I’m an introvert. If I followed my natural tendencies, I would do all my shopping online, see new movies only after they’d come out on DirecTv, and quit my job to become a professional reader, (if that’s not a thing, please don’t tell me).
After living half my life with the belief that I couldn’t/shouldn’t change this aspect of myself, I realized it was getting worse, and I needed to make changes for the sake of the life I want to live.
So I have pushed myself, just a little at a time, to be more social. Unfortunately, it is such slow progress that if I live to 100, I will still likely struggle. But hey, I wave to my neighbors at least 50 % of the time now, so…PROGRESS!
This year I am confronting one of my most feared social situations- Halloween. I mean, who likes people knocking on their door? And it’s happening at night, the guests often yell demands at you when you open the door, and then there’s our dogs…oh how the dogs love Halloween and all the doorbell ringing.
I decided to decorate for Halloween, with a few things inside, and enough outside festooning to indicate to all passerbys that the family inside is open for visitors. I set a budget of $30, because I am only working part-time while I go to school, loaded the troops, (my daughters and the neighbor friend), and set off for the Dollar Tree.
The Dollar Tree had a lot of cute things, so we bought:
* 5 orange styrofoam pumpkins
* a wire wreath
* black and wine-colored roses with eyeballs inside (my favorite- so weird but strangely pretty)
* 2 spider and 2 pumpkin votive candle holders
* a skull (Stella had to have it?!)
* a pack of matte black foam spiders, and a pack of sparkly foam spiders
* a pack of foam ghosts
* a pack of sparkly foam skulls
* 2 packs of googly eyes
* spiderwebs for the bushes outside
* 2 sparkly spiders the size of my hand
* sheer black ribbon with gold glitter spiderwebs
* clings for the windows
* rectangular sign that says, “The Fly By Night Club”, which is so cute I may keep up year-round
= Just under $33
When we got home, we cleared off the kitchen table, which is perpetually covered in clutter, and spread out a vinyl tablecloth we have that protects against the many spills that epicly happen. We decided to paint the styrofoam pumpkins first, so they could dry while we did other things, and then we would go back and bedazzle them. Halfway through the process, Miles came in from playing outside because his asthma was acting up, so he sat down and painted a pumpkin, and helped from that point.
After the pumpkins were painted and put on disposable plates to dry, the kids placed the window clings on our sliding glass doors in the kitchen, that lead to the backyard. Those had a problem adhering, but we swiped some water on the back, which fixed the problem.
Then we glued googly eyes to all the styrofoam spiders, ghosts, and skulls, and hole punched most of them so they could be hung up with string. We hung spiders from the tree in the front, and from the basketball net (which ended up terrifying our friend Emily later that night, so mission accomplished!), and hung the ghosts all along the perimeter of the roof that borders the porch. Once inside, we hung ghosts and skulls in the windows, and used Scotch tape to affix the sparkly spiders to the railing above the stairs. We draped the spiderweb netting all over the bushes in the front, which was the biggest pain, and I wasn’t super impressed with the effect, so I doubt I’ll buy that again.
Then I worked on the wreath, starting with wrapping the wire wreath frame with the black and gold ribbon. I pulled the roses off the stems, and hot glue-gunned them to the wreath. Lastly I bejeweled some spiders and glued those to the wreath too.
The final project was to decorate the pumpkins, and that was super fun. I made a face, because I’m so original, Kahlen (next-door neighbor) made a confetti pumpkin, Abigail decorated with pearls, Miles made a frowny face pumpkin, and Stella, who had the coolest ombre paint job left hers alone. Instead, Stella turned her attention to the skull she bought, painting it red, and sticking googly eyes into the eye sockets, and pearls where ears would be, to get a Frankenstein effect.
The following two days after we got the outside decorated, it rained cats and dogs, and was ridiculously windy. The styrofoam pieces hung along the porch held up well, though, and it is clear from the sidewalk that we are taking this holiday seriously! To finish out my plan for pushing out of my comfort cave, I’ll work on a costume, and be ready to pass out candy, come October 31st!