Ex

Buying into fantasy to escape the horrors of reality…

Tonight will be our last night in Slovenia. We didn’t do much yesterday, because it was rainy. We did manage a short drive, and I got a few photos of the countryside, but then we determined that we didn’t feel like hiking where it’s all cold and soggy. So we came back to our rental house and ended up watching YouTube and a few episodes of the latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale, which Bill hadn’t yet seen. Naturally, the episodes haunted my dreams, even though we also spent the day drinking Slovenian wines.

We also did a lot of talking. Our 19th anniversary is coming up, and the years have gone by very fast. But I am also amazed by all that we’ve been through. Everybody has challenges, and I don’t feel like, overall, ours have been that horrifying. I mean, sure, we went through a few years of being broke. Bill’s job could be stressful at times. I had to cope with the fact that I was never going to be a successful careerist in my own right, nor would I ever be a mom. We have also moved many times, and to date, have never owned a home together. Bill left the LDS church, which was kind of traumatic in some ways, though not as traumatic as it would have been if he’d been a very devout member. He also went to war, which was difficult for us on many levels, although it’s something that most military families of the last couple of decades have had to deal with, often repeatedly.

But, we’ve had our share of successes, too. We get to travel a lot, to some really beautiful places. We have built a pretty good financial bedrock. I paid off my student loans, and Bill repaid the severance he got when he left active duty in 1995 and later came back. He gets a full retirement now, plus a paycheck. Bill re-established a connection with one of his children… That has been a genuinely rewarding experience. It’s also a reminder of something that is truly shameful and horrifying. Bill never thought he’d ever be completely estranged from his children.

I used to write a lot about Bill’s ex wife, mainly because what she put him through was just so strange and awful that I couldn’t fathom it. I had to write about it to make sense of it. I left a lot of my thoughts public. Sometimes doing that invited criticism from the uninformed… people who wrongly assumed that Bill’s former wife is a “normal” person. The fact is, she’s not. She puts up a good facade, though. If you don’t know her and haven’t been the subject of her “campaigns”, you could come away with the idea that she’s basically a regular person. It’s not until you see beneath the surface that you realize that she’s not playing with a full deck. And that has been a strain on us… or, at least it was a strain earlier in our marriage.

Bill and I have both decided that we’re probably not ever going to break up. We say that now, after 19 years of marriage, and we mean it. We’re very compatible, and we’ve seen each other through some tough times. Neither of us wants to look for new partners. I, for one, never want to plan another wedding in my lifetime.

Ex mostly doesn’t come up anymore. When she does come up, it’s as kind of a joke. But sometimes, we do still have serious conversations about her, because Bill talks to his younger daughter, and Ex is Bill’s daughter’s mom. Ex treats her children as badly as she eventually does everyone. Bill and I have the luxury of not being blood relatives of Ex. Ex’s kids don’t have that luxury.

A few days ago, I noticed that Ex had tweeted Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame. I have never seen Star Wars in its entirety. I know that makes me odd, given when I grew up. It’s not that I don’t like science fiction, either. I loved Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. I just never got into Star Wars. Ex, on the other hand, is apparently a super fan. And she apparently tweets Mark Hamill a lot.

I noticed that she responded to one of Hamill’s tweets about not wanting to contribute to fundraisers, because he never knows if they are legitimate and he’s been “burned”. Ex tweeted that he was absolutely “right” not to contribute to crowd funding pleas. Then she asked how she might be able to raise money to buy a service dog for her son, whom she claims has severe autism. And just to be clear, I’m sure he does have autism, but I’ve never met him and don’t know what challenges he faces, so I don’t feel comfortable writing anything about him as “fact”. I only know what I’ve heard and read, and seen in Ex’s public photos.

I have heard a lot of stories over the years and have corroborated a lot of them with proof. For example, I know that Ex’s current husband had animal abuse charges levied against him in the state of Arizona. I had heard about what happened to the elderly poodle Ex and Bill had inherited from Ex’s adoptive father. The story went that #3 got very angry one day and kicked the dog so hard that she lost an eye. Years later, I looked up the charges, which were publicly posted on Arizona’s court site. Sure enough, #3 had animal abuse charges, no doubt stemming from the incident with the dog, which happened before they were married. #3 now has a job working with people who are vulnerable. I don’t know if he’s gotten his anger under control, but I sure wouldn’t want him taking care of me or anyone else I care about or love. And I wouldn’t want him in the same house with a pet, let alone a highly trained service dog.

In fact, had he been my boyfriend/fiancé and kicked my dog, I would not have married him. I would have been afraid of what he was capable of doing to our future children. The fact that Ex already had three children by two men, both of whom she denied visitation rights to and actively alienated the children against, would have already been a red flag to a prospective husband. It sounds to me like Ex also had reasons to be concerned about #3. He’s capable of violence.

I don’t know why Ex’s son might need a service dog. It’s possible a service dog might be good for him. However, it’s my guess that the dog would really only be a source of prestige and attention for Ex. And the first time the dog crapped and she had to clean it up, or the dog needed vet care and it cost her hundreds or thousands of dollars, her enthusiasm for the dog would wane. She would also have to commit to working with the dog and having it properly trained. And given the fact that my husband’s 30 year old daughter still lives with Ex, does all the cleaning and probably the cooking, and takes care of her little brother, I have a feeling that a service dog would eventually be one more thing for Bill’s older daughter to do.

I think about a terrible news story I recently read about a disabled, homeless veteran in North Carolina who had a service dog. He was confronted by the police for “panhandling” and eventually got arrested. His dog, Sunshine, who had been given to him to help him with his PTSD, tried to defend her master. She was Tasered and got away, where she was eventually struck and killed by a car. The homeless vet, who had done tours in Kuwait and Iraq with the Kentucky National Guard, did have some serious issues with mental illness and addiction. He had been in trouble with the law before. But he also had mental health concerns that were not being adequately or compassionately treated by competent people. While I would never say that a person should abuse drugs or alcohol, I also know that some people abuse them as a way to cope.

Ex’s son is now a teenager and, in a few short years, he’ll be an adult. I don’t know what the plans are for him when he’s a grown man. I have heard that it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to live on his own. Maybe, with the right guidance from professionals, he might benefit from having a service dog. But given what I’ve heard and seen from Ex herself on her very public social media pages, I have my doubts that the lad is going to get what he needs. I hope older daughter will eventually move out and have her own life, too. I think it’s possible Ex’s son could put a service dog at risk. He could be like that man in North Carolina someday.

Ex was tweeting Mark Hamill, asking for advice on how to get a service dog. On the surface, it looked like a honest and even honorable request. But if you know anything about her, you know that a service dog would probably be in hell in her household. It would be just one more tool for her to use in her social engineering strategies against other people. I suspect, as well, that as soon as the dog did something that Ex or #3 didn’t like, or inconvenienced them in some way, the lustrous prestige of having a special dog would vanish.

We’ve enjoyed our vacation so much that I put the horror of the idea of Ex having a service dog out of my head. But then I happened to notice her Halloween posts. Ex decided to take her son trick or treating. I know that in Ex’s house, animated movies and children’s books are very popular. She likes Disney, for instance. During the one and only time Bill’s daughters were allowed to visit us, the girls watched Snoopy Come Home, which is a favorite from my own childhood. Actually, if I’m honest, I was pretty traumatized by that movie when I was about 6 or 7 years old. But, since I am a dog lover, I bought the film on videocassette.

When we first got married, Bill told me that Ex acted a lot like Lucy Van Pelt. She had a habit of figuratively pulling the football away just as he was about to kick it at her encouragement.

Ex is probably not as smart and wily as Lucy Van Pelt, though…

Well… for Halloween, Ex went with a Peanuts theme for her son. She came up with a costume that was inspired by Charlie Brown, a boy who always seemed to be the butt of everyone’s jokes, even if he’s the “star” of the Peanuts cartoons– next to Snoopy, that is. And poor Charlie Brown historically had tough Halloweens. People always gave him rocks instead of candy. They knew, even under the holey ghost costume, it was Charlie Brown, the “loser”, and they gave him rocks.

Even in his costume, Charlie Brown is a “loser”.

Ex dressed her son up like Charlie Brown on Halloween. He carried a sign that said something along the lines of, “All I got was a rock.” Ex wrote that people didn’t seem to get the joke. That’s probably a good thing, when you consider that she was parading her apparently severely autistic son around– a boy who is supposedly “non-verbal” and may never live on his own– as Charlie Brown, the butt of everyone’s jokes who can’t make a simple ghost costume and always gets rocks from his neighbors.

As I mentioned before… I have never met her son. I don’t know what level of functioning he’s attained. She did publicly state that he was capable of uttering a carefully rehearsed line to anyone who asked about his costume– “I had some trouble with the scissors.” She implied that it took some time to teach him that line, which makes me wonder if there are issues with his intellect. But again, I don’t know. I do think it’s kind of strange to publicly declare so much love for a child, but then dress him up as an obvious “loser” for Halloween, laugh at the spectacle of it, and then tweet it publicly. Maybe Ex thinks of it as “harmless fun.” And, to her, it surely is– maybe it also is to strangers who don’t know anything about her or her children. For the boy, I’m not as sure… If he gets the joke and agrees with it, okay. But if he doesn’t get it, and has just been unwittingly made the butt of a joke– scoring laughs for his mother at his own expense– maybe not.

Actually, I’m reminded of a classic episode of the 80s sitcom, Gimme A Break, when the character, Joey, is unwittingly used as an object of aggression toward Nell Carter’s lead character, Nell Harper. Youngest Kanisky daughter, Samantha, is angry with Nell for giving Joey so much attention and usurping her role as the baby of the family. Samantha takes advantage of Joey’s naïveté and puts him in blackface before he performs an Al Jolson song, “Toot Toot Tootsie” at Nell’s Black church.

This was a very powerful episode… but as you can see, Samantha took advantage of a younger, more innocent child who didn’t know what she was up to. He thought the blackface would make the act better and willingly went along with it, not knowing that it would be insulting and humiliating for a lot of people.
Here’s the episode in its entirety. Joey’s blackface performance starts at 16:30. Maybe blackface isn’t the same as dressing your autistic child up like Charlie Brown, but the point is, Samantha took advantage of Joey’s naïveté. In a similar way, Ex does it to her son… and really, to anyone in her sphere. She did it to Bill, too, on many occasions.

Blackface, of course, would obviously be much worse than the Charlie Brown costume is. In today’s culture, blackface is clearly offensive, and everyone would get how offensive it is. The Charlie Brown costume is more subtly humiliating, especially for a boy who may not realize that he’s being made the object of derision by his own mother. Now… if the boy chose the costume himself and has the capacity to understand the implication of wearing it, okay. But I doubt he does or did… I think, once again, Ex used someone else to get her jollies… to make herself feel better for what, apparently, hasn’t turned out to be the fantastic life she envisioned for herself.

Bill has often told me that his former wife lives in kind of a “fantasy world”. She expects everyone else to buy into that fantasy. If they can’t or won’t, she casts them out. And that would be fine, if there weren’t innocent and vulnerable people involved. But there are children involved, as well as well-meaning adults. Also, it must be a special kind of weird to live with someone who surrounds herself with relics from childhood– books, movies, music, etc.– as if she wants a redo of her childhood. But then she does obviously abusive and cruel things.

I noticed that she responded to someone who apparently criticized her for “fat shaming” someone. She came back with an explanation of sorts, and ended with “please be kind.” I have been married to her ex husband for nineteen years. In that time, I have witnessed her ostracizing Bill from his daughters and ex stepson, whom he raised as his own. I have seen her ostracize Bill’s mom, who is a lovely person, and threaten to cut off Bill’s more “suitable” stepmom and father from their grandchildren. Ex wouldn’t even let Bill speak to his daughters before he went to war in Iraq.

I have heard stories about her forcing her daughters to give up their beds for another family, solely so she could look better to church members. I have seen her make her children disown their fathers and change their surnames. She influenced Bill’s ex stepson to take back his original surname just to punish Bill for standing up for himself. She allowed her daughter to show up at college with just the clothes on her back. She didn’t support her daughter in her efforts to become independent, and she raised her in a religious environment that was easily weaponized to alienate Bill, who decided to resign. Then, when the church was no longer useful to Ex, she tried to take it away… I’m still no fan of Mormonism, but I will always be grateful to the good church members who helped Bill’s daughter when she needed help. And I love that the decision to become LDS blew up in Ex’s face.

I know for a fact that she physically and sexually abused Bill. There is physical evidence of it that was noted by a physician.

She tried to force me to “dance to her tune”, too. When I refused, she told the children that I was a whore who broke up her marriage. She didn’t put it in those terms, but that was the message. And it was a fucking lie. She also told her children that their father didn’t care about them and just “up and left”. Also, not true. She told his mother that he’s an “abusive pervert who hates women”. I can attest that after 19 years of marriage, that isn’t true.

Ex uses people for her own ends. It’s bad enough to do that to an adult. It’s criminal and undeniably cruel to do it to a child, or to a person who has limited cognitive abilities. And then she shares what she does publicly on Twitter and invites the world to laugh at her son… who may, or may not, get the joke.

Anyway, I know it’s none of my business. And for a long while, recently, I wasn’t paying attention to Ex. But, like I said, she comes up on occasion, because Bill is now speaking to his younger child, at long last. And sometimes, I have to prove to myself that these horrors are real… stuff I’ve heard about for over 20 years now. She continues to get away with it, too… and there’s not much I can do about it but sit here and ruminate… and wish to God that Bill had met me first.

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mental health, psychology, rants

I didn’t even know this was a thing…

Living in Germany for seven years has taken me out of the loop regarding certain American cultural mores. Like, for instance, Halloween etiquette. Germans are catching on to Halloween, but by and large, it’s not really a thing here. I do remember years past, when Bill and I were living in the United States. We would carve a jack o’ lantern (poorly) and wait for kids in cute costumes to ring the bell and yell “trick or treat!”. When we lived on Fort Belvoir, we would get dozens of kids on Halloween! But now, if we buy candy for Halloween, we mostly end up eating it ourselves.

Anyway, a friend of mine has three sons that she worked very hard for… When I say she “worked hard”, I mean it took a lot of effort for her to get, and stay, pregnant. She finally had a son and twin boys, and she’s really into raising them. We became friends at a time when I was also hoping to become a mother. I didn’t work as hard at it as she did, though.

One of my friends’ children has autism. I don’t know how high on the spectrum the lad is, but I do see his mom posting a lot about autism and the causes associated with it. Yesterday, she posted this image.

Wow… I wouldn’t have even known what to think if someone rang my bell and had a blue pumpkin bucket.

I think I had dimly heard of the teal candy bucket for kids with food allergies. I don’t think I ever knew anything about the blue buckets for people with autism. Either way, if someone comes to my house trick or treating, of course I’m going to give them candy. I can’t imagine why someone would give a person a hard time on a night that’s supposed to be about fun. I don’t even care if it’s an adult who’s got their hand out, looking for a sweet. Who cares? I also would never fat shame someone on Halloween– I do remember a few years ago, some woman getting in the news because she handed out fat shaming letters to fat kids on Halloween instead of giving them candy. That sucks!

But again, it’s been a long time since I last was expected to pass out any candy on October 31, and many of the places we’ve lived in the States haven’t been conducive to trick or treaters, anyway. In Georgia and North Carolina, we lived way out in the boonies and didn’t have many neighbors, and we never got Halloween visitors. So this is an issue I probably would have stayed ignorant to, if not for my online friend with a child who has autism.

I probably took more interest in the above post because I also recently got into it with a woman who is mutually friended to a lady I met on the Recovery from Mormonism message board. The woman who argued with me, took offense because I disagree with banning the word “retard”. I don’t think people should be using that word as an insult, but to ban it outright is a bridge too far, in my view. It has other meanings besides the insulting one.

In the course of that argument about why she thinks the word “retard” should be forbidden, the woman told me that one of my comments was “stupid”. I took that as hugely hypocritical and ended up blocking her, because she was being offensive and wasting my time. It seems to me that if a person doesn’t want to be insulted, they shouldn’t be insulting to others. But again, she said she has autism, and maybe people with autism lack the ability to practice what they preach. I honestly don’t know. I am ignorant on that topic.

I will totally admit that I don’t know much about autism. I probably would have known more if Bill had been able to raise his older daughter, who is reportedly on the spectrum. But the fact remains, I don’t know too much about this phenomenon… only that when I was growing up, we didn’t hear about it nearly as much as we do now. I’m sure it existed, and there were probably many undiagnosed people who had it and were trying to function in a world made for neurotypical people. Things seem to have been a lot more black and white when I was a kid.

Nowadays, it seems like everyone feels like all of the people in the world should automatically change their way of thinking and doing things. Many people seem to be loudly and aggressively demanding that change. Not surprisingly, they’re being met with resistance by people who don’t like to be told what to do. I’m not saying the change isn’t necessary. It often is. But expecting everyone and everything to change on a dime is unrealistic and unfair. Aside from that, people are going to occasionally fuck up and say or do something insensitive. That’s life.

I appreciate the people who feel the need to be educators and activists on the autism issue. I don’t mind being clued in on things I don’t know about. But I am a little bit confused about some things. First off– do people want special treatment or consideration because they have a certain disability? Or do they want to be treated like everyone else is treated? It seems to me that if they want to be treated like everyone else is treated, it’s not realistic to also expect special treatment.

If someone wants to be treated like everyone else is treated, autism or other issues must be irrelevant. Declaring a need for certain considerations means that a person isn’t like everyone else is. That doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of respect. It simply means that the person has special needs that need to be accommodated and, in fact, they aren’t like everyone else is. What’s wrong with that, as long the differences are handled with kindness, discretion, and sensitivity?

Secondly, do people want complete privacy? Or do they want special consideration because they have a certain condition? If they want privacy, how can they expect special consideration for a medical problem? If I don’t know anything about someone’s health challenges, how can I know what their needs are? How can I address them?

Take, for instance, the exchange I had last week with the woman who argued with me over disagreeing that the word “retard” should be banned. When she responded, she immediately qualified her first statement by saying, “I have autism.”

I thought to myself, “So?” So you have autism. Does that mean I don’t get to have an opinion about this? Like I said, I don’t know much about autism, but I do know that having it doesn’t mean a person has a poor intellect. Should I have felt sorry for her for having autism? Does it give her license to speak to me in any way she pleases? Or should I treat her the way I would treat anyone who aggressively attacks my opinions?

The woman who argued with me clearly was articulate enough. Do people routinely call her “retarded”? If so, that’s definitely wrong. But she’s obviously not someone with a slow intellect anyway. Based on what little I could tell about her, she should have been capable of understanding my point without attacking me and calling me “stupid”. We should have been able to have a calm discussion without her laying into me aggressively and sarcastically. Or is that not possible with a person who has autism? I honestly don’t know. If being unable to be respectful is a feature of autism, I hope someone will tell me. But even if it is a feature, how would I even know that a random person has autism if they don’t tell me? And if I don’t know, how can I give them special consideration?

I think everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and basic respect. That means giving people the benefit of the doubt if they disagree. Just because someone doesn’t share your views, that doesn’t necessarily always mean they’re a bad person or even in need of “education”. They might just have a different perspective, and maybe it’s one you’ve never even considered. Also, opinions aren’t facts. Everyone has a right to their opinions, but they should not be presented as facts.

My favorite color happens to be blue. When I was a child, I probably would have loved to have had a blue pumpkin as my candy bucket. And my mom, who wasn’t up on all the childhood trends, even in the early 1980s, probably would have bought it for me out of sheer ignorance. I would expect that if I went door to door looking for candy on Halloween night, the people in my neighborhood wouldn’t have given me any shit about having a blue pumpkin, but not having autism or some other disorder. It would not have been their business.

The comments on the original post about the blue pumpkin got pretty heated. I noticed some people were lauding the post, but others took huge issue with it. Things got pretty wild. Have a look.

Like I said, I don’t know much about autism. My guess, based on the above comments and my recent interaction with someone claiming to be autistic, is that people with autism are very sensitive about some things. I can see that none of the people commenting above have any issues with their intellects. They are all writing coherently and correctly. But they’ve all aggressively dog piled on this woman who disagreed with them, albeit in a rude and profane way, and are now engaging in some of the behavior that they were initially denouncing. I’ve seen similar behavior in other online discussions, particularly in military circles. I find this kind of behavior disturbing, and I highly doubt much came of this discussion, other than some raised adrenaline.

It seems to me that being kinder and less antagonistic would net better results than being accusatory and insulting… Yes, the first poster was wrong to say the post was “full of shit”, and she was wrong to write “only an idiot”. But then the mob descends upon her, questioning her parenting skills, saying she’s a poor example to her child, and making sweeping assessments of a perfect stranger’s character. It seems very hypocritical to me. What would have happened if most of them had responded in a calm, kind, and understanding manner, rather than resorting to lecturing, shaming, and insults of their own? But again, maybe this is a part of autism that I don’t know anything about. People with autism get to be shaming, but other people have to be “respectful” toward them.

In any case… I think the original poster, who’s been threatened with “banning”, should bow out of that group and find one that is less hostile. It doesn’t appear that she’s very welcome there, which is a shame. Maybe she DOES need to be educated. At the same time, the folks in the autism group are certainly right to try to educate people, but there’s a way to do so that won’t be alienating. Other people have the right to their opinions, too. And it’s hard to get anywhere in a discussion when it devolves into namecalling and insults. There’s no reason in the world why people in that group should have said such personally insulting things to a total stranger, even if the original poster did initially come off as rude and offensive.

And if people don’t want to be “outed” for having autism, perhaps they shouldn’t be using it as a pass for being so hostile and insulting to other people. I get wanting to be respected. Everybody wants that. But just because a person has autism or some other issue, that doesn’t give them the right to expect special consideration and engage in hypocrisy, particularly in an online interaction. I’ve found that people often mirror back to you what you put into the world. Besides that, everyone has challenges and difficulties. I don’t have autism, but people have been mean to me, too. I try not to let it get me down for too long.

That being said… anyone who knocks on my door on Halloween is welcome to candy, regardless of their age, weight, costume, or whether or not they say “trick or treat”. Because I don’t need any more presents for my ass.

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true crime

14 years old? Put away that costume!

Halloween is coming. It’s not much of a thing here in Germany, although there are some folks who celebrate it. We weren’t living in Wiesbaden last year when Halloween came around, and for the total of six years (in two different stints) we were down near Stuttgart, I could probably count on one hand the number of people who rang our bell looking for candy. But we still dutifully get candy in case someone is looking for a handout. It’s a habit. I remember trick or treating as a kid and coming home with huge hauls of candy that would take weeks to finish eating. It wasn’t healthy, but it was fun.

This is me in England, aged five, and dressed in my lame gypsy costume. We weren’t culturally aware in the 70s. I was a gypsy a lot of years because it was easy.

I was born and mostly grew up in southeastern Virginia, save three years at Mildenhall Air Force Base in England and a couple of years in Dayton, Ohio during babyhood that I don’t remember. In fact, I came of age maybe an hour’s drive from Chesapeake, Virginia… if the traffic was light, anyway. I know the area, which is maybe about thirteen miles from Norfolk. I watched TV channels from the Chesapeake area and, a couple of times, even visited Greenbrier Mall on a whim. My mom was horrified when I told her that I did that. I was bored, still enjoyed driving, and gas was cheap in those days.

In all of my years living in the Tidewater area of Virginia, I never knew that since 1970, it was against the law in Chesapeake, Virginia for anyone over age 12 to trick or treat. In fact, until last year, violating the law could have resulted in up to a $100 fine and a six month jail sentence! This news went viral last year, but I missed it because Bill and I were neck deep in house hunting and cleaning in October 2018.

A news report about the trick or treating law from last year, after Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at it. Click the link to see the whole routine on Twitter.

I saw something about the law a couple of days ago, but didn’t really read up about it until this morning, when The New York Times shared a piece about Chesapeake’s controversial trick or treating rules. Apparently, the ordinance was passed in 1970 because a couple of years prior, a couple of teenagers threw firecrackers or some other explosive into kids’ trick or treat bags. There were injuries, so lawmakers determined that there ought to be a law against costumed teens running amok on Halloween. As I read the story about how the law came to be, I was wondering if what had really happened was that teens answering the door handed out explosives. But the law was made many years ago… in fact, before I was even born! And although it was a legit law, it was largely unenforced and kind of obscure.

Since news about the law went viral last year, local lawmakers in Chesapeake changed the rule. Now, if you trick or treat when you’re older than 14 years old, you could be fined $250. It’s considered a misdemeanor. But even though this ordinance exists, Chesapeake cops aren’t even planning to enforce it. I’m sure they kept it in case a teen commits an illegal act and they need another reason to levy a fine or something. Instead, the cops are going to focus on controlling traffic so the costumed kiddies will be safer as they beg for sweets. Below is a screenshot of the new law, passed in March of this year.

Here’s a link to the official source of this new law.

I had a good laugh reading the comments on the New York Times Facebook page about this law. Most of the people commenting, naturally, did not read the article. They lamented how “stupid” the rule is and how it’s impossible to enforce it, particularly since kids are notoriously at different stages of growth between 12 and 14 years of age. I myself never grew past five feet two inches and looked pretty young when I was that age. I had peers who looked more mature or less mature. Those years are topsy turvy when it comes to human development.

However… my favorite comment was this one:

A kid drenched in blood with a string out the top of his head. Rang my bell at 10pm. I opened the door…… “ I’m your period, sorry I’m late” Gave him the rest of the bowl.

Man, I think I can go back to bed now! My day is officially made! Especially since this month, Aunt Flow happens to be late. She’ll probably show up on the weekend, because she always shows up when it’s time for fun. What can I say? I am totally gross on so many levels. I love jokes about periods. I love Halloween, too.

Someone else commented that adults trick or treat by carrying a wine glass and getting a refill at each house. I like that tradition, although in my current neighborhood, we have a “wine stand” every other Friday night. I believe there will be one tonight, too. I’m sure Bill and I will be there.

I also agree with Foamy about this… if some teenager rings my bell looking for candy on Halloween, I’m gonna hand it over. I’d rather teens trick or treat and enjoy a wholesome activity with other kids, than get into mischief.

But anyway… I hope everyone has a happy Halloween and no one’s teenager gets arrested for trick or treating over-age. I kind of miss living in the country, where it was easy to see all of the fall decorations and visit farms selling pumpkins and such. I’m sure we have them up here, too. I just haven’t found them yet.

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