Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My Mom has been known to tell me, in her kind - motherly - way, "Dear, you are just being a little too intense." It's a politically correct substitute for the following adjectives: out-of-control, overly dramatic, angry, tyrannical, perfectionistic, exaggerative (not the deceitful type - but more so that I take situations to mean more than they really do).

As much as I hate to admit it, oh boy, is she right.
Case in point:
Halloween night.

We all happily headed out trick-or-treating. In an effort to not be just another house with their porch lights turned OFF, I left my lovely woven pumpkin basket stuffed with candy on the porch with the lights on for fellow trick-or-treaters. It just didn't feel right to go around the neighborhood begging for candy without returning the favor. Even if that did mean that the little ghouls would be shoveling more than one piece into their sacks. Happy Halloween, world. Good world, full of happy children parading down the streets in a safe and sound neighborhood.

Later at Gigi's spookfest party, Lily came up and explained that she had a bad tummy-ache. She was pale, and obviously about to vomit. I sat with her on the floor of the bathroom, waiting. I began to panic....is this the candy poisoning discussed in my third grade Halloween safety pamplet? I didn't check the wrapper before she ate candy? Is it cyanide...cyanide is lethal?! Maybe we should call the cops. Or rush to the emergency room. Why wait? Why wait for her to begin vomiting and convulsing with her eyes rolling into the back of her head before we take her to a doctor, only to be told if we had only caught it sooner she may have survived?!!?!
She tooted (we don't say "fart" in our house - we're what you might call a "classy" bunch) a couple of times and explained she felt much better. That was the end of that.

We arrived home later to find that the trick-or-treaters had not only taken all of the candy, but stolen my PRIZED PUMPKIN BASKET too, along with the rest of the pumpkins on our porch. I began lamenting to Tyler immediately, "I TRIED TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN...I TRIED TO BE A FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR...AND HOW DO I GET REPAID?!!! THEY STOLE MY PUMPKIN BASKET?!!! MY WONDERFUL WOVEN, BURNT ORANGE PUMPKIN BASKET!!!! IS THERE NO DECENCYYYYYYYY LEFT IN THIS WORLDDDDDDDDDDDD!? TAKE ALL THE REAL PUMPKINS, ALL THE CANDY - THAT IS FINE - BUT WHY MY BASKET?!!!"

It was 9pm, I was obviously a little tired. (Operating on what I call "mother time". When you are a mother your perspective on "late" hours and "dangerous" hours shifts dramatically. I used to feel like 1:30-2:30am marked the "late" hours of the night, the hours when bad things can happen. Now that hour begins somewhere around 8:30pm in the summer hours, and 7:15pm during winter. For example, since the daylight change, I begin feeling very afraid wheeling my cart out of a grocery store around 6:57pm.)

Tyler and I put the girls to bed and began watching a movie. I walked into the kitchen to grab a drink, when I heard something out our front window. I peered through the slats of our blinds, and saw a dark, black VW bug sitting in front of our neighbor's house with a teenage boy standing outside the passenger door. Down the street, a few other boys appeared to be throwing something at a house. This is it, I've had it. First, my daughter barely escapes being poisoned, then my pumpkins and pumpkin basket are STOLEN....and now my neigborhood's safety is threatened before my very eyes. It is 10:15pm, and under the cover of night our very own homes are now being compromised....

I'd like to claim that what happened next was a Halloween invasion of an evil spirit entering my body, but I fear I remember the details too vividly:

I threw open the door and marched out into the night. I halted and abruptly called out:

"Do you have my pumpkin?"

The boy turned around, facing me. He didn't say anything.

"You heard me. Do. You. Have. My. PUMPKIN.?"

If it wasn't so dark, I'm sure I would have seen a face of total bewilderment from the boy, looking at the crazy lady screaming accusingly about her pumpkins. The other boys down the street turned and started walking back towards their car, slowly. Angered at the lack of response, and the obvious vandalism I assumed was occurring, I began screaming:


"Get out of here! Get out of here! Get out of here!"

They continued their moderate pace back to their car. One boy finally broke their silence and simply muttered, "Whoa there, turbo."

"Oh yeah?! You wanna see turbo?.. wait till I get my GUN...YOU BIG BUNCH OF WUSSIES IN YOUR LITTLE BLACK BUG! GET OUT OF HERE!!!! GET OUT OF HERE!!"

And with that, they drove away. I returned to our bedroom where Tyler was still watching television (too far away from me to hear what was really going on). He asked what I was doing. I explained what had just occurred.

"Are you kidding me? You threatened a bunch of teenage boys with a gun?"

He was angry. Very angry.

"Well, um, ,yeah. But I wasn't really going to get it, and if I did I only planned on doing that little "chuck chuck" sound when you, you know, do that thing before you shoot it."

"See...this is what I mean! I CANNOT BELIEVE you threatened a GUN?! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW DANGEROUS THAT IS?! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE WORD IS FOR THE LITTLE "chuck chuck" SOUND...it's called PUMPING the gun!!!

"But I was angry and trying to keep the neighborhood safe."

"From a bunch of teenage boys at 10pm???!"

Uh oh. Oh no. He was right (and by default, once again - so was my Mother). Another classic case of me "overreacting". I went to the garage, got in my car and drove down the street to the house they were throwing stuff at. I shined my car lights and noticed toilet paper laced throughout their yard. Great, just great. Flippin fantastic. I had just unleashed all kinds of crazy on a bunch of poor kids toilet papering on Halloween for fun. They were probably Mormon too (as evidenced by their response to me that didn't include any swear words and the relatively early time at which the toilet papering was occurring - before the 11pm curfew when they'd return safely to their homes for a little of Mom's special Halloween rice crispy treats).

Oh, what have I done?!!!! I should have been encouraging them! Toilet papering is the perfect Mormon substitution for the male release of testosterone through underage drinking and illicit sex. I should have applauded them, and offered more pumpkins to smash. That's it boys, release the need for aggression and teen violence, smash those pumpkins! Release the toilet paper! Allow the paper to unroll all over the rooftop, eliminating your desires for non-virgin status...Release! Release!

I was upset. I still am. Tyler later noticed how upset I was over my behavior. He cut me a break and told me to forget about it and come watch the movie. But I can't. I wish I could find those boys. I wish I could apologize in person. I wish I wasn't so intense. I've got to stop flying off the handle.

I promise, I'm really going to work on it. In the meantime, does anyone know any teenage boys in the area who drive a black VW bug? If so, there is one sorrowful mother who would like to make them a big plate of Rice crispy treats and provide them with at least one perfect home to toilet paper.


Ian said...

Wow....does this include your brothers being exempt from your intense and tyrannical ways? Laughed pretty dern hard reading this.

Joan said...

I AM DYING!!! HA HA HA! OH HOW I LOVE YOUR INTENSITY! It's great entertainment :)

Steven and Wendy OBryant said...

oh my goodness - I laughed myself to tears reading this. You have such a skill for writing - I'd kill (with a little "chuck chuck" before firing the gun) to have your talent. :)

Daron and Jamee said...

Oh Rachel.
I don't know what to say, but I love ya!!! Every bit.


Daron and Jamee said...

P.S I think "racking the slide" would also be appropriate, as would "chambering a round".

I learned that from Daron.

Dan said...

Where did you get this intense, passionate streak? I can't seem to pinpoint it...

I'm getting closer...

Nope. Nothing.

Alexandra said...


auntie mal said...

so its not the Lloyd side we get this "intensity" from haha!

jenniferoharra said...

You are so funny! When I read this I was laughing so hard and called Shaun to tell him he had to read it. I know he would appreciate the part about you threatening to get your gun! Too funny!!

Sarah Hansen said...

Remember when you threw your discman at me? That's when I became aware of your intensity.