Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. While I've never been especially creative with costumes -- save the year my coworkers and I went to our company party as the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Prize Patrol -- the abundance of chocolate and other sugary sweets is enough to send me into rapture. Add our enthusiastic puppy tripping over herself to greet the dozens of smiling children at our door, and how could the day get any better?
The first Halloween after we were married in 2002 was a dud. We were preparing for our move from Michigan to St. Louis, living in married housing at MSU. I went to my parents' house for the evening, as DH was studying late at the library. Very few children came to the door, and the highlight of the night was when we ran out of candy and my brother gave the last trick-or-treater a pack of gum from the pantry, which we belatedly realized had two pieces missing.
When Halloween 2003 rolled around, we were once again in flux. We closed on our first home on October 24, and we were consumed with transitioning over from our apartment. I whined to DH that I was once again being robbed of fully enjoying the holiday. How sad to be without a pumpkin, I lamented. (Life was tough, what can I say.) While DH has learned to tune out most of my whining and lamenting -- for the betterment of our marriage -- he was apparently feeling indulgent and decided to get a pumpkin for his ever-suffering wife.
Unbeknownst to me, DH left the office early that Halloween in search of our first pumpkin as a couple. Any of you familiar with his ambitious work schedule will understand the significance of that. What he underestimated, however, was the difficulty of finding a pumpkin at 3 pm on October 31. He went to store after store, coming up empty each time. Eventually he found himself at Sam's Club. Seeing no pumpkins and realizing that time was running out, he decided to cut his losses and employ some creativity. He shamelessly stood in line at Sam's, among customers with their overflowing carts, holding a single honeydew melon in his arms. The cashier eyed him curiously and ventured, "So... you just had to have a honeydew, huh?" When DH shared his intention, the cashier laughed approvingly and called over another clerk to hear the plan.
When I came home from work, I was greeted by the sweetest sight: a honeydew melon carved in jack-o-lantern style on the kitchen table with a note from DH, wishing me a happy Halloween. Of course, I was touched. We put Jack O'Melon on the porch of our new home, complete with glowing candle, under the risk of being immediately ostracized by our neighbors. Fortunately, Jack and DH and I received a warm reception. Children inquired if ours was a glow-in-the-dark pumpkin, due to the greenish hue, and mothers and fathers chuckled at DH's resourcefulness. A tradition was born. Jack O'Melon welcomes our trick-or-treaters each year, with neighbors sharing their anticipation and appreciation as they come to the door.
So what exactly does a Jack O'Melon look like? Just how you'd expect, of course.
And despite another busy Halloween, DH has promised to make Jack O'Melon 2007. The neighbors would surely be disappointed if he didn't, and we do want to leave on good terms. Please feel free to adopt Jack O'Melon in your own house, as we would be honored to spread joy and happiness through honeydew. I really think it could catch on.
Happy Halloween everyone!!