A few years ago, Isa held a small pumpkin carving party. I didn’t mind her guests, as many were my friends too, but I wasn’t in to it. I arrived a few hours late sans pumpkin. I sat on the couch and watched as Gabby attempted to carve the Dodgers LA logo on her pumpkin. She gave up soon after. Isa had more success with her Jack Skellington pumpkin. The others spread out with newspaper and knives on the floor and tried to keep pumpkin guts and seeds off the wood floor.
That was the first — and only — time I’ve ever had the opportunity to partake in the Halloween tradition. Yes, that’s right. I’ve never carved a pumpkin or made a jack-o-lantern. I’m pretty sure the same goes for everyone in my immediate family.
I’ve come up with three reasons why we never carved pumpkins:
First, we liked pie more than we liked knives. I suppose at one point I was attracted to the idea of making a jack-o-lantern. But then mom started making delicious pies. There was no contest. Pumpkin pie >>> jack-o-lantern (that will begin rotting a day after Halloween).
Second, I doubt mom had the time to supervise four kids wielding pumpkin carving knives. She knew better. We were accident prone and sharp objects, no matter how kid-safe, meant about a 50% chance of making an ER trip. Plus, mom was busy sewing our Halloween costumes.
Third, we’re Mexicans. We weren’t poor, but my parents came from poor families. As a rule, we didn’t waste food. Rotten fruit? Cut off the rotten part, it’s still good enough to eat. If we’d eat questionable fruit, then why would we waste a perfectly good pumpkin? It didn’t make sense.