Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The End of an Era

Around 7 a.m. today, when I was in the kitchen eating breakfast, making Benny's lunch and emptying the dishwasher (I'm all about multitasking in the morning now), I suddenly noticed the napkin which had, second's before, contained an entire toasted Eggo.

It was a cheap little napkin, thin and wispy, the type that if you dampen it to wipe the table, it will disintegrate in your hand before you get there. It was covered with faint pictures of witches, ghosts, spooky houses and pumpkins.

This wasn't any ordinary Halloween napkin -- it was the last Halloween napkin, the final survivor of a "10 for $10 sale" at Lucky's supermarket last September. I remember arriving home in triumph with a dozen bags of groceries and Ron's face as he opened grocery bag after grocery bag and said in disgust: "They're all napkins!"

Now some women might hesitate to buy thousands of Halloween napkins in late September. But I'm the one with Easter chick salt-and-pepper shakers in the dining room, stuffed Halloween pumpkins in the living room, three wooden Wise Men in the hallway and Thanksgiving turkey towels in the bathroom. Buying holiday-themed housewares always seems such a cute idea at Target; not so practical in real life. My sister categorically refuses to buy those cute bunny potholders or Christmas tree dishtowels. I fully understand why. But surely, some people out there change their oven mitts for every holiday. I suspect these are the same folks who dress their front-yard geese every week too.

But back to the napkins. Considering how wasteful my family is with napkins (Ron likes to ball them up and flick them at Benny), I thought the 10 packages would last two months, tops, and I could put out cute turkey napkins at Thanksgiving. But weeks went by ... Veterans Day and Thanksgiving and Christmas and Martin Luther King Day and Valentine's Day and Presidents Day ... and still we're eating with the witches and the ghosts.

This morning, however, I held the last Halloween napkin. Triumphantly I wadded it up and chucked it into the wastebasket. Tomorrow I'm heading out to buy cute bunny Easter napkins. Ten for $10, of course. They ought to last us until Labor Day.

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