Is It October Yet?

Is It October Yet?

Fall is in the air!

Ha, ha, just kidding.  Of course it’s not.  It’s freaking 105 degrees outside today in Fort Worth.  Fall is the last thing on the mind of the Texas weather gods. But…I’m already craving it. I’m ready for football, and pumpkin flavored everything, and of course, Halloween.  I love Halloween.  It ties with Christmas as my favorite holiday, but I love it as much as most people love Christmas.  I love everything about it.  By far my favorite thing, though, is horror movies!  I watch them year-round, but in October, it always feels more special and scary. For me, it doesn’t get much better than being curled up on the couch in October, surrounded by fall scents and decor, and watching scary movies in the dark with a nice Malbec.

So I’d like to talk about Halloween.  But not the holiday.  Halloween…the film. My favorite horror movie.  In my opinion, the best horror movie of all-time.  Many will disagree with me and have their arguments as to why other movies are scarier.  And that’s okay.  But, Halloween set the standard. Halloween was a massive hit, going on to gross over $50 million.  It was filmed in 21 days on a budget of only $300,000, and for many years was the highest grossing independent film ever made.

I could go on for pages about the genius that is Halloween.  About who and what makes it an undeniable classic.  I even wrote a paper on it in college.  But, every year when I watch it on tv, and tweet along with my fellow Halloween lovers, I always find the humor that we share about some of the more cheesy aspects of the movie is sometimes the best part.  So on that note, my favorite cheesy and goofy things about the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.

  • Michael’s parents: Let’s set the scene:  6 year-old Michael has just stabbed his teenage sister to death.  He walks outside, holding the knife covered in his sister’s blood, just as his parents pull up in their car.  His father takes off Michael’s clown mask and stares at him, puzzled.  His mother stands there, puts her hands in her pockets, and just looks at him, boredom stretched across her face.  I don’t know about anyone else, but if I walked up on my 6 year-old holding a bloody butcher knife, I would be flipping the f**k out!  I mean, the woman doesn’t even look fazed in the the slightest. It’s like that’s the typical Friday night at the Myers house.  Like she’s just thinking “Oh crap, who. did Michael stab. this time?”
  • Michael’s escape:  Young Michael is admitted to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium following his savage Halloween night festivities.  15 years later, he decides it’s time to blow that Popsicle stand.  He escapes and steals a car, driving off into the rainy night.  Where on God’s green one did Michael find the resources to learn how to drive?  I mean, you see him driving other times during the movie, and the dude even knows how to follow traffic laws.  For real?  Dr. Loomis must have been right: someone around there probably gave him lessons!
  • Judith’s headstone:  Somehow Dr. Loomis had the gut feeling that Michael was gonna go straight petty up in this piece, and go desecrate his sister’s grave on his way to stab some people. Sure enough, he arrives at the cemetery only to find the headstone missing. (Which also reminds me, I’m mad I never got to hear the end of the story about Charlie and his hacksaw.) Later in the movie, we see that Michael has cleverly placed the marker on the bed at the Wallace home, right behind Annie’s dead body.  So…you’re telling me Michael was able to just rip a probably 1,000 pound piece of granite out of the ground, carry it to his car, and then carry it into a house and up a flight of stairs?  That is totally absurd. Dude must Crossfit.
  • Annie’s dad: I understand that Haddonfield is a small town, and that Sherriff Brackett is probably handicapped by a natural lack of experience.  But what kind of cop can’t recognize the smell of pot?  Especially when it’s been confined to a car and smoked less than 1 minute before the girls roll up on him? There was probably still a cloud of smoke in the car. Great job parenting and policing there, SHERRIFF!
  • The heavy breathing:  Can we take a second and talk about Michael’s incessant heavy breathing?  What is that about?  Does he have asthma?  A deviated septum? Can we get the guy a breathing treatment?  I’m starting to question if Smth’s Grove should even be an accredited medical facility. I mean, they can’t afford decent hospital gowns, reliable security, or Albuterol, apparently.  How none of his victims heard him rolling up on them is beyond me.
  • Lindsey Wallace:  This little asshole is one of my favorite characters.   She’s got great style, attitude, and does what she wants.   She keeps her babysitter in check and has her crush’s back.  I appreciate those qualities in a 4th grader.
  • Tommy Doyle:  Can we get an interpreter for this kid?  He seriously takes whining to a whole new level.  The part where he sees Michael carrying Annie into the house and starts screaming gibberish is by far the most annoying part to me.  I even tried to get Siri to interpret that nonsense, and she couldn’t.  And for being the only one who sees Michael coming, and who is so worried about this boogeyman, he sure does take his sweet ass time getting the door for his screaming babysitter!  Whiny little punk.
  • Laurie’s survival:  Halloween established the rules, so we know that the virgins always outsmart the killer in the end.  Luckily for Laurie, her untouched vagina was her saving grace. Otherwise, she would have been toast, because she is a f**king moron.   Let’s list her transgressions, shall we?
  1. She walks over to the Wallace house, knowing something is wrong, and doesn’t even attempt to turn any lights on.  Seriously?
  2. Once she escapes Michael’s first attack, she runs back to the house where she has left the kids sleeping.  Girl!! Run ANYWHERE but back there.  I’d be breaking down every door on that street until someone helped me, but I wouldn’t lead the killer to the kids.
  3. She drops the knife…twice!  At this point, I feel like she deserves what she gets.
  4. She gets cornered in the bedroom.  So I get that her options are limited.  She opens the balcony door to make it look like she has escaped outside, then goes to hide in the closet.  Good idea, in theory.  But here’s a tip:  next time someone tries to murder you, don’t make so much noise getting into your hiding place that he obviously knows you are there!
  5. She turns her back on him.  At this point she sends the kids out of the house (finally a good call!) and sits down for a much needed breather.  Now this is just me, but if someone had just tried to kill me not once, not twice, but three times, I’d have my eye on him every second until the cops showed up.  But no, not Laurie.  She’s so certain that her razor-sharp virgin babysitter skills have saved her, that she has no problem turning her back on the seemingly dead killer.  Which obviously brings on a fourth attack.  Whatever, girl.  Your funeral.

All jokes aside, this is and will always be my favorite horror movie of all-time.  Michael Myers still haunts my dreams.  The Halloween theme music stops my heart every time. I hear it. But it’s a thrill I love to live over and over again.  Bring on October, I am ready!


Love, hate, and teenagers

Love, hate, and teenagers

This is my first new blog post in over a year. Working full-time and the roller coaster of other issues have kept me from it. But I was inspired to start writing again by a friend (thanks Isabel!) who reminded me that I have a bit of a knack for it. For me, writing is therapeutic, but if I can also possibly reach someone else who might be struggling with these same issues, then it’s a win-win.

And since some of you may not read until the very end of the post, here’s the most important takeaway from it: It’s okay to occasionally say parenting sucks! Because sometimes, it does. It doesn’t make you a bad person or parent to admit that sometimes you feel weak and defeated and destroyed and just plain sad. If you never felt those things as a parent, you’re not human and I need to know what model of cyborg you are so I can look into upgrading.  And know that no matter how great a parent you are, no matter how many things you do right, no matter how often you think “That would never happen to MY kid,” trust me, it can.

There has been so much going on that I have not talked about publicly, for many reasons. First and foremost, because of the personal and sensitive nature of the situation. So, most things in this post may be vague, but just know that it is to protect the privacy of people involved. I like to be transparent whenever possible, but that only goes so far as it protects the people I love. Secondly, there is a lot of guilt and shame associated with some of it. It’s no secret that guilt and parenting go hand in hand. They should have motivational posters all over the maternity ward that read “Prepare to Feel Guilty About Everything For the Rest of Your Life.” And then they should hand you a lifetime subscription to a Wine of the Month club! Take note of that fellas, because I may have just cornered the market on push presents.

To say our family has been struggling the past year is an understatement. Every family has their problems, and anyone who has had a teenager knows that the seas are rough and wild. But, without going into any specifics, let me just say that our struggles, and more specifically the struggles of my daughter go beyond your typical teenage angst.

Another motivational poster hospitals should consider: “Parenting – It’s not for the faint of heart!”

Let me tell you, parenting was a whole lot easier in my imagination with my hypothetical kids! The hardest thing about parenting that no one prepares you for, though, is that you lose your kids. You fall in love with this child, and you get used to this version of them that loves you and depends on you. And then they grow, and change. And even though that can be wonderful, it hurts to know you’ve lost the other version of that person. That little person is gone and you’ll never have that again. And once you get used to the next version and learn how to navigate those waters, they move on to the next phase and become someone else. The same kid who used to beg me to watch her sit on the toilet now won’t even give me a second look.

It’s especially painful when that child grows into someone you don’t even recognize. Someone who truly believes they hate you. Someone who, despite how you’ve raised them, can spew unbelievable hatred your way. Someone who blames you for every bad thing that has ever happened in their life, whether it’s your fault or not. When you have done everything in the world and then some for a person, and they have no love or appreciation for you, it’s an awful feeling. But because you love them, you take it. You try to tell yourself that they are going through something you can’t understand.  You take it and take it and choke back the sobs and wipe away your tears and push the hurt way deep down inside, because it’s your child. But, in my opinion, the strength it takes to love someone who hates you is the strength only a parent has. Your child is the only person you would ever possibly accept that from and still love them anyway. I could make a killing selling a wine called “13-Year-Old Hateful Merlot.” I could market it as the epidural for being a mom of a teen!

Possibly the most helpful poster they could have: “Teenagers – Man, can they be little a-holes!

The hardest part of all though, is the feeling of helplessness. Of knowing your child is going through something, and doing your best to help them, but knowing you can’t. All I ever wanted in life was to be a good mom. I was never really a career-oriented person. I always wanted to be in a much less-sexist version of Leave it to Beaver. To have a baby and give them an amazing childhood. A life full of as much happiness as possible.  Enough wonderful memories to blow away any bad ones.  To be the mom that’s the greatest mom and the best friend. The mom that makes the best cookies, hosts the best sleepovers, and has one of the sweetest and happiest kids you would ever meet. As it turns out, all of that is pretty much unattainable.  I’ll never be quite that good. (Okay, I will give myself the cookies thing, because my cookies are the! Ask anyone.)

But still, I am always there for her. And whenever she has struggled, I have tried to be for her what I needed at that age. I’ve tried showing her love and compassion every possible way I know how. But sometimes it just isn’t enough. That is the most awful part of what we are going through. No matter what I do, it will never be enough. It’s discouraging and painful to say the least. But…gotta keep on keepin’ on!

Because truly, there is nothing else you can do except keep on going. In the words of my favorite fish ever, “Just keep swimming.” In spite of everything, I love my child more than life itself. I would do anything and everything in this world for her. And I will never, ever give up on her. Yes, our lives are an emotional wreck right now. Yes, every time I think we’ve hit rock bottom, we continue to hit new lows. Yes, I cry almost every day. Yes, I worry almost every waking moment about my child.  But, we’are also experiencing. love, and laughter, and joy.  This parenting thing is like the most intense roller coaster you’ve ever ridden, only you can never get off. But, I wouldn’t….even if sometimes I wish I could.

And when all else fails…I will choose to remember this: