Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkins!

"I got the pumpkins," I said lugging two orange gourds to the table.
"Okay," Mr Wonderful said looking up from his book.
"We're going to a carving party."
"Okay?"
"It's going to be fun!"
Silence.

As a kid, the best things about Halloween are dressing up and eating free candy. As an adult, the best things are: 1) Dressing up; 2) Eating free candy; and 3) Carving pumpkins!

Unfortunately, I was the only one in The House that thought so, which wasn't saying much since the only other person in the household was Mr. Wonderful.

"Remind me why people carve pumpkins," he said looking at the gourds as if they were foul-smelling skunks.
"It's tradition."
"Which doesn't make it right."
"Traditions are good."
"What about dressing in blackface?"

He did have a point. Some things that happened in the past should be left in the past. And people today should be smart enough to know what offensive things from the past should be forgotten and what good things from the past should be kept. Here's my short list: pumpkin carving should be remembered and celebrated.

Never having carved a pumpkin, Mr. Wonderful was not convinced. However through the power of promises of wine and free candy, I lured him to the carving party.

Our hostess provided homemade chili, carving tools and even patterns. She really outdid herself! While sipping wine and munching on candy, chips and salsa and that tasty chili, we hobnobbed with the other guests and learned that I had the most experience carving pumpkins. The reason was that my father had encouraged me to be good with a knife. Apparently he hoped I'd grow up to be a doctor, a surgeon or a ninja. Although I didn't choose a medical career, becoming a ninja is still a possibility.

Since I'd carved so many pumpkins in my day, I could carve the pumpkin of every person present in 6.6 seconds and bake the pumpkin seeds. I drew an outline on my orange globe and went to town on the carving. Meanwhile Mr. Wonderful cautiously picked up a pen and began to outline his pumpkin's face. While I cut delicate eyelashes into my pretty pumpkin's visage, he charged ahead carving his gourd with bold, Zorro-like strokes.

SWISH, SWISH, SWASH. I watched his face as he worked and it was covered in a broad smile.

"Let's see," I said before he spun his pumpkin toward us.
"Ooh!"
"Ahh!" Its fierce eyes, its toothy grin, everyone loved his carved pumpkin. In fact, his first try at carving was better than all the pumpkins I'd carved in my entire life--combined.  He was a natural with a knife.

As we left the party carrying our carved pumpkins I asked my spouse what he'd thought of the evening.
"It was fun," he said.
"Because it's a tradition worth keeping or you're actually a ninja in disguise?" He showed me the long blade of his knife and smiled.

My father would have been proud of him.