Archive | November, 2019

Halloween 2019

20 Nov

We watched The Shining and ate a bag of candy.

It’s a simple tradition, watching a horror film on Halloween. Going to the store and picking out which candy mix has the least losers.

I can see this tradition spreading far into our future. The years when we’ll have kids to join us, the fire going, popcorn over the stove. Blankets and tea, and of course, candy.

Candy pumpkins?

I can see it all and it takes place in a little cottage with shutters and shingles. It takes place on Cape Cod.

Is that just because we’re moving?

Is that why we’re moving?

Dolly was a hot dog for Halloween this year.

We’re learning.

Last year she hated being a lion. She was cute, oh dear was she something. A viral tweet, that one. But she hated it.

This year we got her a body suit and she took to it much more kindly. Walking around casually, like the walker around casually she is.


The suit was an XS.

And while our Dolly is petite, and while it fit her around the waist,

Our baby is also a Pokemon character named Furret.


She is long, long, long. She grows like she’s in a funhouse.

And so our Dolly hot dog costume turned into a Dolly sexy hot dog costume, barely covering any of her, as though it was purposely small and revealing which is not what I planned,

but which also has its humor, its delights.

I was Mrs. Frizzle.

I didn’t get a great picture. The light was too dark as I headed out the door and then I was at work. And then my ears hurt from the planet earrings I super glued to them.

And then my ears recovered.

By the time I got home from Quidditch in the smoky air, my hair was done, my earrings were long discarded.

I didn’t get a great picture.

It’s funny how a costume, a moment, a memory no longer counts unless you get a great picture to go along with it.

It’s more than pic or it didn’t happen.

It’s pic or it didn’t mean anything.

And I don’t want this to be so.

Next year for Halloween we’ll be on Cape Cod. 

I’ll push for Hocus Pocus, Rob will push for Alien. We won’t be able to walk to the store for our candy.

I won’t be wearing a sundress.


Maybe we’ll have trick-or-treaters? 

I doubt it, in the small town we’ll live in, on that sleepy street.

In my seven years in LA I have not had a single trick-or-treater, despite stockpiling on candy, despite the preparation. Isn’t the best part of Halloween seeing the excitement of children in costume? 

Maybe next year we’ll have trick-or-treaters?

I doubt it.

But maybe.

A Grown-Up Birthday

17 Nov

I took a walk after work, recognizing my body needed to move or my mind would spiral.

I made my way to the library, in no particular hurry. Books to return, yes, but really a calm to find, a breath to take.

I came home to Rob in a cloud of pasta water making fettuccine alfredo, the dish that had gone so wrong for me at a restaurant last week. It was a thoughtful thing, for Rob is a thoughtful person.

Hilary’s gift was on the porch. I unwrapped it, a mixed pattern dress that my pioneer ancestors would have loved. A handmade card where she had outdone even her wildest dreams.

I sat down to scroll through my text messages.

Caitlin sent me a particularly poetic thread, making our lives into a metaphor for the flowers she’d ordered. Gorgeous flowers! I didn’t know flowers like that could be delivered, I thought they only existed in barn weddings.

They are called “Wild, Wild Love,” Which is a perfect match for your soul.

The specific flowers used are ones that grow in places in unexpected places like deserts with sparse nourishment, on the side of highways, in fields that have been devastated by fires.

she began

Today was a grown-up birthday.

A friend texted and asked what I was doing to celebrate and I proudly declared that Rob had left cupcakes for me to find by my bedside. He had written me a letter. He was doing a task of great emotional labor that I had been avoiding.

I would, meanwhile, be taking a shower and reading a whole book, cuddling Dolly.

The Lakers were on, too.

A kind husband and a cute cat, friends who understand me, love that surrounds me.

A grown-up birthday, she said.

A grown-up birthday indeed.

No one at work knew it was my birthday. 

This is through no fault of theirs, I haven’t advertised it, I’ve been too in my head with too many things. I went through the day largely unnoticed, teaching, processing new titles. I led a graphic novel book club. I ate chili cheese fries for lunch.

My friends and family checked in, sending gifts and thoughts and compliments. 

I love you

I love you 

I love you

Words of affirmation forever.

And then I came home, where, despite all this, my mood was a bit low.

And so I went on a walk, recognizing my body needed to move or my mind would spiral.

It was the grown-up thing to do on this,

my grown-up birthday.


PS: My Bridget Jones birthday party