Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Oblivious Election Night 2016, and Calvin's Halloween

 When I was a child I hated Election Night because my parents (particularly my mother) would keep flipping the television channel away from Monty Python reruns to check the local ABC channel for polling location result updates scrolling across the bottom of the screen. It was incredibly frustrating to have her click away from British absurdity and fill the screen with a suited news-anchor in a studio talking about people I didn't know as a mid-90's computer graphic (usually blue) filled the bottom 1/3 of the screen with names and percentages.

As a young adult, I found it moderately more exciting, as I finally had a say in what was happening. I even got excited about some of the candidates.

Now, as an adult, I find myself sitting here on Election Night, avoiding social media and news sites, feeling my blood pressure rise just thinking about what happens if front-running Candidate A wins (nausea), and what happens if front-running Candidate B wins (nausea plus fear).* My Grand Plan is to go to sleep tonight without having seen any numbers and have one last rage-free evening and night's sleep before waking up to a new President. We'll see how that works. So far there have been two episodes of The Flash on Netflix, and some knitting and ice cream.

So we pretend that nothing is frightening and awful, and that tomorrow 50% of the country won't be in an angry rage, and we talk about happier things like silly discussions Liam and I have, and Calvin's second Halloween.

Last year was Calvin's first Halloween trick or treat. You might recall that he was a fluffy chicken, and that he got more and more upset at every house we went up to (all six of them) because we would go up and climb the steps to the front door and knock/ring the bell, but then not go inside, which confused his little toddler brain because that is what you do at doors, you go through them, and here we were going up to doors and not going through them. There was a feathery meltdown and we went home and considered six houses a roaring success. He was very adorable, and I ate the candy he had collected in his bucket.
This year was Calvin's second Halloween trick or treat, and it went much better. We went to 12 houses around our neighborhood (a very popular trick or treat neighborhood, even in this age of "trunk or treat", where about 250 children come to our door. This is down from 600 in our childhood, but many of those children then were from rural neighborhoods that now host trunk or treats in municipal parking lots), and Calvin very much enjoyed walking around among throngs of happy people, walking up to doors and mumbling "tssk n tick!" and choosing a brightly wrapped candy from a bucket (he doesn't know what candy is yet, but he likes bright shiny things), and chirping "t'nk you!" at the grinning neighbors. He was dressed as a panda, and we learned that apparently pandas are viewed as effeminate bears, because no less than four different people said that he was a "very cute little girl". I ate the candy he had collected in his bucket again.

And now for something completely different, several ridiculous conversations Liam and I have had lately:
Me: "LIAM. I found our new nightlight for Calvin's room!"
Liam: "Is it Captain America fighting Iron Man?"
Me: "No, it's a chubby cat!"
Liam: "Ah, that would have been my second guess."
Scene: grocery store baking/spices aisle
Liam: /thoughtful pause. "Should we regret purchasing brownie mix this week?"
To really imagine this, add a pinch of resignation at our own faults to his tone.

Also, we're painting the upstairs bathroom. This isn't particularly exciting to most people (it's Sherwin William's "Aloe," in case you're curious, and it's a really nice color), but it's really exciting to us because we've been in the house for a year and we're finally starting to feel like we're putting our mark on the decorating. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of seeing Pinterest ideas of bathrooms decorated with the paint color and now I'm totally unsatisfied with how my perfectly functional bathroom is decorated. I've got Home & Garden aspirations but a standard layout full bath and a Nope Can't Do That budget.

* Candidates C & D are disappearing quickly in the rear-view mirror, I assume. I purposefully haven't seen any voting results yet, and it's 9:30 p.m. as I write this. From Liam's grunts and carefully non-committal answers, as he tries to keep Election news from me at my request, I'm gathering that there is nothing really to be learned yet as West Coast states haven't closed their polls yet and no battleground/swing states have reported in yet.