Halloween came and went this year without my celebrating it with our usual party. I have hosted or attended Halloween parties since I don't know when. I hit a dry patch for a while, but really wanted my kids to know the fun of Halloween and wanted to introduce my British friends to the American version of Halloween.
So I would cook and come up with games for the kids and dress up and have an exhausting but good time. Even when Frenemy hid baked potatoes in an unknown (to me anyway) shelf of my dining table and didn't tell me till the next year when she presented me with these shrivelled brown things. I asked her if they were her husband's balls.
Last year my kids were starting to hit the "My parents are so EMBARRASSING" age but could just about allow me to enjoy myself as long as I didn't dress up and they didn't either. This year I asked if they wanted a party. They said they did as long as they could invite ALL their friends. Well, that didn't suit me or hubby. We have these parties as much for ourselves as them. So this year we didn't have one. Not a single friend asked me if I was having the Halloween party this year. Guess they were embarrassed or didn't care.
We ate Chinese food in front of the TV. I watched one of my favourite films, "To Kill a Mockingbird," and kept texting my kids all night to check they were OK trick-or-treating since it's a different kind of experience in the UK. Something was missing, I felt. Maybe next year.
Speaking of parties, my daughter went to a boy's 14th birthday party the other night. She'd been looking forward to it, had bought a new top to wear, and had her two best friends round to get ready. My husband dropped them off and another parent was due to pick them up. Before 10, I heard the front door slam. My daughter had come home early. Why? Because once again, foolish parents had gone out and left 13- and 14-year-olds on their own. Once again, some of them sneaked alcohol in. Once again, the parents came home, got angry at the state of their house, and tipped everyone out. My daughter and her two friends were wandering the streets in the dark and the rain on their own. A policeman stopped them and asked where they were going. They said they'd left a party and were heading for the main street to wait for a parent to pick them up. My daughter, who didn't drink the alcohol, said she and her friends sat in the front room watching all the drunk teen-agers lurch about. They didn't dare go upstairs because some bright sparks thought it was a fun game to chuck people down the stairs. Others, she said, were having sex. The boy whose party it was seemed powerless to do anything about the drunken ones. His party was ruined, his parents' house was ruined. And do you know who I blame? The stupid, naive parents who thought they could go out and leave those kids on their own.
I've told my daughter she's not allowed to go to parties if the parents aren't there. If hubby or I drop her off, she's to call us when she gets inside to tell us if parents are there or not. We'll wait outside for the call. If we don't get one, we will go to the door and find out for ourselves. She's not entirely happy with this rule, but I don't think she particularly enjoyed herself and wouldn't want to repeat the experience.
And on to other matters. Please tell me what's wrong with this statement: "He wants to take people's money and give it to others." McCain has said that about Obama. As I read it, I shouted to my husband, "I really must be a socialist after all." He said he'd suspected I was all along. But isn't that what we all do anyway? Isn't that called taxation? McCain just wants to make sure his fat-cat buddies keep their money and avoid paying taxes. I am really, really scared about this election. I've sent off my vote, and it was for -- well, who do you think? Not Old-Age Ken and Moose-hunter Barbie. Please, please, please, any Democrats out there reading this or even Republicans or socialists or whatever. Please vote on Tuesday. Please DON'T vote for McCain and the Palinator. Please. For the sake of our country. For the sake of the world.