“I’ve learned there are three things you don’t discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.”

~ Linus Van Pelt

Do you have a Great Pumpkin? Is there something in your life that means a great deal to you but that you keep under wraps? Have you let the secret out to someone and had an unfortunate outcome?

I have a few things about me that when I share them with others, result in silent, polite head nodding or a series of questions that imply: I think you are a bit crazy so I need to know if I should leave you alone with my kids.

What happens next? Sometimes nothing. Sometimes a shift in a relationship dynamic. Sometimes exploitation. Sometimes a new alliance.

To sit out in a pumpkin patch, alone, based on the idea that something you cannot prove or explain will happen at some point, is faith or it is foolishness, or it is both. That’s the thing about Great Pumpkins. You kind of know and feel somewhat foolish for believing, but you keep the faith all the same. It just feels better that way.

Still, I tend to keep my Great Pumpkins to myself. I’ve learned the hard way. Ever since I admitted a crush on the class dork in second grade and was mocked on the playground after school, I’ve learned to keep my deepest wishes, desires and practices to myself.

Great Pumpkin theories are shared on a need-to-know basis.

I’m not always happy with this arrangement.

Some of you out there are so open with your lives. Whether it’s a health issue, an impending divorce, a hurt from the past, an addiction or weird obsession, or just stupid daily stuff, you put it out there. This is the stuff of life to which I’m drawn. Raw. Real. Honest.

Blogs about perfect people and their perfectly sculpted and staged lives bore me on good days and gut me on bad days.

Blogs about real things keep me coming back for more. Just today I read three moving posts: a woman fighting for her life, overcoming one emotional trauma at a time; a woman revealing that she and her husband have separated; a woman breaking silence about the domestic violence in her home.

Not all is gloom and doom in the blogosphere. I also enjoy reading about those of you who are doing well but share your life in a way that endears me to you, makes me want to meet you some day over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.

Sometimes I think I know more about the bloggers I read, and they know more about me, than the people I know in real life.

And that is a pumpkin of a different color.

Like, I'm a Libra O+ Dragon

Don’t judge me by my blood type: O positive.

 According to Japanese popular culture, which takes blood type very seriously, I’m either the best or the worst. The Japanese rely upon charts, such as the one below, to determine everything from mate compatibility to job suitability. The trouble is, there are so many charts and tables on the Internet and none of them seem to have a consensus. Here is one:



One site says Os are the least desirable. Another declares Os to be ideal. Wikipedia expounds on the historical roots of such a belief system and some of it is tied to racism. Early theories on blood type and personality traits seem to be based on circumstantial evidence more than scientific research.

Another site offers the theory that since the Japanese are a fairly homogenous people, separating folks into distinct catergories is a fun way to feel special, different.

This site suggests O types share characteristics of the earliest humans, the hunter-gatherer types who dragged their knuckles on the cave floors and subsisted  on a diet heavy on meat and low on grains. 


This graphic, put together by a British blogger who studied in Japan, suggests that if all the blood types were roommates, O would be an evil and maniacal zombie.

It’s a good thing I’m not working the singles scene in Tokyo. I’d probably slash my wrists for all the rejection and spill my evil Type O blood all over the tile floors, sending nightclub patrons scurrying for the exits.

It’s better that I live here in the United States, where I can proudly introduce myself as a Libra, one who is diplomatic, romantic, easygoing and sociable, according to some astrological descriptions.

Even the dark side of the scales isn’t so bad, with qualities like indecisiveness (you don’t want to be behind me in a coffee house line or at a fork in the road) and easily influenced by others.  

On the Chinese astrological cycle, as one born in the year of the Dragon, I have a high rating. Dragons are considered the mightiest of the zodiac characters.

While this is all in good fun, one item did jump out at me:  The Japanese list their blood type along with their other vital stats. Many Americans do not even know their blood type. Do you know yours?

Keyboard confessional

I was raised in Religion X.

My whole family, both sides, belong to Religion X.

It is expected that you marry someone who is also a member of Religion X.

Religion X dictates everything: where to worhsip, where to send your kids to school, and how you are to conduct your life down to the most intimate details. These intimate details are dictated by old men in robes sequestered in ornate buildings far away from the unwashed masses. 

Some in the family go so far as to screen caterers and other service people to make sure they are of the proper religious leaning. I mean, you couldn’t trust someone outside of X to prepare and present your food, right?

Call me a wild child. I don’t even ask my dry cleaner where he worships. I take those kinds of risks with my clothing.

As soon as I was old enough, I jumped the fence and left the flock.
Truthfully, I never really was in the fold. Call me a junior wolf in sheep’s clothing. I went along with the herd. Inside, I was asking questions and doubting what I was hearing. Twenty five years later, there are those still waiting at the gate to let me back in.

They send out messages periodically, veiled attempts to lure me. There is an Armageddon theme in all these trinkets and baubles.

I say any group that thinks they are the most worthy, that those who aren’t with them are automatically against them and somehow destined for hell, damnation, or at least inferior catering services, is not a group to which I want to belong.

As a child, I wondered about all the people in Religion Y or Religion Z. They seemed fine to me. They didn’t look like doomed people. And what about all those people on the other side of the world who have no religion? Well, I was told, if it seems like life is rough for them, we know why don’t we?
But it just didn’t seem right somehow. How could all those people be wrong? Who decided that our thinking is the only correct interpretation? Maybe we are wrong and they are right. Where would that leave us?

The adults would tell me I should feel bad for the Ys and Zs and the no religions. They said that until they found the way, they would not be saved.

Being the bad girl I was, I rejected this. I went on a quest and visited houses of worship all over the alphabet, even a cultish kind of place. Mostly people were the same. I even learned a lot of people don’t like Religion X. 

Lately, I’ve kind of invented my own religion. It suits me fine. I won’t be shoving it down your throat anytime soon. Make that ever.