Pumpkins and authenticity

We bought pumpkins the other day. The idea was to make jack o’ lanterns* and, you know, celebrate fall.

I know that there are people, and by people I mean adults, who are freakishly in to Halloween. Apparently, many of these people live in my corner of the burbs. There is lawn after lawn covered in plastic Halloween decorations.

At our house, we just have these pumpkins:




You will note that only one pumpkin is carved, and there are four of us in the house. That is because we only bought three for decorating, as Dad wasn’t that into it. My pumpkin, stage left, is uncarved because I want to do something like this to it:


This is from Martha, of course. I wanted to do a spider or something. Not a monogram. But you get the idea.

However, I don’t have the right tools and I haven’t come up with any decent tool substitutes (potato peeler? too flat). This is so me, to overreach on a project and then leave it half done for a while. (See also, laundry.) I don’t know if I’ll figure out a way to make the pumpkin the way I want, or if I’ll just compromise and carve it the regular way, or if I won’t do anything at all.

Not do anything at all, you say? Well, that would be the pumpkin stage right. That is my step-son’s pumpkin. We were all on the porch working on digging out seeds, and when he came out, he said that pumpkin innards were sticky and gross and he wasn’t going to touch it. He’s eleven. That’s how eleven-year-olds roll sometimes. He’s well within his rights, in my opinion. He doesn’t want to make a jack o’ lantern, that is totally fine. A pumpkin in and of itself is still nice to look at. Ahem.

I know there are parents who would have been either a) pissed or b) disappointed that this kid didn’t want to carve a pumpkin. I think this has more to do with the North American Fetishization of Childhood Disorder (NAFCD) than anything else. I will write more about this disorder another day.

Please note the awesomeness of Bee’s pumpkin. She drew the design and Dad carved it. It really does look kind of freaky and scary, just like it should.

So, on our porch, we have a pumpkin representation of our family as it really is:

One motivated six-year old with an artistic bent and the ability to finish projects,

One slacker step-mom with overreaching tendencies,

One fastidious eleven year old,

One dad who feels no need to carve a pumpkin unless it’s for a kid.


*just as an etymological geek aside – does that o’ stand for “of”? jack of lanterns? Time to bust out the OED.


5 Responses to Pumpkins and authenticity

  1. bryan says:

    Great post. I like the NAFCD and would love to hear more about that. Very funny.

  2. shauna says:

    you are hilarious! I love how Bunkis is standing amongst the pumpkins as the representation of your psych patient pets:) represent!

  3. reallifeinsc says:

    I would definitely pick out a project like the one you did and never get around to it because I didn’t have the right tools…I’m such a perfectionist! But I hope you try it…and then post a pic. It looks like fun!

  4. CJ says:

    Here’s a really unique website about carving pumpkins. http://www.pumpkingutter.com/

  5. Loved your pumpkin story. I am a real life Martha and know my stuff will never look like the real martha. I may have attempted to do something with my pumpkins, but usually just set them out, but they were stolen from my porch. We will have to get more as we usually dump them from the car (in an empty lot) after Thanksgiving.
    You may like my 19 min to a clean house (also have a 11 yr old and 6 yr old) or new diet.
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha

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