My Halloween Escape

Tis the Halloween Season and every year I look forward to it. I use to enjoy it more when the kids were younger.  I had total control as to how to dress them up and would go with them running wild on the Halloween friendly-block in the neighborhood where the witch would open the door and the spooky decor would excite them. It was fun for them and for me, but there was one Halloween where I went to a party my office threw which made memories of a scare I am relieved to be able to tell with relief and humor. Here’s how it goes:

It was 17 years ago, at the height of the dot-com era and I was working for a digital marketing firm. The profile of the firm consisted of 20 – 30 somethings, mostly single, who would come to work after 10 AM. They interpreted dress down Fridays as being able to come to work wearing what they went to bed in. In other words, they were not at all like me nor I like them.

I took the job thinking the casual atmosphere would make for an understanding union between creative thinkers and a mother with three kids who came in before 8 but had to leave at 5. That theory was as wrong as wrong could get. Yet, I did have some sympathetic 40 something friends and we stuck together.

Being who this company was, instead of having an office Christmas party, the firm decided it would be more in line with their culture to have a Halloween party at Webster Hall. My friends and I decided to dress so that maybe the rest of the kids would think we weren’t as square as we usually were and could be a fun outside the office. So we pulled together whatever we could and became these “galactic hookers”.

The image was not hard to create; teased up hair, lots of makeup, a red leather jacket, short black skirt, fishnet stockings and red high heels. I have to admit, we were not lonely that night.

The problem was, when the evening ended my friends left for their homes in Manhattan and I failed to make provisions to make it back to Jersey. I got a cab without problem (remember my outfit) to the Port Authority but didn’t realize that it was after midnight and my bus stopped running!!

I am now in the Port Authority it is after midnight and in this building, I am not dressed like a galactic hooker. I am a hooker!! Realizing I am in big trouble, I went to the only restaurant that was open, some hamburger joint, and with fear in my eyes, pleaded to some bewildered server to let me sit somewhere safe so I could call a car service. In a voice of hysterical panic, I implored with the dispatcher to get me out of here as quickly as he could. He did, sending a car within minutes and I was saved.

When I arrived safely home, my husband had no clue the peril I had gotten myself into. Of course, my first mistake was thinking I could get on a bus with that outfit on. We can laugh about my stupidity now but I still wonder how I got out of the city in one piece and can tell the story with humor.


Hear Me Roar

Today I found time to sit and watch TV. My choice of shows is usually around the chefs on the Food Network and now Law & Order. But today, without many choices, I found the second movie version of Sex In The City and decided to watch it. Back in the late 90’s, I use to watch the HBO show. I was already married, raising three kids in the suburbs and thinking that everyone but me had a fabulous life in the big city going to parties and staying out late. In the earlier, single days there were fun times but not quite like what was depicted on the show. After marriage and kids, it turned into a  routine of go to work, work, work, work then run to catch the bus home. I only started to enjoy the city when I left it.  This fantasy life that I saw on TV was just that – a figment of an imaginative mind who envisioned sexy women having a grand old time while me, Cinderella, was figuratively mopping the floors.

A half hour into the movie, it was impossible to continue watching it when Charlotte had a hissy fit after her little girls made a mess of her Valentino skirt while she was making cupcakes. “Good for her”, I thought. “What fool makes cupcakes in designer skirts?” In general, the movie fell into absurdity with themes of self-centeredness, aging behavioral patterns and constant sexual glances and dialogues that seemed unnatural.

Given the latest cases of sexual harassment by the Harvey and the parental abuse of the Menendez brothers, I can’t look at this show anymore in the same way. It use to be fun to watch but it just makes me think that the sex thing was taken too lightly. I should not be surprised at abusive behavior as it seems more prevalent than I care to admit. Just because the men and women in my life were respectful, hard-working and kind human beings it should not have led me to believe all the world is like that or should be. I’m not surprised that the abusers considered themselves beyond reproach or that they considered their behavior guiltless or without fear of exposure. I’m surprised they considered their actions acceptable. What kind of people are these?

It took 2 New York publications (first in The New Yorker then in the NY Times) to uncover the Weinstein abuse. What I find interesting is that some of the abused women  tried to report their attacker but were unsupported and left feeling they had no alternative than to suffer in silence. I’m glad Weinstein was exposed. He should be arrested. He represents all that is evil. I can only hope that next time a woman is assaulted with unprovoked sexual attacks, she will not feel helpless.