10/31/13

Halloween . . .

Today, as the fully costumed adult in the cube next to you probably made clear, is Halloween. Now if you have children (or are the person in the cube "next to you") you have known Halloween was coming for weeks. And if you are an American consumer, you've known for months.

Between the "pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING" revolution, the fact that masks, costumes, hair spray, specially packaged candy, and limited edition/seasonal candles started showing up on end cap shelves in MAY and the fact that we've taken on this sense of National Pride (caps to show respect) around the holiday, Halloween has become top of mind.

My mother, a teacher and all around creative and amazing woman, would make (with a sewing machine and, some years, plaster of Paris) our costumes. My father, the principal at the elementary school, would lead the Halloween parade. My brothers would get in to the holiday (first in costume - later in mischief). My family loved the holiday.

I grew up in Upstate, New York. By October 31st, the world had turned dark and cold. I don't remember a single Halloween as a kid where I didn't want to sit home in the warmth instead of put on a costume and go door to door asking for candy. Let's be clear - if MY house has a vat of candy just inside the front door and YOUR house has a vat of candy just inside the front door and THEIR house has a vat of candy just inside the front door can't we all just stay home with our candy instead of fumbling around in the dark to get a small sample from each vat? Why don't we teach our kids efficiency anymore?!?!?!

I digress . . . Halloween. Yes. So . . . we live in Wichita and Halloween here is far more seasonable (most years) and, specifically, I live in College Hill where Halloween is BIG (I heard a woman saying last year she drove her kids in from El Dorado (30 minutes-ish away) to Trick-or-Treat in Wichita. It might be anecdotal but I really do think Halloween is a bigger deal here in the heartland than it was in the hills and valleys of the Empire State.

Regardless if it is the time zone, the water, or the cultural shift in generations . . . my daughter LOVES Halloween. Her mother LOVES Halloween. I could not care LESS about Halloween . . . the day.

(Please) don't invite me to your Halloween party. Certainly don't expect me to show up in costume if I come to the event itself. I won't be bobbing for apples. I won't be telling you (be you male or female) how quaint I find your "pick female occupation and add 'sexy' to the front" costume (unless you really do work it well at which point, gi-guh-deeeee).

I'll HAPPILY do a little decorating around the place. I'll buy and carve pumpkins. I'll even buy candy to leave on the front porch in a vat (yes - swing by my place, you are on the honor system and I don't care how quickly the candy disappears) but the whole notion of putting on a costume and/or knocking on the doors of people we live near/next to/around but do not KNOW and would not otherwise interact with seems very, very strange.

I mean - I do it. Five times or so. I am a parent. I HAVE to Trick-or-Treat. Five times per year. Yes, yes. I'm that much of a curmudgeon. I help get our daughter all costumed up (this year she is a Vampire Queen . . . not to be confused with a Vampire. Or a Queen. Or a seven year old girl that dresses like little girl things) and I take pictures and I smile and laugh and then I go to a few houses and her mother takes "it" from there. I am not even going to pretend I stay home to hand out candy. I won't even lie and say I stay in to protect our home from trickery. I won't even tell you that I have some other reason to sit at home beyond apathy for the whole thing.

Part of my disregard for the holiday, I think reinforces that, in my heart, I've always been Jewish. Part of it is that I just don't get the idea of wanting to escape in to some other person/thing/costume/etc. for a few hours (or days as it seems is the growing trend as we have Halloween parties and events throughout the month).

I'm happy being who I am in my own clothes, in my own house, without a vat of candy just inside my front door (it is on the porch - I don't eat modified sugars). I have NO problem with the holiday or people (Yes, even you adults get FULL PERMISSION (not that you need it (smile)) who get excited about and love it - two of the most influential women in my life do - but it is not meant for me. I'm not looking for a "trick" or a "treat" . . . I am just looking forward to November 1st.