In honor of Halloween, I wanted to share my favorite memory of this holiday, one that definitely was a treat, not a trick. Nope, it’s not my award-winning “non-creative” costume. This one happened when I was in junior high and with my best friend, the recipient of my imagination all those many years ago.
I was at my friend’s house along with another of our elementary school friends, and we were there to carve pumpkins.
Both of my friends turned out to be some sort of pumpkin-carving savants. Their pumpkin faces had delicate curves for eyes and the cutest mouth expressions. Keep in mind, these were the days before specialized pumpkin cutting equipment. We were using kitchen knives.
Mine had roughly cut triangular eyes that were different sizes and only aspired to line up. I cut one of the teeth wrong so it was barely hanging on. I also evidently had not cleaned the strings out sufficiently, because they were coming out of all the orifices. This was not in the cute puking pumpkin tradition that has started up recently. This was simply a 12-year-old who’d never had to clean out her own pumpkin before and had gotten bored before getting done.
We weren’t watching each other carve, each of us in our zones … thinking back it was probably to keep pre-teens with knives far enough away from each other to reduce the risk of accidental injury … and when we turned them around for the grand reveal, I had to fight back tears. I’d worked so hard on that pumpkin. My heart and soul went into it, but in comparison it sucked. REALLY SUCKED. It’s value feel dramatically in my head.
My friend’s dad was the judge of our pumpkin carving contest. He came out and spent a great deal of time inspecting each entry. He then stepped back and admired them from a distance. I was standing there just wanting this agony to be over.
He finally made a little speech saying that from the pile of pumpkin guts and flesh cut outs in the middle of the table, he could tell that we all worked really hard. He then explained that the whole point of Halloween was to be scary – this was a day for ghosts and goblins. While highly artistic, two of the entries really did not fit with the spirit of this holiday. The only one is scary enough to be the winner is … Tammy’s!
I was so excited!!!!!!!!! We all knew it was a pity judgement, but my friends were good sports about it, and I was ecstatic! We then all sat down and ate cookies.
The kindness of my friend’s dad made the whole situation okay for me. I proudly brought my pumpkin home.
What acts of kindness have you experienced, either as the giver or receiver? or What is your favorite Halloween memory?