Lingering wisps of pumpkin smoke

I had wanted to post something Halloweeny yesterday, really I did, but after recovering from a heavy work-filled weekend I realized that it would be the first time in like five years that I would Actually Get To Enjoy Halloween. You have no idea how huge this is. It’s my favorite holiday, one I never really get burnt out on (or if I do it’s considerably less than other holidays). This year alone I had to be focused on parts of the holiday around at least April, and yet I still found myself anticipating October. Getting to spend the 31 of October in a festive way that isn’t dedicated to making other people feel creeped out is a big, big thing for me.

I totally slept as late as I could, I won’t lie. And I loved every second of it.

I didn’t have it in me to go out somewhere this year, and truth be told I kind of like to vicariously live through the kids that plow through the neighborhood with their floppy pillowcases and plastic pumpkins. I miss that self-imposed magic that kids just kind of radiate. Growing up in small towns, I really got the last true bits of the holiday. Back in my day (oh lord, here I go…) we were allowed to be out after dark (gasp!) and we took short cuts through alleys (oh my gawd!), and went to homes we kind of sort of knew (the agony!). Sometimes, if it was from someone we knew, mind you, we even got…homemade treats (The horror, the humanity!)

Seriously, kids today don’t know what they’re missing. Buying a costume in o’ bag is nothing compared to the imagination it takes to believe that you can whip up a spectacular costume out of your mom’s old coat. I’m sure that’s partially where I got the costume design bug…there were a series of years where my attempts were so bizarre for a tween or teen girl, I can’t even say. There was the invisible man, Harpo Marx, Darth Vader, a Jedi, an elf sitting on a mushroom, one witch giving another witch a piggyback ride…don’t ask me what inspired those, but they were a lot of fun. It was fun to be something I wasn’t and suspend all belief in logic and all that dumb real-world stuff for a night where I could run around town scaring the crap out of myself because I just knew a witch or a serial killer was lurking around the next corner. And admittedly I’ve always liked the cutesie elements, too. I suppose my Halloween tastes are part lilian vernon catalogue and part Charles Addams.

So yesterday found me watching my copy of the old special The Halloween Tree (if you haven’t seen this, you’re missing out. Truly an animated masterpiece that is also informative on the origins of the holiday. And it’s by Ray Bradbury so it’s extra-zomg. Different than the book, but as its own beast it’s magnificent). By six (bah, the sun was still out! boooo!) it was out to clump with the neighbors – we all sit around and give out treats in one unit here. While my adult self can appreciate the efficiency and admit that  it’s fun to sit around and eat and catch up, I did wonder what the kids thought about the one-stop shopping. Though wow, I never thought I’d meet a kid that had to be told it was okay for them to take more candy…our block has its manners down, but geez…it’s Halloween! Take the candy, it’s okay! I am also pleased to report that most of the costumes that I saw this year were Star Wars related (so sue me, I’m a big geek). I was severely tempted to run up and throw my Princess Leia outfit on, but was thankfully reminded that since it was thirty degrees, my sweats were probably a better option. I’m pretty sure I managed to freak out some at least one poor neighbor kid by squealing “OH MY GOD IT’S A FETT! WHICH ONE ARE YOU, BOBA OR JANGO!?!?” Thankfully Jango’s mom appreciated my fangirling and didn’t feel the need to get a restraining order.

So now it’s November first. There has never been a more depressing date. Seriously, Halloween and growing older intrigue me. It’s like I can almost, almost still get that same ooga booga dark magic vibe if I squint right and try really hard, but it’s just not quite the same. Which makes the holiday special and a little sad all at once.

But oh, how I still love it!







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