I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY!!!
Not in like an adorable ‘she’s so happy, that’s so precious’ way, but in like the ‘that chick is insane, let’s go with the madness rather than get trampled by her excitement’ kind of way. But to be fair, it’s a family sickness. Everyone in my family gets a week-long celebration. My holiday is called Tracy-Palooza, my sister’s is called Nori-Stock (her name is Lauren but I couldn’t pronounce that when I was a kid so I said Nori, hence Nori-Stock. Don’t over think it, it’s adorable). And then my brother’s holiday is Sean-ukkah, which is fantastic bc his birthday is in December.
So what does a week long celebration entail? Answer: whatever I want! I get super demanding and try to get every ounce of celebration I can out of the week. Things kick off officially with opening ceremonies the weekend before, and then closing ceremonies exactly a week later.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning, back before the magic happened. My mom, already a mother of two and ready to just be done making human beings, was great with child during the month of October. My mom hates Halloween. She prayed and prayed that I would be born on any day other than the 31st. Re-read that sentence, I’ll wait. Do you understand how much a woman would have to absolutely abhor a holiday that at 9-months-uncomfortable she would actually pray to be pregnant longer? That’s how she felt and still mostly feels. Little did she know that her newest child was going to be a rebellious jerk and come exactly in the middle of the day she hated most. And the magic began!
My brother Sean was away, being distracted to the horror taking place in his home. That’s right, I was born at home. And my mom did it with no drugs. Pictured below, my mother:
So Sean returned home and they showed him his new little sister.
And his response-verbatim-“Does this mean I don’t get to go Trick-or-Treating?”
But I love my birthday so much! It’s an unhealthy level of love really. You have no idea how much fun it is to be born on Halloween. There is always something amazing to do, and the best part is that you get to spend the entire day in costume! Always wanted to be a princess or an astronaut? Congrats, here’s your day to be whatever you want and nobody will judge you. You’re welcome!
And oh, the costumes are great. Here are just the past few years:
Rosie the Riveter
Oscar the Grouch
Lumberjack—from Monty Python:
Nun—this one was in honor of my last year at Bible College. It felt appropriate.
And since we’re going down memory lane, check out the pumpkins I am ridiculously proud of from the past few years:
And thus we begin Tracy-Palooza 2013
Opening ceremonies this year were held in Grover, NC- a town that absolutely nobody has ever heard of. It was the sort of midway point to meet 2 of my favorite people in the world who live in the wrong Carolina. Grover is also home to a somewhat new Fall Festival, which is creatively named The Grover Pumpkin Festival. To sum it up: it was weird. The festival itself was really fun and had a cute Stars Hollow type charm but the people were unbelievably weird. Clearly we were the first outsiders to enter this town in 20 years because the natives just stared at us all day long. You may think that last sentence is an exaggeration, but it is in fact not. From the moment we sat down to lunch at the only restaurant in town we were being observed. No joke, the tables all around us at the restaurant cleared out and the other packed side of the restaurant watched us like we were in a fish tank. Later we sat on the museum porch to rest and people walked by staring and pointing like we were an exhibit. C-R-E-E-P-Y.
So what were these people of Grover like? Let me make a blanket description based on one woman I saw. This particular woman, decked out in camo and stretch pants living up to their name, sat eating a heaping plate of BBQ and every side dish available. An opening came up at the pie eating contest so she put down her plate, went and ate an entire pie, and then came back to finish her food. That is a fair cross sample of the town.
But we carved pumpkins and went through the corn maze, yada yada yada. It was actually really fun. And then we decided to leave before the locals stoned us, and as we were leaving the town and all of the people vanished, and then an old man limped out of the woods and said, “Grover? That town burned down 10 years ago and there were no survivors”. Okay, I’m kidding about that last part, but that’s sort of the vibe the town gave off.
Sunday was a low-key day. I slept off the previous days exhaustion and watched the original Carrie. Have you ever seen Carrie? It’s basically about a girl getting her period and then killing everybody. Women everywhere can relate-Satan’a sacrificial waterfall:
But I will confess, the last scene totally made me jump.
Day 3 & Day 4-Monday & Tuesday
The strangest thing happened Monday. I actually had to go back to work. I had just assumed that work and the post office would be closed to observe the holiday.
The original plan for Day 3 was a haunted house but apparently I am the only person in the world who enjoys them. I know this because my group of 7 slowly dwindled until everybody backed out. That magically happens every year. Wow, what a coincidence. One person manned up and confessed that he didn’t like Haunted Houses, everybody else came up with excuses, a few of which were true. I love haunted houses. If we had gone, it would have gone something like this:
Oh well, next year. So Plan B, since I was ready to be scared but no longer wanted to see people, was watching Rosemary’s Baby. It’s a classic tale: girl meets boy—boy meets Satanists—boy drugs girl—girl gives birth to Antichrist.
Tuesday/Day 4 was costume prep. Costumes are really important to me and mine are always homemade bc I’m a pre-Pinterest crafter. That’s what happens when you grow up without money, you develop these things called “skills”. On Halloween I have to up my game bc my sister and I wear costumes all the time, like for every celebration we can, year round. Sometimes we just wear costumes bc it’s Tuesday. Therefore Halloween needs to be extra special. I have to win—-yes I understand it’s not a competition but this is my crazy and to me you’re trying to outdo my carefully constructed costume. Yeah, it’s a totally unhealthy view…but I’m coming for you. It’s my mental illness and I’m not doing anything to fix it. Pretty set in my ways at this point.
Day 4 was also the day I got my care package from my sister and nephew Mason all the way from Oklahoma. I can only assume they mailed it several months ago bc the stagecoach takes a while to journey to the pony express where the telegraphs get sent. But it was so sweet. They sent me Twizzlers again, and when I asked why those are always included my sister informed me that every time Mason sees a pack of Twizzlers he tells her they need to get them for me because I NEED them. That’s adorable. Then he got on the phone to ask me if I have any Goldfish at my house. When I said no he answered with, “I’ll send you some on Tuesday.” Yeah, he’s 3 and he takes care of me.
Birthday-eve folks. Tomorrow is the big day, which makes today prep day. It’s also small group night with my group from church, the greatest group of people you will ever behold.
My night to cook so it’s pre-game comfort food in the form of homemade chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese. This also serves as a palette cleanser for the eating marathon that will take place tomorrow. Seriously, I have people taking me out for every meal, because TracyPalooza is a time of celebrating and giving to your local Tracy. Then there’s also the candy that you are REQUIRED to eat on Halloween. Really, its a requirement. November 1st that candy in the orange pumpkin wrapper will be sad. So tonight we take it easy with the soup so tomorrow we can over eat like an American.
Day 6-Thursday THE MAIN EVENT!!!
People at my work don’t dress up for Halloween. Watch as I’m the first person to come in costume and make everyone uncomfortable. I started out with a semi-costume, or “costume-light” as I like to call it.
Every day should involve dressing up like the dark night, just in case the need arrives to fight crime I’m already properly attired. Superman has to go change in a phone booth like a chump…I’m already good to go.
I could go in to the details of the day, but I know you don’t care, so let’s move on to the good stuff…
Because then I changed into the official costume of TracyPalooza 2013.
Funshine Bear, the brightest of the Care Bears (also a crime fighters in their own right—Care Bear Stare, am I right?) I wish I could say that I had the best costume ever, but I’m afraid that honor might have been snagged by Sir Patrick Stewart. He may have just officially won Halloween.
At work they hosted a haunted trail for the residents we serve…I say “haunted” but I guess that’s relative since there was a bright yellow Care Bear skipping through it.
Followed that up with family dinner at Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant I only eat at once a year when I don’t have to pay. Enter mom and Sam, the cutest couple in existence.
See them above, photographed under the eye of Mordor. My family is just awesome. Now, keep in mind that at this dinner I am still dressed like a Care Bear. The hostess, so enamored of my costume, sat me smack in the middle of the restaurant where it could be enjoyed by everybody, particularly a very unhappy woman across from me who scowled like I had slashed her tires on the way in. Suck it grumpy pants, it’s my day.
The night closed out with The Myers House. This is an exact replica of the Michael Myers house from Halloween…and it’s awesome.
And it’s in Hillsborough, NC of all places. Nothing is in Hillsborough; trust me on that, I’ve lived there since I was 4. But now we have this marvelously creepy attraction. I’ve been 3 out of the 5 years it’s been operating and I always love it! Movies projected on the side of the house, food, eery vibes, and THIS GUY:
He snuck around the house and scared the s##t out of me. I just stood there for several moments waiting for him to say or do anything…which he didn’t. It was creepy—and awesome. What did we learn from this? That I have no fight or flight instinct. When someone comes at me with a knife I apparently just stand there waiting for the joke like I’m being Punk’d; if I ever get murdered it will be bc I’m waiting for Ashton to jump out of the bushes instead of running.
It was the best way to end the BirthDAY…but the birthWEEK is still going…
Kind of sad. October is over, and even though November is great it’s just not as wondrous as October. Plus, my birthday is over and even though I’m still celebrating nobody else cares anymore. Don’t worry, that doesn’t slow me down.
I woke up this morning thinking “I’m 28”, looked in the mirror and thought “Eh, you still have some more good years left”. That is verbatim what went through my mind.
Day 8-Bonus Day & Closing ceremonies
Closing ceremonies this year will be a day with my momma, again pictured below:
Oh what a marvelous week!!! It pays to be demanding friends. Tracypalooza is still the greatest holiday known to man. I hope that you’re celebrations were as spectacular as my own, though I seriously doubt it.
Now it’s time to start making preparations for next year!