Halloween Household

Halloween decorations and costumes started appearing in stores sometime after Easter, but I’ve been living in a household filled with Halloween happenings for a long time. Spend a day with me, and see if you don’t agree.

Every morning I take Charlie the puggle for a walk. At 6 a.m. We started this little tradition in the summertime, I guess. Normally, Charlie drags me around our route, stopping occasionally to leave a little pee-mail on anything upright — trees, fence posts, lamp posts. He does notice things and will stop and alert me.

When Charlie stops and looks at something, he’s warning me. I think his eyesight must be going, because now he’s starting to look at shadows of things, and things that aren’t there. If I cough or scuff my shoe, he startles. And a few times, Charlie has walked behind me.

Charlie isn’t the only one spooked. One day last week, he must have come within a foot of a rabbit crouched on the boulevard. The critter must have been sleeping. Charlie doesn’t usually get that close before the rabbits take off. And we have lots of rabbits in the neighborhood.

When I take my shower in the morning, the cap to my shampoo is already open. Strange. Oh, wait. It must be my husband who’s discovered that my shampoo is really nice. I can’t tell you what it is. I was testing it for a company that sent it to me for my opinion. There’s no label on it, besides the label put there by the survey company, so I don’t know what brand the shampoo is.

Can you see me looking for that shampoo at Wal-Mart? There I am, opening every single brand of shampoo to see if it has the same color and fragrance as what I’ve been using. And the more I look, the more confused I become. And who’s to say that the survey company didn’t add another color or change the fragrance after I tested it?

As I pick out my ensemble for the day, I try on garments with trepidation. What will fit today? I recently changed over my closet from summer to winter, putting all my bikinis and sun dresses in bins. (Right….) Sometimes those winter clothes shrink over the summer. I’ve been told that this phenomenon is rather common. Other women I know have confirmed it. Surprisingly, there’s no fringe organization that’s looking into this.

I go into the kitchen to pack my lunch for the day. The microwave starts on its own, cooking nothing but the air and the bits of cheese left on the turntable. I pull the plug on the mysterious machine, vowing to replace it one day. It’s been doing this ever since we inherited it from our daughter’s fiancé. No clue why it happens. I just don’t leave it plugged in anymore. I’d rather risk a little inconvenience than start a fire.

I peek into the freezer for one of my frozen dinners. I pluck one out and vow to clean the refrigerator when I get home. It smells suspicious. Our fridge can be Purgatory for leftovers. And nothing is ever rotated. The oldest stuff will be lurking in the back, covered in furry stuff or sloshing around in stinky goo. And if the container is a butter bowl or a whipped cream bowl, the whole works is tossed — no questions asked.

And then the fridge is clean for another decade. Sometimes I actually remember to take leftovers with me to work, but who wants to eat the same thing for lunch that you had at supper the night before? Reruns should be limited to television. Besides, I know three spoiled mutts who would be more than happy to take those leftovers off our hands. Why do you suppose they linger around the toddler in the high chair at meal time?

My final gauntlet to be run is the garage door. I’m so lucky to have a garage in which to park my car. I don’t have to scrape the windshield on frosty mornings; I don’t have to worry about my car starting. I just have to wonder whether the electric garage door will close after I back out.

One morning it was a game. I closed the door with the remote, the door came down, and then went back up. This has been happening off and on for a long time. No, it’s not the sensors on the side of the door. This door has no sensors. My husband has adjusted the chains on the darn thing, and he has adjusted something else on the electrical unit. No change.

I click the remote, the door goes down, and then it comes up again. A few times, I’ve had to resort to brute force — holding the door handle so it wouldn’t pop up again. I changed the batteries in my remote, thinking the old batteries were possessed. Russian Roulette with my remote was over!

Ha! A few days ago, I was just shifting into drive when I noticed the garage door opening again. I tried the remote, using a right-click instead of a left-click. The door shambled down into place and stopped.

Darn. I’ve been waiting for a warm day to clean out the garage. Maybe the door knows something I don’t. Maybe there’s something in the garage that wants to stay.