’s not candy. OH, not that we got any, but don’t give apples or those tiny little oranges as “treats.” Seriously, don’t you dare.

I didn’t think Cal would notice the missing loot, since she seemed to be preoccupied with other things, like learning how to crawl and eating baby wipes, but the next morning she made a grab for her bag as soon as she woke up. Have you ever seen a ten-month-old’s eyes dim from disappointment and betrayal?

Folks, taking candy from a baby is, in reality, not that easy.

Scarier Story:

Before The Project started, I went to Michael’s craft store. After I got inside, I realized that I had forgotten my “40% off one item” coupon. Scary, right? Don’t fight it, just let that fear wash over you.

Share your scary stories. Or celebrity gossip. Whatever. Just tell me some scary stuff. 
photo via marthastewart.com

i’m pretty sure i’m right

Where: Home
When: Right after I hung up with a new dental office to make an appointment for a cleaning (I care about dental health)

Harv: I can’t believe you have to wait until April for your cleaning.Me: April? I’m going in next week.

Harv: I heard you mention April 28th.

Me: Yeah, she wanted to verify benefits for me. Since the insurance is under your name, she asked me for your birthday.

Harv: My birthday’s in March.

Me: ………

Harv: We’ve spent my last three birthdays together. Did you get confused?

Me: No, I’m pretty sure I’m right.

Harv: You’re pretty sure you’re right about MY birthday?

Well, shit. He did have a point.

This is really going to screw my chances for getting that “Wife of the Year” trophy I saw at the airport gift shop.

*Surely, SURELY, I can’t be the only wife to screw up a husband’s birthdate or forget something else important. Anything you’d like to get off your chest? Unless you’re the perfect wife, in which case, you’re probably pretty tired, so no need to trouble yourself by bragging below. 

Monday Dare: just in case

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: I will learn enough French to survive one weekend in a predominately French-speaking place.

A toilet attacked me in Paris two years ago. An elderly French gentleman tried to save me. His efforts proved to be futile, but I learned an invaluable lesson that day:

Practice selective thrift.

In this instance: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try to finagle a free use from a pay-to-use outdoor pod restroom.

Don’t hang around a pod that is already occupied and wait for the door to open so that you can catch the sliding door before it shuts from the last “client’s” use. Let it shut! Here’s what happens when the door closes. Clever little spigots spray the interior with cleaners and disinfectants. If you jump in to save a few coins, guess who’s going to get cleansed and disinfected in an all-encompassing mist along with the toilet….YOU!

Bless you, Elderly Frenchman, wherever you are right now.

Elderly Frenchman did his best to warn me when I grabbed the sliding door, preventing it from shutting all the way and locking. He gave a rather long and animated explanation (with hand motions, even), pantomimed signs to let the door close, and made whirring noises while flailing his arms around. I didn’t understand a single word, so I smiled politely and threw in a “Merci” here and there for good measure.

He finally left, confident that he had schooled me thoroughly on pay-to-use toilets. He was wrong. I waited for him to turn the corner and slid inside. As soon as it closed, I understood what he was trying to say. A disinfecting is worth a thousand words….in any language.

That’s why I’m determined to learn (just barely) enough French to get around France. Or Canada. Or Djibouti.


I’m compiling a list of phrases to learn to avoid any future disasters. My list so far:

  • How much does this cost?
  • Can I have it for free?
  • Excuse me, sir, that is my buttocks. Please do not touch it.
  • Excuse me, ma’am, that is my buttocks. Please do not touch it.
  • You have an attractive face.
  • I am married.
  • No, I will never leave my husband. He is an excellent cook.

*Any suggestions for this list?

*Share your funny stories from travels elsewhere. If you don’t have one, then make one up; I’ll never know. Except, if I meet you one day in real life and I mention that time such and such happened, and you look at me with a blank stare. Then I’ll know you’re a liar. And we probably couldn’t be friends. You know what,  on second thought, don’t lie. If you don’t have an interesting story, just tell me a boring one.