Wednesday, October 31, 2007

But Enough About Me, Let’s Talk About Me!

This weekend I ran into not one, not two, but nearly a dozen Allaboutme’s. You know the type: you ask them question after question, not because you’re trying to hit on them or pick them up, not because you’re interviewing them or building a dossier on them, but simply because you want them to feel comfortable during a social gathering, as complete silence can, at times, be a tad awkward.

Note: I’m referring to the instances where Allaboutme’s pals are already engaged in conversation with others, and Allaboutme is the odd man or woman out. Or perhaps they are a new client, and you want to establish a rapport. Perhaps they are the significant other of a relative, overwhelmed by their first visit during a holiday event. You may have even felt sorry for them, so you reached out, and now you wish you had been born with your mouth fused shut, because they turned out to have the social skills of a Soviet-era taxicab built in 1972.

After you’ve learned all about Allaboutme, you wait for the reciprocal questions to be asked. But no, Allaboutme is not interested in you. Not in the least. Allaboutme could give a ferret’s anus what you do for a living, what your family is like, what your hobbies are, or what books, movies, vacations, or interesting anecdotes have recently migrated into your life. (Disclaimer: Unless they want something from you. Then, Allaboutme will only ask the pertinent questions to achieve exactly that.)

After one or two encounters with an Allaboutme you want to give up and live in a yurt in Montana, but we humans are social animals. So you resign yourself to the fact that into every life, a couple hundred Allaboutme’s must fall.

Now, I don’t want this post to be Allaboutme. But that’s kind of hard with a blog, isn’t it? It’s a one-sided conversation. So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to ask you three questions. If you feel like participating, please answer them in the comments. In the meantime, I’ll be frantically finishing my copyediting and carving a pumpkin or two.

(I should add that a worse variant on the Allaboutme is the One-Upper, famous for steering every conversation back to him or herself with lines like, “You think YOU’RE depressed, wait ‘til you hear about MY day!” Or “Yeah, sorry about your uncle. But at least he didn’t have cancer of the personality, which runs in my family and has already stricken both of my parents. Oh, you haven’t SEEN pain until you’ve struggled with cancer of the personality, which causes awful things to come out of your mouth as well as uncontrolled extension of the middle finger.”)

Okay. Enough. On with the interactive questions.
  1. What’s your weirdest or most embarrassing Halloween memory? Mine is of inadvertently trick-or-treating at the home of an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease. She didn’t know it was Halloween and gave us a bunch of money.
  2. What’s the most creative Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? (Alternately, what’s the cleverest one you’ve seen on someone else?)
  3. On pumpkin-carving: patterns or freehand? Save and roast the seeds or dump ‘em?

This Friday I’m at the Debs, blogging about Halloween mammaries...I mean MEMORIES. (I guess I still have the image in my mind of this guy wearing a bra stuffed with cumin and pepper and cinnamon--he was a "Spice Rack." Get it?) Stop by if you're not too sick of the holiday yet.


  1. Oh man, do I hate those Allaboutmes. But the Oneuppers are the WORST!! and that is so sad about the woman giving you money! What if that was for her prescriptions or something? Poor lady!

    Ok, here goes:
    1. What’s your weirdest or most embarrassing Halloween memory? In high school, we had a costume contest for the marching band. (I'm cool, people, step back!) I created a very crafty and realistic toilet costume. I won the contest - and does it get any better than a toilet playing the flute in the marching band on game night?! I don't think so.

    2. What’s the most creative Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? see #1 above.
    3. On pumpkin-carving: patterns or freehand? Save and roast the seeds or dump ‘em? Freehand if it's a face, pattern if it's something tricky. Seeds are too sticky to mess with - toss 'em.

  2. I'm going to flake on 1 and 2 and go straight to 3.

    Freehand, because it always ends up looking more "real". I feel like the patterned ones look kind of sterile.

    Also, we used to save and roast the seeds, but I found out that when you knock your front teeth out and they have to give you a root canal and the drill is burning your teeth because of the friction the resulting smoke smells just like roasting pumpkin seeds, so I can't eat them anymore.

  3. Anonymous4:50 PM

    Also gonna flake on 1 and 2 because I don't ever wear costumes and I'm fuzzy on last week so I'll never remember anything from my childhood.

    The cleverest one I saw was at the famous Halloween party here in West Hollywood. Literally hundreds of thousands of people are in costume.

    There was a group of 5 people who would place trees around them and hold flashlights under their chins while they sat on the pavement. Their sign said Blair Witch Project. Then after a few quiet moments they would get up and move to another location. They did this for hours.

    One year they went dressed as that War Memorial of the 3 guys planting the flag. They'd hold the pose and then calmly move on. They needed no sign since it was a verbatim reenactment of that sculpture.

  4. 1. At a college Halloween frat party while clad in wings and a halo I was once fed the line "I bet you're not really an angel." It doesn't get much freakier...

    2. Last year I was a jellyfish -- I had a clear umbrella that was embellished with shiny streamers and ribbons but the best part was the blue battery powered Christmas lights that I glued inside of the dome

    3. Old school free hand artist style -- patterns are for wimps. Seeds are yumarific

  5. Ooh, you've pegged these kinds of people PERFECTLY.

    My husband and I once went as Siskel and Ebert.

  6. 1. When I was at that ackward teenage age but still young enough to be trick-or-treating, I said something to an elderly woman which everyone BUT ME realized was a very explicit double-entendre.
    2. I went as a murdered bride to a high school dance once...
    3. I throw out the seeds because I am lazy. My husband is the pumpkin carver...

  7. When a few friends and I got caught throwing rocks at that old man's house. There were six other kids out there, but what does he say? "Okay, TANYA, I see you!"


  8. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Im 5th grade, after exchaging looks of "what is with your daughter?" "No, what is up with YOUR daughter?" and secretly laughing their asses off,
    they let me out of the house lookig like this:

    Those were saftey reflective stickers haded out in school that day. Not that I'm defending myself.

    2. I was a Got Milk? mustache model/ad (clow white for the milk line).

    3. freehand, roast 'em, but only if there's time.

  9. Anonymous8:58 AM

    At the risk of seeming just too British, it is only recently that begging for sweets from starngers has taken off as a custom in the UK.

    In my day you gathered together and "bobbed for apples", terrified each other wit ghost stories and then went to mass the next day.

    I am in Japan at the moment and they seem to have adopted Halloween this year. The hotels have discreet little displays of pumpkins. Rather than carve them they paint faces on them in black paint.

    Yours tediously


  10. Anonymous12:03 PM

    So weird that you wrote about the Allaboutmes today. I just met one over the weekend and sadly I had to spend the entire weekend with her since we were camping with them. Ugh. I just kept waiting for her to ask me just one thing about myself and waiting and waiting.

    I'm sorry I have no Halloween stories or costumes to share. I wasn't allowed to celebrate it when I was a kid. I should write about that sometime.

  11. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Dude, hate to be an Allaboutme, but my dad got a kidney last night. I am off to Madison, hope you & J & Dasiy are doing well & we need to get together SOON!!! Thank you so much for your support & friendship. xoxox

  12. What’s your weirdest or most embarrassing Halloween memory?

    Hmmm, I'm not too sure. Well how about the time I was recently married and was attending a friend's bachelorette party on the weekend of Halloween and I was totally dancing with a dude dressed like POWDER, remember that movie? Like the all-white faced dude. It was hot. So totally hot.

    What’s the most creative Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
    OK, to this day, my costume is the BEST EVER. One year, I was a bloody tampon. Swear to God. I have a photo somewhere. I wore red shirt, white thermal long underwear, bought this string thing that I attached to a bald-head wig thingy, and wore tampons painted red as earrings, and tied tampons throughout my hair. Then, for added measure, I spray painted blotches of blood all over. It was THE BEST! I wish I went out to a bar that night, or even a party. Sadly, I stayed home that night. I had PMS.


    And speaking of ALLABOUTME's... stop on over to my blog as I'm doing that dang NaNOBLOMOMUTHAEFFER thing and blogging daily for the month of November, where I AM asking three questions to readers and featuring them every day.

    And I don't do pumpkins, but that reminds me of a joke set somewhere in Kentucky asking about what the fellows do for Halloween, involving sex... with the punch line being "Pump Kin."

  13. Hey Aimee--congrats on your dad getting a kidney! His name isn't Larry Resnick huh?? Just a joke, but seriously, that is great news, and I don't even know you, but I'm guessing you're bonded with Jess because of the book.

  14. Anonymous10:17 PM

    I just had a conversation with one of those Allaboutme people. Tiresome.

  15. Anonymous11:10 PM

    My favorite Halloween memory was attending a GREAT party on Cherry Street! These crazy gals threw the party and handed me a beer cup with permanent marker on it reading, "My hiney stinks!" Those silly girls!

  16. Very little patience for the Allaboutmes. No patience at all for the One-Uppers.

    Halloween memory, oh god. How's this: Falling on my face and breaking my front tooth.

    Never worn a creative costume, throw out the seeds. I'm something of a Halloween grinch, it seems.

  17. Does this mean I'm a one-upper cuz I have to tell MY story about the sharpie markers and a college beer party. We would write things like SLUT, WHORE, NERD, GEEK, STUD on their cups when they came in and just hand out the cups randomly!!!

  18. Regarding pumpkin carving... after you've had 3 kids for an entire century, you are so sick of scooping out pumpkin guts every year that the thought of another Halloween makes you want to rent a crop duster and spray Round Up on every pumpkin patch in your county.

    Oh sorry, did that sound bitter?

  19. Hahaha! I love Spice Rack! My favorite was one I saw in college. A guy wore a business suit and a Viking helmet and was a "Corporate Raider". I don't really have any embarassing Halloween memories, and rarely ever carve pumpkins, but I do love roasted pumpkin seeds.

  20. I have a friend who is an Allaboutme. It's seriously put a damper on our friendship. *sigh*

    Okay. Your questions:

    1. Weirdest/embarrassing Hallowe'en know, I can't think of any. I think my Hallowe'en's have been fairly...boring. There was one time that it was a total blizzard, would that count?

    2. I went as a dead prom queen one year. It was wicked -- the dress I wore was my grandmother's and it was soooooo cool. The most creative costume I've ever seen was the year my best friend went as a joint. She wrapped herself in a sheet and spray-painted her hair green. She rigged the sheet so it went right up over her face and her hair stuck out the was really cool.

    3. Patterns, because my freehand ain't so good. And I always roast the pumpkin seeds. They're one of my favourite parts of Hallowe'en!

  21. Anonymous10:01 PM

    1. In 2nd grade, I was Winnie the Pooh. Cute, except for the "POOH" letters on my red shirt. Did I get harassed at school that day? You betcha!

    2. My husband and I dressed as each other for our company's Halloween party. Won "Best Couple," which made up for the humiliating Pooh costume experience.

    3. Too lazy to carve.

  22. 3) freehand, with a jigsaw. and all for the roasting - coat the seeds with worchestershire sauce before baking, yummy!

    2) not by me, but by several of my GFs who went as bodily fluids.

    1) The year in college I pushed a BF through a window at a Hallowe'en party. He had the gall to criticize my Navy Officer's costume...

    Not very flattering, that last one.

  23. You are awesome.

    Okay, back to Me. [sic]

    1 Trick or treating stoned in 11th grade for the chocolate, and singing Hava Nagila on the lawn of a woman who was handing out "Jesus Loves you" pamphlets instead of candy.

    2 I kind of liked when I was a chalk outline. That was fun. I still remember the girl at that party who was Mrs Scarlett in the libarary with a wrench and had a whole huge image of a bookcase strapped to her back. But living in NY and going to the Greenwich Village Hween parade every year...well there are some truly insane costumes there.

    3 Pumpin carving? You mean you don't just draw eyes on with a sharpie? Thalia will be so disappointed.

  24. Here I go again, Allaboutme and late to the party. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I can skip over ME in my blog... sigh..

    1. Age ten, trick or treating with a boy I loved since age 5. He pushed me, I tripped on my stupid fairy gown and fell into another idiot kid's head, and had a bloody nose all the way home - early, with only 1/2 bag of candy.

    2. My best Halloween costume I wore in the 90's. At work, I was Mimi - Drew Carey's itch. I loved calling most people "Pig".

    3. Freehand - dump the seeds. I'm too lazy to do anything else with them.