October 29, 2007

How is Crazy Farm Plan Like The Red Queen’s Jam? PART ONE

And with that not-so-enigmatic title, I skip Crazy Farm Plan in lieu of Trunk or Treat.

I used to love my town. Because when we moved here, it WAS a town. We would go to the fourth of July fireworks celebration on the square, and every fifth person I saw would be from my church or a fellow mom from Sam’s soccer team or the check out lady I like best at Publix. NOW we go and I see maybe twenty people I know all night.

It’s not that I know less people, it’s that they are tearing out my woods and putting in 300 – 600K McMansions on postage stamp lots with more development signs going up each week and more WalMarts opening, more malls and gas stations and an Applebees on every other corner so we can all eat good in the neighborhood and MANY MANY MORE PEOPLE HAVE COME and spread the town until it touches all the other towns all the way back to ATLANTA in a long town-chain and traffic backs up down the once-empty highways and byways and now that we are boundary-less and suburban we are being zoned differently so NO ONE CAN RAISE GOATS OR KEEP BEES IN THEIR BACKYARD. WHICH IS JUST WRONG!

As a result, the fireworks event has become huge and swarming with commuters and the number of YMITDS (Young Mothers In Truly Disturbing Shorts, pronounced “YIM-ee-tids”) has multiplied a thousandfold.

DIGRESSION: Dear twenty-something young ladies with new babies in strollers. When you were seventeen, your mother would not let you wear those shorts. Once you snuck them out in your backpack and changed into them at the mall bathroom, and OF COURSE that old busybody neighbor with the plasticene church lady hair and the pinched lips that told the world her rear-stick has been staunchly and permanently inserted SAW your then-dewy buttcheeks as you bent over the puppy bucket at MALL PET WORLD and she called your mother and she REPORTED you and you missed Homecoming. I feel for you about that. I experienced similar incident involving a VERY mini miniskirt and some boots with built in legwarmers (Shut. Up. Flashdance made them cool.)

Now you are twenty-two and all grown up with your own husband and your own baby and your own little place where you can hang up the exact kind of curtains you like best, and no one can ground you and no one is the boss of you and you are a completely autonomous being capable of making her own decisions…BUT. (Here I exercise SUPERHUMAN self-control and forgo the built in pun the extra T would give me because my point here is very very very sincere.) BUT, I say to you, BUT. Just because you CAN now wear those shorts, it does not mean you SHOULD. Especially not now, six weeks after childbirth. And NEVER with five inch heeled metallic strappy sandals. And NEVER NEVER NEVER to an event that involves marching around in fields to eat funnel cakes and see fireworks so that your heels are constantly sinking into the dirt and you have to walk tippy-toe like a mincing pigeon. Really really really not. Really not. Really. /digression

BACK ON POINT: I like small town living. I like goats. I want bees in my yard. I don’t like Applebees and I DESPISE rush hour traffic with a burning red hot vitality that propels my blood through my veins all willy nilly, til each red cell is as giddy as a flaming schoolgirl, each in love with the loathing of traffic.

All these things mean I SHOULD MOVE.

BUT you know, we love our friends our house our church our kids school and the little kernel of TOWN at the center with the square and the tea house and the independent bookstore and the little brick walkways – things other little town lovers are fighting to preserve --- Oh how I love these things. And so we stay another year. And then another.

ANYWAY, one thing I ESPECIALLY love about my church is that every year, around Halloween, we do TRUNK OR TREAT. That’s where parishioners sign up their cars, and then park backwards in the church lot, and we all DECORATE our trunks with some sort of theme and put a CARNIVAL STYLE GAME in the trunk or near it, and all the little kids get in costume and toddle from car to car and try to toss rings around inflatable ghosts or knock over witches with pumpkin-shaped beanbags, or throw a fishing line up and into the sun-roof of an SUV where some over-heated father is jammed up in the backseat, attaching Ring Pops to the line and tugging on it like a trout and saying the foulest cusses he can think of non-stop under his breath as he swelters and VOWS TO HEAVEN that next year they are doing a blanketty blank blanking duck pond.

This year, it was announced that THE MAYOR OF POWDER SPRINGS was COMING! To OUR little TRUNK OR TREAT. And she would JUDGE the trunks and there would be PRIZES and GLORY and THE ETERNAL ADORATION OF THE MASSES at stake…Not JUST trunk or treat. A trunk or treat CONTEST.

Oh, Beloveds, you may have realized by now that I have a teeny tiny little hardly noticeable competitive streak running all through me like the fudge ribbon in ripple ice cream. Heh. SO of course I began WEEKS ago planning OUR TRUNK, determined that we would SMITE ALL OTHER TRUNKERS with mighty-smighties and the vigorous vim of our lavish Broadway production of a trunk which would feature ANIMATRONICS and FLAMING HOOPS and MUSICAL MONKEY DANCERS and CGI DRAGONS and a guest appearance by MOS DEF!


I digressed and yelled about YMITDS, so I am out of time… I MUST RUN OUT THE DOOR IN FIVE MINUYES and I need a shower… Parts 2 3 and perhaps even 4 the rest of the week with a break to do 3 Questions somewhere in the middle. AND THEN Crazy Farm Plan!

Posted by joshilyn at October 29, 2007 9:20 AM

SO NOT FAIR......I was all ready for the CRAZY FARM PLAN, and then really got into the Trunk or Treat and then you gotta leave. It's like leaving us after one chapter with some blank pages. Looking forward to the Rest of the Story.....

Posted by: jean at October 29, 2007 9:51 AM

I have to admit that I have a similarly Crazy Plan. Although it is less "gentle lady farmer" and more "Jericho." Either way, I would LOVE to be more self-sufficient. Goats, chickens, bees, an orchard.

Have you read, "Simple Living" by Levering and Urbansak? It's a lovely read - very inspirational!

Re: McMansions. Here's my post of a while back. McMansionites make me crazy.


Posted by: City Girl at October 29, 2007 9:52 AM

No worries, the digression was well worth it.

Posted by: amy at October 29, 2007 10:24 AM

"Parts 2 3 and perhaps even 4 the rest of the week with a break to do 3 Questions somewhere in the middle. AND THEN Crazy Farm Plan!"

I WANT to believe you. I'm TRYING to believe you. But I've been hurt before. Sigh...

I am, however, in total agreement about YMITDS and about the insanity of urban sprawl taking over the last vestiges of real towns and real country.

Posted by: DebR at October 29, 2007 11:24 AM

I too have a problem with certain shorts. But in my case it is getting to be a full blown screaming PROBLEM! Because I live in Florida, people here seem to think it is okay to wear shorts any time and any where. There are 80 year old women here who think it's correct to wear shorts out in public. And men - I do not what to have to look at your flabby, gray haired, knobby knees when I go to the grocery store. IT IS NOT OKAY to wear short any where but to the beach if you are older then, oh lets pick a number and say 30, just to be safe. Honestly when did it become fashinable to go to the doctor's office dressed like you were going to the beach. AUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. OOPs sorry my head just exploded a tiny bit.

Posted by: Cathi at October 29, 2007 12:18 PM

I'm a grad student and teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin, and one of my colleagues and I are forever discussing the fact that there are TONS of girls on campus who are wearing shorts SO inappropriately tiny and short that it truly looks as though they are wearing t-shirts as dresses. More than once, we've had to do a double-take to see if they were wearing anything besides a shirt.

This isn't an age-inappropriate issue, it's just a societally-inappropriate issue. Ugh.

Also, I have a rule that I find it useful to abide by: clothing for one's bottom half (skirts, shorts, etc.) should (almost) never been wider than it is long. That is to say, if the shorts are lying flat, they should be longer top to bottom than they are wide from side to side. This is a very useful rule, generally (although there are sometimes exceptions).

Posted by: Erin at October 29, 2007 12:36 PM

Your showerless state was a mighty worthy sacrifice - you just made my Monday morning all better. Thanks.

Posted by: Lisa Milton at October 29, 2007 1:08 PM

Lillian and I long to move deep into the country and away from urban sprawl with a longing that is beyond most longings you can imagine.

Including longing for chocolate, that's how deep it is.

*sigh* Here, Lotto! Nice Lotto!

Short shorts are bad, yes, but especially when they are on overweight personages who are indulging in those currently fashionable very-tight-and-altogether-too-very-short shirts, so you get disturbing expanses of rolly tummy between shirt and shorts.

I'm sorry. I shouldn't have put that image in your heads. But darn it, it's in mine!

So...Crazy Farm Plan?

Posted by: Fran at October 29, 2007 1:19 PM

I love the sound of your town, pre-YMITDs of course. It sounds like the very place I grew up... where our town parade had so few spectators because we were all IN the parade!

Posted by: Heather at October 29, 2007 1:56 PM

I'm glad the invasion of our town is taking place at a much slower pace than yours has.

And, for some reason, I'm really amused at the idea of a befuddled Mos Def suddenly and magically transported to your TRUNK OR TREAT!

Posted by: Brigitte at October 29, 2007 2:05 PM

Oh, the small town life of childhood. I wonder if it really existed. I remember the first time I knew of a man and woman living together who weren't married. Scandalous! And I agree with you on the YMITDS. And what about the middle aged woman with the "mushroom top" waistline that folds over the low rider jeans, peaking out from under a too short skin tight stretchy t-shirt? Puhlease! Don't these people look in a mirror before they step outside?

I want to know more about the Trunk or Treat. Tell us tell us oh please tell us - what are you going to do? Can I come? Halloween is my birthday. It would be a great party to attend!

Posted by: Rhonda at October 29, 2007 3:17 PM

My church is doing its first ToT this year, but we aren't doing games, we're just doing candy out the back, and costumes and decorations and all that.

*Bemoans traffic with you* I grew up in a dying small town, and loathed it, but now that I live in suburban Philly, I almost miss it. (Hello, half a twin selling for OVER $300K?! I wish I were kidding) I'd like to live in a rural area that has an average age of population under 55.

Posted by: Jess at October 29, 2007 3:32 PM

We had Trunk or Treat last night. . .and I remembered the multitude of candy. . .and BOTH of the children AND all components of their costume, but we did the balloon dart pop thing and I did NOT remember teh 150 pre-blown balloons. They sat all lonely in their garbage bags in the kitchen while WE went to Trunk or Treat.

And I feel your urban sprawling pain. Houston is the poster child for that.

Posted by: Roxanne at October 29, 2007 6:15 PM

Our best-dressed vehicle at saturday's trunk-or-treat was a silver-blue mini van with giant groovy shark teeth running all the way around the open hatch-back and huge fins on the roof and side doors. you could almost feel the deep bass vibrations of the Jaws theme playing as it sloowly circled into the parking lot.
i like the term "mushroom top." my 8-year-old calls it "muffin top." but my favorite tag is "busted biscuit," like the vision you get when you bust open the poppin'fresh pack. you see these kids running 'round hanging out that poppin fresh as if they're proud of it. lord -- back in the day, as they say, we wouldn't be caught dead displaying that kind of visual! (and certainly not now!!)

Posted by: dramamama at October 29, 2007 8:59 PM

Many decades ago (as a kid,) I moved from the urban sprawl of an LA bedroom community, to the heavenly back of beyond in Oregon. We do not have a down square so they are developing a town green. Where once our side streets were worn out gravel under hardpan dirt, it is paved. Where once people lived in harmony with nature, now all the recently left the devil's places unknown, have brought their own kind of hell with then to disperse upon the people of a place formerly known as heaven.


I hope parts 2, 3 or 4 come replease with pictures of your winning trunk or treat and some of the losers too.

Jaws too good, they should have a gold fish ping pong ball game.

Posted by: Cele at October 29, 2007 9:32 PM

We, too, do a Trick or Trunk thing at our church. This year's winning trunker had covered her entire SUV in black plastic, with a pair of scary eyes dead center on the back, and then she fashioned 8 legs to attach to it, so her "trunk" was a giant spider!

I don't live in a huuuuuuge town, but it has it's share of McMansions, two Wal-Marts and an Applebees. We also long with great longings toward a nice little acreage in the country. With horses. And goats.

Although? We actually live in an old enough part of town that there's an outdated clause on the books that has never been changed, allowing us to keep goats and chickens, should we so desire.

Posted by: jessica at October 29, 2007 10:21 PM

Oh, man. Do I feel Yankee. And Catholic.
And Yoda-esque.
I thought the South was all pickups and big hair, now you are talking luxury vehicles and shorty shorts.

Posted by: Linda at October 30, 2007 4:59 AM

Good luck! I love Trunk or Treat, our neighborhood does it, too. So go win and enjoy and then tell us about Crazy Farm Plan when you get back.

Posted by: Laura Florand at October 30, 2007 9:05 AM

Your dear town sounds like our much beloved Oxford, Miss. Alas.

Our church had trunk or treat Sunday afternoon. I'm thinking perhaps ours was one a wee bit smaller scale but still - super fun! The men's group grilled hotdogs, the older kids roated marshmallows, I helped coordinate a toy walk...all big fun.

Don't even think the Crazy Farm Plan is going to be like the pink socks story, oh no! We'll remind you!

Posted by: Keetha at October 30, 2007 9:24 AM

I love the idea of Trunk or Treat. And in a really abstract way, I'm curious about Crazy Farm Plan. HOWEVER, saying right up front that it is like the Red Queen's jam is a pretty good tip off that we're never going to hear it. If you REALLY want to torture us, you should actually start the story, make it really funny and interesting and have us all breathlessly awaiting the end. THEN stop. That is why the pink socks live in FTK legend.

Posted by: Aimee at October 30, 2007 9:56 AM

I'm so glad you explained to me what Trunk or Treat was. I saw a sign for it in front of one of our local churches and was totally clueless about the concept. Glad you were the victor!

Posted by: Therese at October 31, 2007 8:44 AM