Just call me Sybil.

That’s brilliant, isn’t it? I can barely get people to remember that I’m not called Martha. So that’s just what we need. More names.

I, dear readers, am a study in contrasts.

You could say I’m deep…conflicted. Torn between extremes and wrestling with the big questions.

You’d be wrong, of course, but go ahead and say those things. I like when people think I’m smart. And deep.

I could be deep. I have depths!

Serious, unplumbed depths! Deep, deep depths!

Yeah, right.

Anyone who is cheered up by a Snicker’s bar is about as deep as a shot glass.


See what I mean?

Anyway, for yours truly, “study in contrasts” is a nice way of saying “wishy-washy.” Or if I’m feeling particularly uncharitable, “confused.”

So, in an effort to keep up in the great Pumpkin War of 2010, I – you may recall – broke out the Halloween decor.

I am so not to be trifled with.

However, I seem to be suffering some sort of Halloween split personality disorder.

For instance, you may remember this, which sits on the hutch:

Menacing. Eeeeevil.

But then I have this on the front step:

Charming. Cozy.

Ok, well we can’t have any of that. I want my guests to be freaked out. So I have these:


In which case maybe I shouldn’t have this hanging on the front door:

And if I’m really tying to create an ambience of  unease and give people chills with this:

Then maybe I should knock off buying stuff like this:

Do you see where I’m going here?

Or, more accurately, do you see how I’m failing to get ANYWHERE here?

I can’t decide if I want cute and charming or horrid and freaky. And so I end up with both which ultimately causes an emotional state known in the health care industry as, “Huh?”

As a former performance artist, I can tell you that “huh?” is about the WORST reaction you can get from a viewing audience.

I don’t know what to do about this.

But I can tell you whose fault it is.

The tramp with the pumpkins on her roof.


Filed under Humor

58 Responses to Just call me Sybil.

  1. HA! I have a huge, hairy spider on the front door hanging right above a happy pumpkin sign. Clearly, we’re both bipolar. And addicted to Target.

  2. You were a performance artist?
    Any old videos?
    Are pumpkins involved?
    Intrigued in Northern Canada.

    • A vocalist of some modest experience, yes.

      And nope…not a single video. Nor a pumpkin.

      Himself and I are considering some recordings though.

      That still won’t include video. 😉

  3. Love it all. Keep ‘em guessing, that’s what I say.

    However, I saw no photos of cobwebs, so I’m feeling inadequate and concerned that I’ve totally dropped the gourd.


  4. For what it’s worth, I love the cute and charming. Save the scary stuff for actual Halloween day (or the day before too). That’s just my opinion though.

    Or, you work right? Take the cute and charming to work with you to decorate your office/desk.

  5. BLAME is even BETTER than deepness!!

  6. Look at it this way: you can scare the adults and Big Kids with your creepy stuff, but the little toddlers in their Ariel and Spiderman costumes won’t be terrified to trick or treat at your house.

    I speak from experience, both of my own and from my kids.


    • I mentioned somewhere that after I bought one of my houses, a few years ago, we did a major haunted house. The kids who USED to live in the house still trick-or-treated in the neighborhood. They WOULDN’T come up to the house.


      Gave the kids nightmares about monsters in the house where they used to live.

      Go us.

  7. KLZ

    You know, I think about that pumpkin tramp every day on my way home from work?

    I can’t decide if I hate her or pity her.

    Maybe she puts all those pumpkins up to distract people from her drinking habit, is what I think.

  8. So… you’re not named Martha??

    Well then, that Martha cross-stitch is gonna be a mighty awkward Christmas present.

    Not to mention all the My Name is Martha stickers.

  9. Nothing is oozing blood and there are no disembodied eyeballs, so I think you’re still safely within the acceptable Halloween range. Not *too* spooky, but not too adorably cute, either.

    We have 3 jack-o-lanterns on our entry steps. I’m slacking with the decorations this year. Plus? all of my fake headstones broke in the wind last year. Now my heart just isn’t in it.

    • Aww….that’s very sad!!

      Mine keep getting knocked over.

      Possibly because “leaning” is not the most robust installation technique.

      But it’s all I can summon the effort for right now.

  10. If you ever retire that owl, can I have it?

  11. liz

    I think the Spooky Halloween sign with the cat next to it is my fave; it put a smile on my face.

    And posts like this make me feel guilty that while I understand the Sybil reference, I have never seen the movie from which it came. And that situation happens to me all too often.

    I may need a Netflix subscription.

    • That movie came out when I was quite young. I saw it at what was probably an inappropriate age and have not seen it again since.

      But the reference remains.

      And that’s the important part.

  12. The haphazard Halloween decorating fits you perfectly. Never, ever, ever change.

    The only thing you might do is put a clown wig on that freaky owl. Really juxtapose it up, baby.

    Haha. You’re like my mom – only young and hot. I just realized that’s why I love your Halloween decorating style. Reminds me of growing up.

    • As long as I get the “hot” part.

      In a way that does not suggest estrogen replacement.

      And I’ve decided that I like your mom.

      For many reasons.

      And a wig on the owl??


  13. I think confusion is good. And you never know what sort of phobias and anxieties people are going to have. My youngest is very unsettled by uncarved pumpkins on people’s porches. He feels strongly they should be carved if they are going to be displayed & has been known to cry at the sight of them. Possibly people who grew up with cute Halloween decor are now traumatized by the sight of it & yet adore the freaky owls. You are just covering all the bases.

    • Well, uncarved pumpkins are just pretty damned freaky.

      They’re basically jack-o-lanterns WITHOUT A FACE!


      How more nightmarish can you get?

  14. I struggle with this dichotomy too, and end up doing just the mantle instead of the whole house. The mantle I can deal with; it’s a limited space. But the rest of the house and outside… I’m frozen. I don’t know what direction to go. It’s a problem that my 6 year old daughter has been begging me to get over for two weeks now.

    “Mom! Look at THAT house! Why can’t we do that to our house??”

    “Because Mom is incapacitated by the lack of a cohesive theme, honey.”

  15. My house looks quite similar. I blame the kids.

    Seriously. The oldest wanted scary spooky Halloween. The youngest wanted cutesy spooky Halloween and the one in the middle was conflicted and selected a few items of each. (The other one in the middle is FAR TOO cool for any such nonsense and sat inside with the husband who wants nothing to do with outside decorations!)

    So that’s
    1- Spooky
    1- cutesy
    1 -conflicted
    2- could give a rat’s a— well you get the idea
    1- Tasteful, yet appropriate.

    So you can see who was the clear loser here. yep, me.

  16. Well your split personality is entirely fitting for Halloween…so I say go with it and run!!

    I happen to like the contrasts…a little for everyone!

    • I just hope that I have the interesting tension of asthetic dichotomoy going here, not “couldn’t she make up her damned mind?”

      Except I sort of think I know what side of that teeter-totter I ended up in.

  17. Oh, I’m Sybil too then. I have such a hodgepodge of decor. That’s how I roll.

  18. Oh, please, no, dear god, don’t say it was interpretive dance…

    Things will never be the same between us.

  19. I have zero Halloween decorations. I don’t even want to know what that says about me…

  20. If we use the What Would Martha Do theory and extrapolate accordingly….
    Scary, menacing in one room. Cute, sparkly in another.

  21. Melinda

    Lol! I think it is an attempt to confuse the trick or treaters so they only take one candy instead of two which means there’s leftover chocolate at the end of the night which can be stashed away in a top secret location. Excellent job on strategic decorating.

  22. litaworld

    Keep all the decorations..then no one knows what’s coming at them next!! It’s nice to be confusing sometimes….well, I guess not when you’re trying to make sense…but hey, making sense isn’t usually as much fun!

    • Making sense is, in fact, HUGELY overrated.

      I know this because I see other people making sense and I know that they’re not as interesting as me.

      Not because I’ve ever actually made sense myself.

      And it’s not even on my bucket list.

  23. Well, I get pretty darned excited over a snickers bar, so put me in the ding-dong category, would ya?

    It is that tramp’s fault. Dang her (go over and sneak a picture!)

  24. You nailed it: The Tramp with the Pumpkins on the Roof. The root of all Halloween Sybil-ish-ness, I think.

    You are a contrast, Lori, and I do think it’s actually one of your charms.

    I love, love the eeeevilllll one, by the way!

  25. Or should I say, I just love BOTH of you.

  26. Do you remember the part in Shrek where the donkey goes on and on about how he has so many layers that he’s like a parfait…and everyone loves parfait! That is so where my mind was here.

    I love all of this layers, my friend.

    “Boo! Oh wait, come back! See my friendly welcome sign?” Tee hee…

  27. Maybe you should take the scary stuff to “Pumpkin-Woman’s” house and leave it there with a note that says, “We are here for the pumpkins. Hand them over and no one gets haunted”

    Two scary black owls—one stone.

  28. Joy in NH

    Maybe someone mentioned this…but did you notice the pleasant, inviting stuff was outside, while the evil all lurks inside the house?

    What have you to say about that?

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