Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Treat? Stepford Style

Halloween in Stepford was, um, let’s say … interesting. My husband seriously “frowned” upon my planned Sarah Palin costume. I mean seriously frowned. I haven’t been happily married for over twenty years because I make a habit of doing things he seriously frowns upon. I’ve drawn the line a few times, but he’s a pretty reasonable guy so I acquiesced ... within reason.

My husband called from the car to tell me he was twenty minutes out just as my daughter—the Devil—and I were leaving the house. I told him “no worries,” that we would still be only a few houses down when he arrived, because I knew we’d spend at least some time chatting with the neighbors who had gathered out in front of their homes at the end of our street. Since my Palin costume was vetoed, I decided I would go as an understated Yellow Dog Democrat. I wore my new chocolate brown Obama ’08 t-shirt, my husband’s favorite jeans that might, truth be told, be a half size too small, and of course, I put our beautiful yellow lab on his leash to take him with us.

We stopped at our next-door neighbor’s house first. I like these people. They are kind and friendly and sweet to my kids. I view them as “Good Republicans.” I stopped to speak to the man while the Devil skipped up the sidewalk to get candy from the wife. The man says, very kindly, “Well, I had been wondering if you were the one who took your Obama sign down because you had come to your senses, but I can see that may not be the case.” I laughed and said, “No, my Obama sign was taken from me and I am, indeed, still an Obama girl.” He laughed and we moved on. Just as we were crossing the street, my husband’s mid-life convertible sports car pulled up in front of our house. Our eyes met and he gave me his “Seriously?” look. I beamed. He smiled a bit, in spite of himself.

Things were going well when two streets and fifteen minutes later, who does the Devil spy with her little eyes, but Sarah Palin. Not my version of Palin either ... the “I seriously want to be Sarah Palin” version. The Stepford Wife version. The Devil, bless her little soul, ran right up to Sarah and said, “Sarah! Look at my mom!” My husband shot me a look that needed no words. I was to play nice for the Devil. Sometimes having kids is very damned inconvenient.

So Sarah looks at me and I can see it in her eyes—she thinks I’m not for real. How stupid can you be? I knew immediately she was not a Tina Fey version of Palin. So Sarah grabs her dad, who has a very expensive looking camera, and says “Hey dad, get a picture of me and the Obama supporter,” and when she says “Obama supporter,” she uses air quotes. Yes, air quotes. You know the very same air quotes McCain used in the third debate when he mocked the health of the mother when discussing a woman’s right to choose?

At this point, I’m just trying to breathe. Sarah bounces over to me and purposely places herself on my right side while saying something to the effect of “I’ll let you stand on the left.” Sarah’s dad says, “Smile! This may be in the paper tomorrow!” Sarah says, “Wait! Let’s hold up peace signs together in a show unity.” I said as quietly and seriously as I could, “I don’t think I can do that.” The camera flashed and Sarah looked at me and said, “You’re for real?” I said, avoiding my husband’s eyes “Yes. Are you?” She said in a cheerleady voice, “Yes! Vote McCain!” And off she bounced. Good Lord. Even in Stepford this was almost too much.

The Devil was highly amused by the whole exchange, so at least I had apparently done my motherly duty. However, my husband indicated that I had been subtly “rude.” I let him know that I had all but been assaulted by Sarah, and that under the circumstances, he should be at least relieved, if not happy with my behavior. I brooded over this for the next two streets. Pouted about it actually. Thought about throwing a full-blown temper tantrum about it once the Devil was tucked into bed. And then something happened that made it all okay. As we neared the end of our trick or treating route, we came upon a home with an Obama ’08 sign in the yard.

The Devil all but danced to the doorway to ring the bell while my husband, the dog, and I waited on the sidewalk. When the lady opened the door, the Devil yelled, “TRICK OR TREAT! YOUR OBAMA SIGN ROCKS!” The lady looked up from the Devil and saw me. She smiled, waved, and held up the peace sign. I returned the favor.

I think my little Devil rocks as well.

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