My Porch Pumpkin

In every marriage, there are little secret or subtle tests and meters. Broad generalization here, but women communicate in subtlety, and men like a baseball bat upside the head. While I would (almost never) play games or (never) lie to my husband, is it really necessary for me to ask him to take the trash out when I have tied the bag up, and placed in next to the back door? Isn’t the message obvious? This is a fundamental difference between men and women, and not just the two that reside in our house.

So, after my husband steps over the bag of trash by the backdoor for the ump-teenth time, and I get totally annoyed and exasperated and snark at him about is he ever going to take the trash out? His response? “If you want me to take the trash out, why don’t you just ask me?” and he is serious!! A sublime and common example of the fine lines of communication between men and women.

Which brings me to my Porch Pumpkin. There really should be picture with this post, because words will not do it justice. Back in October, the Porch Pumpkin was a succulent, plump and shiny example of vegetable beauty, orange and glorious. It was so pretty that we did not carve it for Halloween, but left it on the porch to help celebrate Thanksgiving, too. So there it continued to sit, shiny and lovely, especially with the fall leaves blowing around the yard and the autumn leaf-wreath on the door. Welcoming and homey.

Then, as the weather started to get colder, and the leaves blew away, there she still sat, perched upon the porch, looking a little out of place with pine boughs decorating the door, but still mostly orange and round. It snowed, and stayed snowy and frozen for more than three weeks. The lovely Porch Pumpkin was now white, but could not really be seen beneath the blanket of snow that covered our yard, and, with Christmas right around the corner, really no one noticed.

Between Christmas and New Year’s, all the snow melted, and there she was again, in all her glory. Like all vegetables that have frozen and thawed, she was now a little mushy, and not quite orange any more. But you know, my husband didn’t seem to notice, and, like the trash bag by the back door, he just ignored her. Poor little Porch Pumpkin.

It is now the last day of January, and the weather has been relatively warm for our area this time of year. No snow all month, and even some days where it was sunny and warm enough for the kids to play outside. There she sits, my Porch Pumpkin, now wearing a coat of mossy green mold, slightly lop-sided, and oblong, no longer any orange to be seen. No longer warm and welcoming, she is now more of a “Get Lost!- Scary People Live Here” sign. Folks give her a wide berth when they approach our front door, and while I am kind of embarrassed, I usually offer no explanation.

I am waiting, you see. Waiting to see what gives first, my indignation at having a rotten, moldy vegetable as my welcome mat, or my husband’s ability to ignore it. I will probably loose this one!

10 thoughts on “My Porch Pumpkin

  1. How funny. So I’m not the only one who still has pumpkins. Ours are not carved either. I bought one and the other was given to us. They are darling pumpkins. We truely did intend to carve them, but it never happened. They sit by our kitchen table and have slowly become a part of our home (not literally. . .yet). I don’t even notice them any more. As a matter of fact a friend who was over just tonight asked if I was making pumpkin pie. I said no and asked why. She pointed to the pumpkins and they were once again brought to my attention. Since they are inside our house they haven’t been exposed to the elements and are therefore not moldy. At first every time we took the garbage out to the dumpster we considered taking them as well but never happened. Now the thought doesn’t even cross our minds. Ours aren’t even hidden by anything like snow. Really we have no excuse. At least you don’t always have to see yours, moldy they may be.

  2. I have a friend who had a similar pumpkin stand-off with her husband last year. I don’t think anyone ever gave in; every time I saw it, it was still on the grass by the sidewalk in a more advanced degree of rot (it rarely freezes here in winter). By spring there were little pumkin plant babies growing in their yard. I bet their HOA loved them.

    In our house, recently, it’s been things like the laundry pile in the hallway that I refuse to acknowledge because, hey, if they want it clean, they can put it in the freakin’ hamper. I may break down and actually tell them to clear it out today. There’s only so much martyrdom (and dirty laundry in plain view) that I can stand.

    I do wonder sometimes, if I weren’t around, if anyone else would step up and decide to do stuff that so clearly needs to be done.

  3. Amen Amen Amen…. In addition to an inability to see things that obviously must be done, my husband also has a selective memory. So not only do I have to explicitly ask, but I have to do it multiple times. It can be extremely hard not to take that personally. AARGH

  4. You are so going to lose this one, because you are right about men. I bet you he doesn’t even notice it, whereas you cringe every time you see your front door. Men are just like that. Have you ever been in a guys apartment, especially with 2 or 3 roommates? Soooo scary.

    You can, however, train him a little. Tell him that when you put the trash by the door, that’s a signal that you want it gone. So next time you won’t have to ask. He’ll remember “the signal.” He’s not dumb, he just has to know what the signals are.

  5. I didn’t give it a wide berth. In fact, it took all my will power not to scoop it up with my shovel and fling it at something just to see what would happen. So if someone does that in the middle of the night, it wasn’t me.

  6. I’m with The Wiz. You are SO going to lose this one. I can guarantee he has no idea that there even IS a pumpkin on the porch, much less that it’s practically compost already. You’re going to have to grit your teeth and either throw that stinky thing away, toss it in the grass, or wait and see if you get some pumpkin plants next season, because your husband will let that baby sit there forever.

    But I bet if you asked him nicely, he’d be more than happy to take care of it. From what you’ve descibed about him, he seems like a nice guy who would be happy to perform such a service for his beloved wife. But you’re going to have to ask.

    Of course, if you were married to Dumber, it sounds like he would don a surgical gown, gloves, and a mask, remove the offensive vegetable, and disinfect the area after he is done. I guess there are always trade-offs, huh?

  7. Does a christmas tree in the front yard, that has been there since dec 26th count? In all fairness we had planned on taking it to the dump the following week, but as luck would have it he was injured in a car accident that week and he can’t lift it yet, but then neither can I, so I can’t complain.

  8. We’ve got a Christmas tree in our front yard, too. Supposedly, the garbage people are supposed to collect them at some point, but we haven’t figured out when yet. Our neighbors all use artificial trees, so they don’t know. It’s getting a bit embarrassing.

  9. Ours was a carved-and-partially-cooked-by-a-candle-pumpkin, and it slowly caved in over November. When my inlaws came for Thanksgiving it got kicked over the edge of the steps and sort of slowly decomposed. I didn’t notice it again until one of my daffodils came up with a strange crunch black thing hanging off it, and when I bent down to invesigate, I saw the candle and was enlightened!

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