Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween: A First

Nic and I have a pretty good track record when it comes to Halloween. Granted, this was only our second one together, but two for two is still a perfect record. Last year, he surprised me by deciding on Thursday night to drive the 12.5 hours down from NE to TX to be with me for the Halloween weekend. I love this about him, his romantic spontaneity.

This year, however, was our first Halloween as a married couple.

The Friday before Halloween, we had a small party at our apartment; the first shin-dig we'd ever hosted at our place. It was pretty chill and laid back: four friends from church, pizza, a friend's homemade pumpkin cinnamon bread pudding, and games. Nic and I were almost the champions of  90's Trivial Pursuit game, but were beaten by our friends who were both born much earlier in the 80s and can recall more events from the years 1990-1999 than either Nic or I. However, it must be said that we were the first to obtain a colored triangle in the game, and that I impressed the others by knowing what a FPS is...a First Person Shooter video/computer game, duh. (A shout out to my dad and brother for those endless games of Doom, which made my correct answer possible.)

The weekend was very quiet and the extent of our Halloween celebrations was a Ghost Busters marathon ("there's always room for jello!"). Then there was the Oktoberfest/Reformation Day cook out at church on Sunday, which came complete with a very tough trivia game about all things German/Lutheran/October.

On Monday, I told Nic that I desperately wanted to carve a pumpkin with him for Halloween. We always carved pumpkins at my house on Halloween. My parents have this great video of me as a toddler flinging pumpkin guts everywhere as I dig into my first pumpkin. Winning!

As soon as I got home from work on Halloween, Nic and I headed to Wal Mart. We'd seen pumpkins there just days before and figured we'd get a steal on a pumpkin and the carving kit as they'd most likely be on sale. I must say, this made me very sad to think that our only recourse for getting a pumpkin was to go to Wal Mart. My heart ached for the roadside pumpkin picking of MI!

Tragedy of tragedies, Nic and I walked the entire length and breadth of our super Wal Mart only to discover that THEY DID NOT HAVE PUMPKINS ON HALLOWEEN DAY. Oh, but they were 2/3 of the way set up for Christmas, complete with fake trees and ornaments. I think that this is one of Texas' greatest flaws, that because they don't have seasons, they just rush through them irreverently and without respect.

Luckily, we have a Kroger down the street and I KNEW they'd have them as I'd just been by there days before. But what did we find? That Kroger too had no trace of Halloween decorations, let alone pumpkins. At this point, panic was setting in for me. We had one last spot to check before despairing. The HEB across the street. Surly, if they had organic versions of every herb/vegetable imaginable, they'd still have pumpkins.

Well folks, Here Everything ISN'T Better.

They did have pumpkins, of a sort. They had "pie pumpkins" which were very small and barely worth their $5 to use for carving. But they did have these massive pumpkins, which would have worked just fine, for $25 each. Well, I was not about to pay $25 for an over-sized pumpkin, even if it was organic! I reasoned that with the trends of the other stores, there was no way that this store was going to sell all five of these giant pumpkins for $25 each.

Time to try out my mad haggling skills. I told Nic I was prepared to take these drastic measures for a pumpkin, but I'm not sure he believed me until I was dragging him to find a manager.

Two managers and a checkout girl later and I am trying to work my hard-earned Hillsdale rhetoric skills on a Latnio manager. I explain that we are willing to pay $10 for a pumpkin and that I doubt she will sell all of them for full price before they are rotten.

"I'm sorry, but I don't have that power" she tells me.

BS. I've worked in retail and know that for customer satisfaction you  can make these kinds of calls.

'"Fine. Then we're not getting anything" I reply and storm off with Nic. Perhaps I should have swore loudly in Spanish, then maybe she would have taken me more seriously.

Back at our apartment, I was pouting in the kitchen when Nic came to my rescue. He was holding this mini pumpkin, which was partially spray painted gold, that we had taken from my work's Golf Tournament weeks before as fall decoration. I mean, this thing barely qualified as an over-sized gourd. But, Nic assured me we could still carve our Harry Potter pattern into it.

Score, hubby!

Me, after my rum and coke and Nic's optimism has me feeling a little more...festive :)

 I'm a little over enthusiastic about the pumpkin seeds we're saving to bake. And check out the Harry Potter we had playing while we carved, yup, we're just that into themes ;)
Nic looks practically jolly as he disembowels our wittle pumpkin.
Our original pattern had Harry's whole torso with wand in hand...but we could only fit his head on our mini pumpkin
Despite this look, Nic did not partake in the rum and coke that night
Ta-da! Check out Harry's cranium! 

Thanks to my creative husband we were able to have a smashing Halloween together. We had an adventure that now makes for a fun story. 

Stay turned for a post about this weekend's trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival!