Steven and I have extremely different Halloween histories.
I came from a family where it wasn’t whether or not you were dressing up, but whether or not your costume would be better than both your sister’s and your previous year’s production.
We dress up, eat chili, go trick-or-treating if young enough or sly enough to convince the little brother to let you take him, and afterwards cover the living room floor with the night’s earnings, making categories and a filing system for more organized lending, trading and refinancing of Butterfingers, Snickers and the highly sought after Reeses – top of the market since 1989.
We also go to parties, decorate, carve pumpkins and watch scary movies. It is a full weekend of festivities.
Steven’s traditions are a little different. Mostly because he doesn’t have any.
This was our first issue. Our second was that we also have different friends, different costume expectations and different tolerance levels for candy corn.
Let the compromising begin.
I’m the first to admit that often I have bad judgement and poor taste, and this combination more than once has put me into less than ideal confrontations.
Which is what he reminded me of when I suggested we go as abused housewife and wife beater husband, PBR can and all.
So that was out. Obviously.
Steven’s friend and former band member was having a dress-up get-together, and many of his friends would be there. And probably a lot of chips and beer too.
A few of my friend’s had planned a harvest halloween party, where the theme was dress up and bring your favorite fall fare. Basically, where all halloween dreams come true.
After comparing start times, it was decided we could easily do both.
So we’re dressed to impressed and ready to leave when Steven gets word of a friend playing a show that same night. He argues that we can stop by for fifteen minutes and still not miss much of my party.
I say “okay” but what I mean is “I’ll go but I’ll be miserable and make you miserable too.” I thought it was obvious. Not so.
Once we arrive at the venue it doesn’t take long for him to realize I’m wearing my pouty pants and it’s not just part of my Margot look. Although it’s fitting.
The show starts late and Steven asks if I want to just leave and I put on my best martyr face and say “No. It’s fine.” What I am thinking is of course I want to leave and you don’t understand anything I say or think rather and I don’t feel pretty or loved and my whole world is crumbling. And I’m probably fat, too.
Once the music ends and we finally depart, Steven is confused why my hand is limp in his and my angsty costume seems more realistic. And I am resentful he doesn’t know already.
It’s because my yes meant no and my okay meant I hate this and the whole time we were at the show my smiles were fake and I wanted him to have known.
In reality, I gave him almost no clues that I was upset about the changed plans and unless he had dressed as a psychic and brought a crystal ball there was no way for him to figure my mood rollar coaster out.
To be honest, I haven’t even got it figured out. Good luck Steven.
There is still halloween hope yet.
He apologized anyway and thanked me for my patience. Ha. We ended up making it to both parties and everyone got enough candy corn.
This scary story does have a moral. Don’t expect your spouse to also be your shrink. Your inner evil thoughts will not suffice if you’re saying the opposite of what you mean. Speak up or let it go.
Lastly, compromising will save many a night and perhaps a marriage. I enjoyed half of my party with him more than I would’ve the whole of it without him.
And underneath all the makeup and costumes we are still in love after all and the world keeps spinning. Surprise.