Happy November! Today, we’re welcoming a new month and as unbelievable as it may be, it is November and that means, the holiday season is lurking, right around the corner. It merely weeks, the mall, random shopping centers and websites will be crammed and packed full of shoppers eager to purchase the latest items and random finds, hoping to satisfy and please their friends and family. It always sparks some excitement within me, as well, I must admit, though in recent years I don’t have much to spend, it’s still fun to browse and take in the displays and new finds. Over the past few years, I’ve acquired many fine memories of “Black Friday,” and holiday shopping in general. Of course, there is the occasional snafu, where people might be cranky, long lines might ensue, but overall, it’s an interesting and telling experience.
Alright, now back to the story behind this morning’s blog post title: The Big Orange Bowl. Halloween night started off innocently enough, as my mom and I filled the big orange bowl I’ve had since age 10 with mini fruit snacks, granola bars, chocolate, lollipops and other random sweet treats for the ghosts and goblins roaming our neighborhood. It started off as a lighter crowd and there were some stragglers, but by the end of the night, the bowl was empty and much to my horror.. the bowl itself disappeared into the night… or so we initially thought.
Allow me to back up a bit. In the 5th grade, I was somewhat of a social butterfly. Excited for the impending Halloween, as a ten-year-old, I begged my parents to allow me to host a Halloween Costume Party. After much convincing, they obliged and the party was held at our home the weekend preceding Halloween. Eager to be dressed as a “Princess,” I nagged my mom to purchase me an elaborate Sleeping Beauty costume from The Disney Store. It was pink, sparkly and all I ever wanted that Halloween. Before I knew it, with a costume safely waiting for me in my closet, the preparations for the party were underway. Days prior, Mom, my sister, Hope and I visited a local Walmart to pick up snacks, utensils and other bowls/containers we might need. One of these purchases included a big, plastic, orange bowl we bought for a mere .97. It might not have been all that high quality, but fit the bill and served us well. Years later, we came to use the bowl for our various baking and cooking endeavors, as its size often came in handy and was able to hold an amass of ingredients. Whenever I would open the cabinet and look at that bowl, it wasn’t merely a cheap, plastic bowl I was looking at, but rather a reminder of my first Halloween party I hosted as a ten-year-old (the one which lead into my appendicitis, which actually happened two days before Halloween, no less), and many fond memories of cooking/baking with my mom and sister. To me, it was a big, orange bowl brimming with memories and love, having held up strongly over the past 15 years and continued going strong.
However, as last night edged on and my mom and I grew tired, I suggested we simply leave the big, orange bowl of candy outside for the trick-or-treaters to choose for themselves, trusting they would simply take candy and not the literal bowl. My mom joked at this suggestion, “I hope they don’t take the bowl, otherwise I’ll have to report it as stolen!” I shrugged of her comment, stating at the time, “It’s a .97 plastic bowl, it’s not worth anything, anyway.” I didn’t realize at the time, that less than an hour later, I would eat my words.
After placing the bowl outside, I went upstairs into my room and laid down in bed to settle down, catching up on my book. Hearing the door open outside, I suddenly heard my mom shriek, calling up to me, “The bowl is gone! The entire orange bowl is gone!” Immediately, I retreated from my bed, screaming in upset, beside myself. I couldn’t wrap my head around the notion of that 15-year-old big, plastic orange bowl gone from my life, forever. Determined to find it, my mom made her way several feet from our house and suddenly discovered the bowl in the bushes of our neighbor’s home. A waver of relief and shock crept over me as I realized, this big, plastic orange bowl is not simply a bowl, and really, it doesn’t matter if it is worth. 97 or $97. It is the fact of all it stands for and represents; my childhood Halloween party, memories of baking and cooking with my my mom and sister, becoming a symbolic fixture in my life. With it gone, it felt as though a part of me had disappeared, my memories ripped away from me without a moment’s notice and though I might be dramatizing the symbolism and meaning of this particular bowl, it caused me to rethink the words I often utter without truly thinking it over. Next time, I will think twice about the words I say and consider if they actually match the way I truly feel inside.