October 31st, 2007


Happy Halloween

to all who celebrate, in one fashion or another.

I love Halloween, always have. When I was a kid in North Dakota, it was well into winter by Halloween. We had to have costumes that fit over our snowsuits, so we were always ghosts :-). When we moved to Connecticut, costumes got more variable. Today I'm sitting at work with light up jack-o-lantern earrings, but otherwise dressed professionally.

My best costume was also my most uncomfortable one. Once, in high school, I had a Halloween party and dressed as the Invisible Man. I wore my brother's clothes and gloves and my father (who was a doctor) bandaged my head. It looked great but of course it was hot and moist and I couldn't eat or drink very easily.

I decorate for Halloween every year. I've got a glow-in-the-dark skeleton hanging at the top of my stairs, assorted Halloween stuff on the walls and hanging from the ceiling, pumpkins and gourds in decorative bowls, a Halloween doormat outside. I try to take the decorations down by Thanksgiving.

In my neighborhood there isn't really residential trick-or-treating, but all the stores on Seventh Avenue (the main drag) have costumed employees giving out little treats. Adults and kids dress up and go from store to store and you see everyone you've ever known as you go up and down the avenue. And then at 7:00 pm there's a parade. It was all huge fun when my kids were little.

I'm taking a class on Wednesday nights and we take turns bringing snacks so I signed up for today. I have assorted Halloween treats to bring, and will also bring a big bowl of apples and another of popcorn, for those not wanting sugar.

Sometimes I'm Embarrassingly Geeky

So Zara's bat mitzvah is next spring and I'm busy making arrangements. The caterer asked me to estimate the number of guests - adults and children.

What did I do? I put together a spreadsheet, of course. Each row has a potential invitee or invitee family. The columns are: Name, # of Adults in Party, # of Children in Party, Category of Guest (e.g. my family, S's family, Zara's friends, etc) and my estimate of the probability they'll be there. Then, of course, I had it multiply that probability by the number of guests in each age group to get a total.

The books say to take your guest list and figure 80% come. I think my way is better, if perhaps excessively geeky.