Octopi love pizza. It's very good for their testicles.
I've gotten a bit lucky with the candy part too - our house is off the main drag of the neighborhood that's super-popular with trick-or-treaters, so I can usually get away with leaving the porch light on and putting a salad bowl filled with candy on the steps. One of the biggest adjustments about moving here was how this absentee Halloween landlord approach is actually acceptable; try that in DC and someone would take all the candy and drop a deuce in the bowl, at the very least. Of course, we did live in a part of town where 18 year olds would trick-or-treat at 11pm and ask you for cigarettes instead of candy, but still, it's been a big leap of faith.
Thanksgiving is usually pretty easy, but that's been tricky of late too; I think that started two years ago when we were at my parents' in Memphis. We were eating breakfast when my dad said "look at me and smile". I did, or tried to, anyway, and he says "kid, you've got Bell's Palsy." Half of my face had become almost entirely paralyzed, literally overnight. It wasn't painful or anything (and it certainly did wonders for my Sylvester Stallone impersonation) but one of the main symptoms is that you lose your sense of taste - something I didn't fully realize until JHP took me out to get sushi. If there's a more unpleasant sensation than eating raw fish without being able to discern any flavor, I don't want to know about it; it verged on the pornographic. Fortunately Bell and her palsy got the hell out of dodge after a few weeks, but Thanksgiving began to look snakebit nonetheless. Mom was on chemo the following year and not able to be around my little germboxes, so we stayed in Atlanta and I had to COOK. Can you believe how selfish that woman is? This year brought more chemo and another depressed immune system...and worst of all, a full week of school vacation. Apparently the trend is for schools to give the kids the whole week instead of just the Wed-Fri deal, which also means the trend is for me to day drink. By Tuesday afternoon I was ready to sell the kids for parts. I got some respite after finding ice skating on tv - both girls were all over it - but that bit me in the ass when the RM started canvassing strangers on their skating abilities. "YOU. Can you ice skate? I'M the best skater. That twisting I can do, in my Cinderella dress." It should be noted she's never, ever been ice skating. She tried to bring me in on it, too: "Friend, you tell that lady I am a great ice skater. Friend! I should be in a CONTEST." Exhausting. As if the endless public humiliation wasn't enough, my cooking didn't turn out that well this year either. I made the mistake of trying to make the potato dish a little healthier, which in retrospect is just flat un-Christian. The girls helped me make all the desserts so they all ended up tasting like hands, which turned out to be fitting since the turkey tasted like feet. I fled to Houston's on Friday and self-medicated with two orders of spinach dip.
With this under my belt I'm getting a little nervous about Christmas. Traditionally that's been the easiest holiday, which I guess is ironic considering how much more prep goes into it, but we've had a few hiccups that lead me to believe I've got to shake my recent incompetence (not to mention incontinence...I got sucked into "Damn You Autocorrect" last week and laughed so hard I tinkled a little bit, but that's neither here nor there) and man up. A few years ago, for example, I was home for Christmas in Memphis and found this
but out of nowhere, something went terribly, terribly awry because then this happened
If I'm going to screw up the holiday season for my children I should at least do it with a sense of purpose rather out of plain old stupidity. Now I've got to go fetch my car keys out of the silverware drawer and go pick them up from school.