Just Bring Cups…

Health update: My fever now is during the day and evening.  Otherwise, feeling no better or worse.

It’s rainy and grey here in Central PA today.  I have just finished filling 60 treat bags to give out on Halloween, but haven’t gotten around to decorating the porch yet.  I have a cute little ghost that appears to peek out from behind a tree/post/what-have-you, but when I got it in the mail I realized it needed screws to install – which is a huge no-no when you are renting someone’s house.   So my neighbor and I are going to have to find another way to attach it – it’s so cute!

(Here is a pic)

I don’t even have a jack-o-lantern to set out!  Though, to be honest, I kind of hate carving pumpkins, as it is so messy and for some reason causes a rash on my hands and arms.  So I am still looking for a fake jack-o-lantern that I can just stick a battery-operated candle in, set the timer and forget it.  There are a few on the net but wow so expensive!  Every year I tell myself I need to buy these things AFTER Halloween, when they are on sale, but every year I find my budget will not allow it.

Why not make some decorations?  Hey, there’s an idea and NO, it’s not a good one.

I’ve never been good at arts and crafts.  I would dread it when teachers would send home supply lists for making things in class, because I knew whatever project my teacher had in mind, I would inevitably botch it.

As I grew up and had kids, I tried to do Martha Stewart kinds of things, but could never pull it off (except for making and decorating cakes, I was pretty good at that).  I was NEVER the mom who showed everyone how to make oh, I dunno, say…hats out of bits of material scraps, buttons, and glitter – I was the mom who would do/teach puppet shows, dress up like a giant bunny and show up at my kids’ school near Easter, make balloon animals, and for awhile could actually juggle.

I was never the “room mother” – that person who the teacher designates each year to organize school parties and so on.  I was always the mom who was told to “just bring cups”.

I like to think there is a special “life review” for those mothers who essentially bullied the teacher into room mother status, and then subsequently ran around telling everyone how hard it is to be so busy (“I just CAN’T say no to Little Tiffany’s teacher – but with me teaching Sunday school,  running Boy and Girl Scout troops, heading up the Neighborhood Garden Committee, and organizing the school carnival/reading program/lunchroom aides I just don’t have time for myself!”).

I am still mad just thinking about it!!  And this was easily 25 years ago!!

This season brings to mind my foray into room mother territory, and the subsequent minor disaster that is my life.

The upshot: I got pulled aside and asked to never volunteer for the Halloween carnival again (held at my kids’ school, Farmington Elementary in Germantown, TN).  Even though I raised quite a bit of money for them.

My crime?  Not understanding what they wanted and assuming that they had a lot more tolerance than they actually had (which is to say, “none”).  They wanted people to act as “gypsy fortune-tellers”.  I swear, that’s ALL they told me.  “Just show up at the school half an hour early and we’ll show you where to set up.”

So I did – with my tarot cards.  In a long skirt with a bandana.  Ok so what if it wasn’t really a costume, but actually the way I liked to normally dress??  I looked the part, didn’t I?

The lady in charge told me I was to go into one of the classrooms with my tent and…”Oh, you don’t HAVE a tent? But I’m SURE BettyLou TOLD you to bring one…why look how she’s set up, with a tent and a candle and everything…you sure she didn’t tell you?”

BettyLou had no intention of telling me any damn thing.  Yes, elementary-school mothers really CAN be that petty.

So, having no tent or anything, I pulled a table over and sat down near the entrance to the room.  Ms. Lady-in-Charge gives me a little fish.  Yes, like this one:


Fortune Teller Miracle Fish


Now, I actually think these are really cute, and hey they would make really great Halloween treats to give out, so I have included the link.  No, I don’t work for them or anything, I just like novelties like this.


10 thoughts on “Just Bring Cups…

  1. charlies5169

    I was always real involved with my kids’ school, and sports, and scouts. A lot of the other parents thought I was eccentric, but the kids thought I was the ” cool dad”. I had all the weird musician friends, I let the kids’ bands practice in my basement with the amps turned up to 11… Once I almost drowned a whole troop of Boy Scours in a raging river – the kids loved it! But the high point was when I took a bunch of 13 year old boys to an all day concert featuring The Ramones. Suddenly all these other parents who thought I was weird were now calling me to ask if I’d take their kids too.


  2. Victoria Post author

    You were really lucky, then. Had I nearly drowned a troop (and I actually was a Girl Scout leader for about a minute, will tell sometime) or taken kids to see the Ramones…they would have had me arrested for something. I guess you can pull off eccentricity a lot better than I can – most adults seemed to find me more threatening than anything, though I will say most kids liked me.


  3. charlies5169

    I don’t know that I “pull off” eccentricity. I think I probably look eccentric… So when it turns out that I really am, no one is surprised. And as far as the near drowning, my partner and I told the parents who were “concerned” that we were practicing swift water rescue!


  4. AndyDrew Heyman

    Wild that you picked Nosferatu! I am about half way through Shadow of the Vampore, a movie about the making of (sort of) with John Malkovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe as Schreck. It is really quite good. Via Netflix.


  5. Victoria Post author

    Shrek? Really? I gotta check that out!! I have been thinking of joining Netflix – I already have Hulu Plus but it’s really lacking. Would you recommend Netflix? Oh, and if you do and you get something for referring people, let me know so I can mention you if I decide to go with them. Already going to subscibe to CBS so I can watch NCIS, so may as well go with other services too (still cheaper than cable or satellite).


    1. AndyDrew Heyman

      That’s Schrek the actor who played Nosferatu. Not the ogre. This is not an acid dream. Well, yes it is, sort of…


  6. AndyDrew Heyman

    DEF Netflix! I could NOT live without them. I have had the service for years. Right now they not only have Shadow of the Vampire, they also have Nosferatu, so (one) can see them both. I am watching Gilmore Girls from start to finish because I am in awe of Paladino’s ability to write banter and the players’ ability to carry it all off. I just find it amazing.


  7. Pingback: So Creepy…and It’s Not Even Halloween Yet! | Victoria's Viewpoint

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