One Halloween evening, when I was a restless 25-year-old living with and off my parents (in other words, a college graduate with a worthless degree in English Literature), I had the opportunity to play a trick on my mother -- three times.
Lori Curley: It was just before dusk, about 5:30. My brother (also unemployed and over-educated) and I were watching the news under a blanket. It may have been about 50 degrees in the house, which is not that cold, but we were used to the unchecked dorm temperatures and had become thin-blooded. I mention this detail about the blanket because it becomes important to the story later on.
Mom was in the kitchen ignoring us. I am not sure what she was doing -- dishes, maybe -- but she had readied the house for the trick-or-treaters by placing a bowl of candy on a table near the front door, and we could see it from where we sat. It was the typical fare of Hershey's, Reese's, and M&M's -- and we wanted some.
But, we thought, wouldn't it be more fun to ring the bell than to just grab it? So we put that blanket -- remember the blanket? -- over our heads and found our way to the other side of the front door.
Also critical to the story is my mother. At the time, she was teaching at a nursery school where she was enormously popular because of her high level of enthusiasm. She could get excited about anything -- a hair ribbon, a missing tooth, or a blob of paint. She did all of her reacting in a voice so sweet and sing-songy that it made Mickey Mouse seem bored.
So, there we were outside the house under the blanket ringing the doorbell. Together under this pink wool blanket, we stood about 6' tall and 3' wide. Now remember her voice, because when she heard the doorbell, she began scurrying toward us, saying "Someone's here! I hear trick-or-treaters ..." Then she opened the door, and still very sweetly, continued: "Who's this? Oh, you are a big one -- aren't you?"
When she recognized the blanket, her voice dropped three octaves to "Oh, sh*t, it's you two!" and slammed the door.
For some reason, we were able to do this to her three times in a row. Three times, she came to the door squeaking "Who's there?" -- then "Sh*t!" and slammed the door. I suppose the real fun was making sweet, old Mrs. Curley say "sh*t" in public.
|Lori Curley, champion mother of two middle-school teenagers, resides in South Orange, NJ. She holds a Masters in Education and has been teaching writing at the college level for 7 years. But can she find a job as a high school English teacher? Or will she pull her hair out first?|