Halloween is coming and I can handle it. That's because I know this year will be a walk on the beach compared to Halloween 2006. I remember it vividly...
We woke up to no internet. It was out until mid-morning due to a Roadrunner problem. My then-husband sank into a foul mood and mine wasn't much better.
His car was in the shop so I had to drive him to work. Of course he was in a big rush and complaining about various issues, so he needed to get there ASAP. As usual, I was ready before he was, but he acted like I needed to speed it up. It was a testy drive.
Because of the 1:00pm street closures for the West Hollywood Halloween Parade, my son's school would be closing at noon. Chloe, 12, with whom we carpooled at the time, convinced him the street was going to close earlier than expected and that her babysitter wouldn't be able get through to pick them up. So my son, then 13, called me and said they would be walking to the Beverly Center, a massive mall about a mile away. I told him to stay where he was and then had to go pick him up, killing an hour of my day when I wasn’t supposed to have to drive. (Chloe made her break for freedom and had to be tracked down later.)
He told me he had no Halloween plans and was mopey and blamey. He said his mask had been stolen out of his backpack at school the day before, and now he had no costume for the evening ahead, but since he'd made no plans anyway he was upset for all kinds of conflicted reasons.
We stopped to load up on candy for the hordes we expected after sunset. That put me back at home with less than an hour to spend working before I had to go out again and pick up my husband. Time to eat about six pounds of "fun size" candies but not to get anything else done. Then, just before I had to leave, there was a brownout that disconnected me from the internet and almost stranded my car in the driveway. When I quickly opened the driveway gate so I wouldn't be trapped, the dog escaped and had to be chased down.
On the way to my husband's office, my son called to tell me the house next door was on fire and six fire trucks and an ambulance had converged. I told him to go see what was going on, but he said our neighbor yelled at him to mind his own business when he tried. (It turns out there was a small fire, which they put out quickly.) When I got home, my neighbor and about six other people were sitting outside and it was all I could do not to scream at her for being such a bitch.
On the way back from picking up my husband (he dropped me at home and headed to a meeting), he talked to Audi, who had no information on his car, and to a business partner who yelled defensively through the BlackBerry the majority of the drive home.
I had to call a friend of a friend's to tell her we didn’t want to invest $25,000 in her planned dating site. After the call I somehow ended up having to write her an email detailing my issues with her approach. (Writing that email, which essentially shot down the overall approach as well as the specific details of the service, turned out to be the highlight of my day.)
Somehow it did all end. And somehow I believe that next time Halloween won't be so bad.
Originally posted on October 28, 2006.