Thursday, October 30, 2008


Let's count it down. There will be a quiz, assuming I can figure out how to work the little polling feature on this blog.

What's the scariest thing right now?

1. The Authorial Mom attempting to utilize 'new' technology, in this case, a polling feature. If you hear a loud "BOOM" in the near future, that will be the sound of me exploding my laptop. Or my head. Possibly both.

2. Ghosties. I mentioned recently that the toddler is going as a Construction Ghostie - a tablecloth with eye holes and a construction hat. Well, now we are locked in one of those age-old mother/son battles, namely: Do ghosties have eye holes? He's insisting that, no, they don't, and I'm insisting that ghosties without eye holes do not get to walk up and down the sidewalk and get candy. And let me tell you, nothing strikes fear into my heart like a three-year-old temper tantrum from a kid who didn't go trick-or-treating because he didn't want eye holes. Can you imagine the years of therapy needed, just for that thing alone? It's going to be bad enough when we go to a Halloween party tonight and he sees all the other boys in the nice, expensive store bought costumes. You know those spreads the parenting magazines always have on cute Halloween costumes you can make? Total b.s. Loving parents go and drop 20$ to 45$ on any one of 8 different models of Spiderman. (You think I'm kidding? I counted 8 completely different Spidermans last year - three with built in muscles.) My kid is going to get one look at a Spider/Iron/Super/Bat Man tonight and realize that I'm the meanest mom ever. And then I'm going to eat his Reese's peanut butter cups.

3. Candy. Two years ago, we handed out Flaming Hot Cheetos. Last year, we did Pop Tarts. I figure that, if we give out cool, different candy, our pumpkins won't be violated. Stands to figure. But I forgot the other, primary reason we started doing that when I let my hubby buy the deluxe chocolate mix - two huge bags worth - at our new local club store. There is CHOCOLATE in my house - worse, it's in the form of Reese's peanut butter cups. AND if there is chocolate in the house, I will eat it. And that has lead to the horrible specter of even more jiggly cellulite haunting my nights. It's terrifying.

4. The Presidential Election. Good Gravy, is this thing over with yet? And I don't even live in a state in play! I live in Illinois. I'm a white woman with a Master's degree, in English Literature, no less. We have compost bins by our garage (yes, that was in the plural) and we eat arugula whenever possible. If you haven't figured out who I'm voting for yet, let me just mention one more thing. I drive a Prius. So no one has much bothered us, but we live on the edge of the state with Missouri, and we are getting a lot of blowback from the Missouri races. I'd vote against some of these people just for irritating me if I could, but then I'd be arrested for voter fraud, and no one wants that. I mean, seriously! Last night, I had to watch a Political INFOMERCIAL, for goodness sake!!! PLEASE, MAKE IT STOP!!!!!

5. When Politics and Halloween Merge. Oh, there is nothing quite as horrifying as when your 93 year old grandmother calls you up because she's had a flash of inspiration. Frankly, any flash of any kind from Gram is mildly alarming, but the flashes of inspiration can be downright devastating. I knew I was in trouble when she started giggling. "I was watching t.v.," she began, and I knew I was doomed. "I was hearing about this man who that Palin is always talking about - what's his name?" Oh, I already knew the answer to this question. "Joe the Plumber?" I asked, knowing that things were already halfway down the hill. "Yes!" she replied, giggling again. Not that my gram isn't a happy kind of senior citizen, but this impish kind of giggle is not her normal mode, and it's unsettling. "I think you should go as that Palin woman and Jason should be that Plumber!" Ouch. That one hurt.

And finally, 6. The Evening News. Aside from 9/11, I've never been so terrified of the evening news as I am right now. It seems to be the penultimate combination of all of my deep worries into one convenient talking-heads segment. Tainted food and candy. Politics 24/7. That stupid Joe the Plumber. The economy trying to excise a cancerous mortgage/debt growth. Death, pain, and suffering. You'd think, given that I spent my entire morning taking my hero through the painful process of sobering up and taking responsibility for his actions while drunk that pain and suffering wouldn't get to me, because I live it in my mind with my people over and over and over again. But it does. At least when my people suffer, it's in my power to fix their problems and give them a happy ending. When it happens in real life, there's not much I can do. I'm only all powerful in my head, after all. I think that may be the most scary thing of all.

So, what scares you these days?


lucylucia said...

Good question, Sally. Hmm. I will say this: I have really gotten in to making dinners at home as good as they can be and therefor avoid going out to eat. It had come to my attention that I was missing several kitchen essentials 9over the course of all this cooking), and I had decided one Friday afternoon (several weeks ago) that I would "treat myself" and go buy a bunch of kitchen appliances probably totaling $100+ or so. On my way to Target, I decided to listen to a "This American Life" podcast on my ipod focusing on the current economic crisis. By the time I pulled in to the parking lot, my chest was tight with anxiety and I immediately decided to limit my spending to essentials only. I spent 17 bucks. I'm scared about how bad things may get.

Sarah M. Anderson said...

I know. The holidays are coming up, and I can't shake the feeling that it's going to turn into a bloodbath.

But I think of my Gram, who lived through this all the last time. We will survive! (Best to think of that while humming Gloria Gaynor songs.)

Caley Greene said...

It's not a depression, there are states not feeling the pinch. A lot of the fear and the hype can be blamed on the media. It's horrible because we can't have the house that has always been out of normal price range, because we can't have the impractical SUV (really - I live IN the city with one child - an SUV is impractical for me - it is more practical for my mom who lives in BFE where you need to go down three different dirt roads before you get there), because we can't buy the Wii, and the XBox, and the movies, and the whatever.

I understand about hard times financially - I live in Michigan where some brilliant person decided that the only industry we really needed was automotive and then instead of going smaller and more efficient, they went larger and inefficient, and now everyone is losing their jobs because of nafta and cafta.

There is a difference between need and want, and between immediate gratification and learning to wait. I admit, I hate waiting for things, saving to get the new pan or cookbook, or something else.

The holidays are coming - if there are no presents under the tree you as a parent may feel lousy - but really, those holidays are religious - Christmas is a religious holiday, but it might also be a great time to remember that a lot of people have a lot less and that up until a couple hundred years ago, it wasn't as important. The difference comes where the emphasis is put.

My child gets probably five small gifts - homemade clothes, a couple of books, and a cd or movie if she's lucky = that's all there has ever been and for the last couple of years the emphasis has been on being together as a family - losing a loved one does that - or should.

You're right we will survive and our children will be better for it. Getting everything you want is rarely good for you.