Frenchie’s First Halloween (#90)

American kids are out for blood candy.
American kids out for blood candy.

About a month after my wedding, my friend M got married. Surprisingly, given her card-carrying Republican status, her husband was not an American. I’m not going to say where he’s from, but she met him in Germany and we’ll call him “Frenchie.”

Frenchie and M lived in one of the mountain states when they first moved back to the U.S. M said it took a while to get used to no public transportation, dirty windows, and soft bread once more. Frenchie quickly acclimated to large screen TVs, his own car, and crappy beer. HIs first serious bit of culture shock came when Halloween arrived.

Frenchie observed a parade of superheroes and princesses move from the sidewalk to their front door. He heard the kids ring the doorbell. M opened the door. The kids screamed, “Trick or treat!” with varying levels of enthusiasm. He watched M giggle, exclaim over the cute costumes, and dole one piece of candy per child.

The next time the doorbell rang, Frenchie said, “I got this.”

He opened the door and found a mini-Batman. “Trick or treat!”

Frenchie held out the bowl of candy. “Great costume. You are old enough to pick your own candy, eh?”

Batman’s eyes lit up. “Awesome!” He grabbed an overflowing handful and stuffed it in his bag.

“Hey, hey!” bellowed Frenchie. “You were supposed to take one!”

Frenchie plunged his hand into Batman’s bag. He lifted out his own, adult-sized handful, and put it back in M’s candy bowl.

Batman stuttered, “B-b-but you just took back out more than I put in!”

Frenchie said, “That will teach you not to be so greedy!” and slammed the door.

M sent Frenchie off to watch his giant TV.  She answered the door the rest of the evening.

No word on how long it took Batman to recover.

If It Were Not For Pumpkins (#89)

Pumpkin Festival
Pumpkin Festival, Laconia, New Hampshire

When Andy and I first met, we were always at dance events over Halloween weekends. Once we married and all our money went into our wedding, however, we stayed home. Sort of.

The night before Halloween, I pounced on Andy the minute he walked in the door from work. “C’mon, c’mon! Let’s go!”

“Huh? What? Where?”

“The pumpkin patch!”


“For an orangutan, of course.” Continue reading If It Were Not For Pumpkins (#89)

Midnight Caller (#88)


I’m a light sleeper. This is a great trait for fending off nocturnal predators. As there are no leopards in Los Angeles, waking at the slightest noise is now merely useful for moving a cat before it pukes on your new rug at 3 AM. Continue reading Midnight Caller (#88)

Gifting East: Part II…Because Part I Was, in Fact, a Fail (#87)


After much prodding, Andy finally read my post on the difficulty of getting his mother a present. He snickered, told me it was funny, and asked when I was going to write Part II.

I said, “What? There’s no Part II. I win. End of story.”

Andy said, “Not exactly.” Continue reading Gifting East: Part II…Because Part I Was, in Fact, a Fail (#87)

Gifting East (#86)


I’ve seen quite a few blogs about the pitfalls of intercultural gift-giving. One Chinese-Canadian woman overwhelmed her new boyfriend’s parents with “over-the-top” gifts. Western blogger Ruby Ronin nearly drowned in food and red envelopes from the parents of various Asian boyfriends.

Meanwhile, I lived in a veritable gift vacuum. I received NO RED ENVELOPES from Andy’s Chinese-born parents. Continue reading Gifting East (#86)

Seasonal Differences (#85)

I would bottle autumn if I could.
I would bottle autumn if I could.

I love this time of year. I always have, even when it meant summer was over and school was starting. Or maybe it was because summer was over and school was starting. Summer in D.C. is hideous. 90-100 degrees, with 95% humidity. The city feels like a swamp, possibly because it was built on a swamp. (Part of Thomas Jefferson’s master plan to keep the central government from governing as much a possible. Pre-Presidential Jefferson would be considered a Libertarian by today’s standards.) Continue reading Seasonal Differences (#85)