An Introvert’s Halloween – Part 2

Part 2 – The Halloween Part (and more revelations about Carrie’s neurosis)

I just saw Megan’s comment in the previous post about how she hopes the solution to my problem is streaking with a mask on. I would like to go ahead and issue a spoiler alert that if your expectations are that high, prepare to be severely disappointed.

No. In fact, I hate masks. They are like taking a bath, you’re just stuck in this little room with your old stinky breath that you just have to keep using over and over again to breathe. I also don’t like crowds, partly because of chance of getting any attention in them and also because I’m probably slightly claustrophobic. I’m talking about how to make Halloween work for a square through and through, not letting my inner desire for flamboyancy loose.

I DID dress up for Halloween as a kid. My mom made me a Wonder Woman costume, and I mean sewed it, with Velcro and a pattern and shit. And I wish I had a picture of it but it’s six hours away. Once I hit a certain age, though, I was a punk rocker for like 4 years running. And by “punk rocker” I mean the kind who are allowed to wear their mom’s Garfield shirt because it doesn’t matter if they get glitter on it. That picture is also six hours away. I’ll be up there (North Carolina) for Halloween, so hopefully I can dig them up and share.

Next week, Tom and I are going to Disney World for our 10th wedding anniversary. And, we’re going to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I was reading all the Disney World forums about how other people plan to dress up for it. I went to this event 10 years ago on our honeymoon, and, obviously, didn’t dress up for it. But this year I thought it would be neat to at least poke the spirit of Halloween with a really long pole from afar by wearing something resembling something.

But I’m pretty much a one uniform gal: jeans, t-shirt. If it’s cold- jeans, t-shirt, hoodie. Hand on a stack of the first three Romero zombie movies: the last time I wore a skirt for anything other than church, a funeral, or a wedding, was when I was 12 years old. And the only reason I still wear skirts to these three events is because I don’t want to shop for any other appropriate clothing (my skirts are 10 years old). I also feel awkward and uncomfortable in anything other that t-shirts and jeans and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna feel more weird about looking at a giant bear’s butt on a log flume ride.

So, my solution was found when I was looking on Amazon for something that could be a costume but also in no way requires me to leave my comfort zone. And I found this:

Yes, that is a t-shirt that looks like Shaun’s work shirt from the movie Shaun of the Dead. Side note: if you haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead and you like zombie movies, or comedies, or romantic comedies, then you are missing out. And what does Shaun wear with this shirt? Black pants. And I have a pair of black jeans, which is close enough. It’s a low maintenance, sure-to-not-bring-much-attention-to-me ensemble. It’s pretty much exactly what I wear every day but with a fake tie and name tag. I often have a stain so the red doesn’t even count. Perfect. And if it’s cold that day I’ll wear a long sleeve shirt underneath and be grunge Shaun.

And, I would totally be willing to carry around a cricket bat. But, I don’t want to navigate a theme park with one. I didn’t cave on carrying a purse until well into my twenties so the utilitarian part of me doesn’t want to deal with it. And, perhaps security wouldn’t even let me bring it in. If there is a zombie outbreak at the Magic Kingdom that night, I’ll definitely be kicking myself (and several zombies). I also won’t be tucking in my shirt because that war was fought valiantly against my mom and I will not allow all that eye rolling and sighing to be in vain.

So, now, please dazzle me with all of your more interesting and exciting planned Halloween costumes because I live for that shit. I’m really glad there are less shy and extroverted people out there, because they really do make Halloween the coolest holiday.


An Introvert’s Halloween – Part 1

Part 1 – The Introvert Part

My favorite time of the year is October, November, and December. The rest of the year is like waiting in line to me.

I really love Halloween. A large part is due to it being socially acceptable to carry around a giant pillowcase of candy and graze from it like a feed bag. It’s also about zombies and Draculas and ghosts and stuff I like all year long.

Halloween has a lot to do with drawing attention to yourself with costumes, etc. However, I’m an introvert, and a pretty extreme one at that. My Myers-Briggs personality type is I(introverted)S(sensing)T(thinking)J(judging). In summary, I’m a detail-oriented rule follower who doesn’t like surprises, and most importantly for this post – can go a while without socializing (I also have ADD, which makes for a hell of a lot of angst, which someday I’ll write about). Extraverts gain energy from interacting with other people; introverts expend energy interacting with other people. Extraverts often don’t understand why introverts won’t “lighten up,” or why they don’t want to ride that mechanical bull in front of the entire bar (or even just go to the bar). I’ve made this chart to demonstrate:

Also, there is a difference between being shy and being an introvert. I’m a shy introvert. I don’t like being the center of attention unless specific parameters are understood and set. I don’t like being an acquaintance of the center of attention for fear that I will become collateral damage. Going to a place where I don’t know anyone makes my brain break out in hives. I like to ride the coattails of people I already know who are less socially awkward than me.

I don’t do any heavy lifting when it comes to conversations. I hate small talk and am not good at sustaining it.  I can talk forever and in depth on things I’m interested in and I love finding out I have things in common with people. But, I don’t do the verbal digging to figure any of that out. I know this sounds like I don’t give a shit about people or want to get to know them, but that’s not it at all. It’s that I take my personal connections seriously – I go in all or nothing. So when it comes to the notion of casual social contact, e-mail and the internet is like a godsend to me.  Getting to know bloggers, because they put it there without me having to ask, and without the awkward silences, has been awesome.

All of this is to say that for an introvert at my level, Halloween, a highly participatory holiday, isn’t exactly a perfect fit for a social spectator like me. What’s an introvert to do? Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 – The Part About Halloween.

Personality types are like my astrological signs. I find them fascinating. What’s yours? Here’s a place you can find out.

Death AND Cake – Things I’ve Worried About

I’ve been a pop culture junkie since I was a wee one. I was never allowed to watch MTV, which means, of course, I watched it all the time. I was allowed to watch Nick Rocks, the video show on Nickelodeon. So every time my parents caught me watching MTV I told them it was Nick Rocks. And yes, I was a child when MTV literally showed videos during waking hours.

The Alice in Wonderland inspired video for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Don’t Come Around Here No More” had a lasting impression on me:

I know what you’re thinking, yes, that IS Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics as the Caterpillar at the beginning. He co-wrote the song. But, back to the subject at hand.

This song was released in 1985. I was 7 or 8 at the time. I think we can all agree that Tom Petty is a unique looking man. He’s very pointy. His voice, combined with his pointy-ness, and his Mat Hatter persona in this video seriously bugged me out. The whole video has a creepy, surreal vibe that disturbed me.

But, the thing that bothered me the most is when Alice is turned into a cake at the end. I was worried this may happen to me.

Was I worried I may turn into a pig baby? No. Nor was I worried about about becoming small enough to use a doughnut as a life preserver because that would be delicious. Somehow, the cake thing was what got my mind turning. This just seemed the most likely of all the scenarios presented.

And ultimately, this is was what worried me the most: I truly hoped that if and when I was turned into a cake, that everyone would be neater about cutting me up and serving me. Look at that mess! Tom’s serving all-icing pieces and all that cake is crumbled on the table. I can only hope my Mad Hatter and checkerboard ladies show some mercy on that front.

I did grow to love Tom Petty. He’s one of the most represented musicians on my iPod. And I also love the song, but I can’t hear it without thinking of messy cake.

How to Tell a Girl You Like Her OR Leave Me Alone – You Can Decide Later!

Tom (my husband) and I are going through a lot of old stuff, trying to stem the tide of becoming pack rats. We’re about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and were together for six years before marriage. So, a lot of our “old stuff” is also shared memories. Tom, who is much more of a paper pack rat than me, is going through boxes of paper, and it’s been quite fun finding things I thought we never kept. More on that later, though.

Tom and I knew each other in high school, and became best friends when I was a senior in high school and he was a freshman in college. We were best friends for a year before becoming a couple. This year was the fun “what does he think of me, does he like me, does he know I like him?” era of our relationship. And by fun I mean torturous – I can’t stand ambiguity.

In going through my old stuff, I found the first thing I remember Tom ever getting for me. Trust me, I like weird stuff just as much as the next person, so it’s not that I didn’t LIKE it, it’s more that in obsessively trying to come up with what it could mean, I was very perplexed. So, I present to anyone who would like to give a gift that says “I got this for you. It may be because I recognize and appreciate your off-kilter-ness, or it may be because I’m trying say I’d like to give normal gifts to other women, buddy.”

Nothing says "I got you a rubbery half snake/half lady" like a rubbery half snake/half lady.

In retrospect, I of course realize how lucky I am to have found someone that would get this for me, put it in a little cardboard box, decorate it, and give it to me for no particular occasion. And I appreciate it that much more because of its context and the hilarity of me obsessing over what it could “mean.”

Nice one, future husband.

P.S. And it’s a good thing she doesn’t have any nipples cause she’d totally be nip slippin’ after 16 years of her tube top slowly sliding down.

What? No, 1950s, wanting a pair of Santa Claus slaves is totally normal. Stop worrying.

I love stuff from the 1950s and 60s (pre-hippie and avocado green). Specifically, I love Made in Japan ceramics from that era. Salt and pepper shakers, planters, figurines, Christmas decorations – I’ve got a good amount of it. Unfortunately, most of it has been packed away for a couple of years now because we tried to sell our house two years ago, I’m lazy, and we’re going to try and sell our house again someday. The upside to that is when I finally get to drag them all out of their boxes, I won’t remember half of it. It’ll be a nice surprise.

One of the reasons I really like this stuff is because it is weird. Very weird. It’s like everyone was on a post World War II high and decided to channel that through crazy kitchenware items. Luckily, two of my favorite things aren’t packed up.

First, my favorite thing, ever. This is a Holt Howard relish condiment jar (the Holt Howard line of condiment jars like this is called “Pixieware,” btw). Don’t even try to tell me you don’t want one. Back in the 1950’s, if you were a real hostess, you didn’t humiliate your guests by forcing them to accessorize their hamburgers with faceless, soulless jars and dispensers. You put condiments in a ceramic jar with a spoon too short to reach the bottom, and you put a whimsical face on that spoon, or you can fucking forget it, I’ll eat my hamburger plain.

You have to get your relish out of the jar it came in? Oh, God, I'm SO sorry.

There are tons of these jars. I own several. But this relish one is my favorite. Partly because of the colors and he has my favorite thing-that-represents-the-condiment-expression, and partly because it was a Christmas present from my sister and parents. The relish jar is rare, and my relish jar is in mint condition – so suck on that, it’ll make your breath fresh. But, I show you this only as a gateway to my second specimen. I don’t think you could have handled it by itself.

You know all those people who lament about how unequivocally awesome and more better “simpler times” were? About how “back then” you didn’t have to x, y, and z, and Back Then is the captain of the football team and Now is the slutty drop-out under the bleachers? And kick the can, apple pie, gingham tablecloths, lemonade, scooters, and Norman Rockwell? You can argue until you’re blue in the face that time moves forward, awesomeness is always a give and take/subjective – some people in the 50s thought it sucked, just like people think now sucks, etc. Or, you can just show them this picture:

Yah, Santa! Yah!

Yes. That is a blond angel, dressed to the Christmas nines, holding a giant candy cane with one hand, and wrangling two tiny Santa Claus’ on chains in the other. My sister and I inappropriately call this the “Santa slaves girl.” That came from the 1950s, y’all. In the 1950s, somebody said, “Let’s make a figurine of an angel, and let’s have her walking one, no, two Santas, each attached to a chain. You know, for Christmastime.” A more innocent time, my ass.

There’s actually a lot of big-thing-with-two-littler-things-on-chains figurines from that time. Most of them are animals – a mama and two babies of the same kind of animal. Here is one. Here is another.

Here is a lady with two sophisticated children, I’m guessing. Weird, yes, but I can see that perhaps, like the real-life modern day child leashes, that this was done for safety’s sake.

But two malnourished, failure-to-thrive Santas? On chains? Look at it!

Ok, ok. How about this – anyone who thinks that the past was a more morally “pure” time than the present, admit that this figurine is totally and completely messed up, and I’ll do you the favor of modernizing it so that you can feel comfortable that the original version is less sick. Deal?

I’m just glad we could all come to an acceptable compromise.