When I’m anxious, I clean. And I don’t mean like I pick stuff up off the floor and move on. I mean I sterilize shit. I put on my Hazmat suit and bleach EVERYTHING. I get on my hands and knees and scrub every corner of my house with a toothbrush. I’m Danny Fucking Tanner.
I black out at The Container Store, come to, and every single thing in my home has its very own jar or box. I put cereal in clear containers and organize it alphabetically like a sociopath. Bobby pins are put into respective dishes from black to blonde.
Nothing is safe in our house. Family heirlooms are pitched. Anything that hasn’t been worn in the past three weeks is sent packing to Good Will. I am purging “stuff” in hopes to purge my anxiousness. I may have no control over my body or mind, but damnit I will have control over my home.
Side note: Through my quest for the ultimate organization, I discovered my husband owns 147 black t-shirts. Who’s the psychopath now?
This system worked like a charm. My house was in order, so my thoughts were in order. I found peace in tidiness. And then one day, without seeing it coming, our house was hit by tropical storm, Mickey Joy Shurina. Hurricane Mickey is relentless. She picks up energy and grows stronger by destroying everything in her path.
As I steam the kitchen floors, Hurricane Mickey follows closely behind, shaking and squeezing a juice box on the freshly polished hardwood. Once I stop, clean it up, see her smile and play with her doll, I think it’s safe to resume my crusade for cleanliness. And for a moment, there is peace, quiet and order. That’s when I realize I’m in the eye of the storm. I look up to see Hurricane Mickey has ripped off her diaper and there is now a babbling stream of urine coursing its way through our freshly shampooed living room carpet.
At that moment I realized what has been my outlet for so many years, was no longer an option. I needed to find some other way to distract myself during my two week wait. So I did what any other sane human would do. I logged into Pinterest to find myself a project.
I planned my wedding on Pinterest, so I was fully aware of the black hole it could easily suck you into, but I wasn’t going to fall victim to its trap. Feeling confident in my self control, I started to scroll. What happened next, completely caught me off guard.
I fell, nay I DOVE, head first into Halloween.
I’ve never been really into decorating for holidays. That’s more my husband’s thing. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. This year I was going to make it my mission to have the best decorated home in the neighborhood. My kid would have a Halloween costume for every single day of October. I would bake Funfetti cupcakes and make them look like monsters. I would finally learn the moves to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I would BE Halloween.
And so I began pinning. And pinning. And pinning. And pinning. At one point, in the wee hours of the morning, I swear I looked down and my feet had turned into tan Uggs and the mint tea I was sipping somehow transformed into a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I had drank the Pumpkin Spice Kool-Aid and was officially a member of the cult.
This basic bitch was about to make it rain Halloween on our house. I bought 13 sheets of Halloween window clings. I purchased 9 different sets of Halloween tea towels. I wish that number was an exaggeration, but I now have 18 fucking Halloween tea towels in my kitchen. I purchased every single pecan, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, maple, pumpkin spice candle ever known. I bought 20 small pumpkins and gourds to make the PERFECT centerpiece. (Clearly 20 was slightly overkill, so our house is now riddled with miniature pumpkins in every room.)
I made Michael bring the Halloween bin down from the attic on September 20th. We would be the FIRST house on the block to get this started. I took out all of our sugar skull decor and pranced around our house, throwing shit onto mantels, and tables like the fucking Halloween fairy.
Going through the costumes from last year I realized Mickey’s would clearly all be entirely too small. I jumped in the car and raced to the closest Spirit Halloween store and bought her every single 2T costume in the joint. I came home with a dinosaur, Wonder Woman, a bumble bee, a monster, Minnie Mouse, a skunk, a moose, and Yoda. This would make due until maybe the first or second week of October.
I coaxed her into her full-body dinosaur costume, by bribing her with the pumpkin shaped JELLO Jigglers I made that morning. Mickey was covered in sweat as it was 78 degrees and sunny on a September afternoon. It was time for her to learn that being comfortable isn’t what Halloween is about. It’s not about fun. It’s about being the BEST.
Last Friday Michael came home to Mickey, our poodle and golden doodle dressed as members of a heavy metal band. I was holding out a long curly wig and a bandana for him, with a look of pure psychosis in my eyes. Scared of my reaction, he quietly set his stuff down and put on the costume.
Finally after spending a cool $467 at Home Goods that Sunday, my husband the consummate shopper, finally felt it was time for an intervention. He chose his words, extremely carefully, and in the nicest way possible told me I was acting like a fucking lunatic. He explained to me that though it was great that I was getting into the holiday, this was supposed to be fun. And, spending our daughter’s entire college fund on metal pumpkins and witches wouldn’t change the fact that I was extremely hormonal and emotional about the outcome of my two week wait.
Most of the time I’m right; like 98 percent of the time. But, as hard as it was for me to admit, he had a point. Maybe I had taken it a little too far. No amount of candy corn or dancing Halloween Snoopy stuffed animals could mask my fear of having a failed embryo transfer.
I haven’t fully embraced the idea of actually dealing with anxious feelings rather than filling my time with Halloween nonsense, but I did promise to pump the breaks a little. Now instead of dressing my daughter up in character everyday, I’ve limited it to once or twice a week. I don’t light every single pumpkin scented candle in my home at the same time, making it smell like some sort of pumpkin pie hell.
And now instead of chugging my pumpkin spice latte, I sip it. And sometimes, I even allow myself to cry into it.