Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I suck at Halloween......



Friends, the title is no gross exaggeration.

It is the realization, nay, the culmination of 50 + years on this planet in which I am only able to name two Halloweens where I enjoyed myself.*

I could perhaps blame it on growing up in the 1960s, when Halloween costumes involved threadbare things you wore over your snowsuit, paired with scary masks that made you feel claustrophobic - sweaty and cold all at the same time.


Do you like the term "ventilated mask" - WTF toy manufacturers of the 60s!


We shuffled from house to house carrying pillow cases, barely able to see, furious when someone gave us an apple, which a) wasn't candy for goodness sakes and b) probably had a razor blade stuck in it, if the urban legends of St. Stephen were to be believed.

Later, we graduated from these kinds of costumes to home made ones, which meant we were either gypsies or hobos.  You see, my mother wasn't much for Halloween either.  We raided her old clothes bag and made do.

*I once went as a lion to a university Halloween party and was a huge hit but that's because I had not pants ( did have tights in my defense) and then later went as one of the Grapes of Wrath (there were 4 of us, we made our costumes by hand and painted angry looks on our faces and stomped around, stopping only to drink).  Two good memories!

Later, I had my own children.  I did better.  Not Dina better, but better.

But I never could be bothered much about the decorating.  If we were really ambitious in a given year, we would carve a jack o'lantern or hang Halloween stickers on the windows.  

But it was a half-hearted effort at best.

The week preceding Halloween was always busy in our house growing up - it was my sister's, mother's and brother's birthday all between the 18th and the 25th of October and perhaps there was nothing left in ours or our mother's gas tank for Halloween.

Perhaps it was because it was a different time.  It was the sixties and early seventies after all; my mother loved us, but she wasn't all that invested in what we were doing, so long as we came home at the end of the day with limbs attached.  My dad and Bill Garcelon, my friend Lisa's dad, walked us around the neighbourhood when we were really small, but gladly forgot about that as soon as we were able to run in packs.

Perhaps it was because I dislike all things horrible.  

I used to fake sick from time to time to have a mental health day from school when I was in elementary school and would watch Midday Matinee on CHSJ, which seemed to delight in terrifying its audience.  Perhaps the adults weren't terrified, but ten year old me was.  

 

I can remember watching the movie, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, starring Kim Darby and Jim Hutton, unwitting new homeowners who were sharing their new home with a bunch of murderous zombies.  I never liked to shower much after that movie and became a bath girl.

Sure, they don't look scary now, but trust me....  




The most charming portrayal of Halloween has to be Tootie's adventures in Meet Me in St. Louis.  I might have survived watching that as a young girl.
    

Or Linus' adventure waiting for the Great Pumpkin, which is arguably the only other decent Peanuts TV special.

 

 No, I just never much cared for Halloween.  I have my candy all ready for the 20 children* who will come on Friday night (*I use the term children loosely, since at least half of them will be teenagers 6 inches taller than me).  I might carve a pumpkin.

But mostly, I will endure the day and begin to plan for Christmas.  Because I definitely do NOT suck at Christmas....

 


And remember: stay safe out there and check those apples!

xoxo wendy
 


32 comments:

  1. It does my heart good to hear someone else say they aren't at all fond of Hallowe'en. I spent way too many years dealing with torn costumes and kids high on candy at the school's required Halloween parties to ever think fondly of the day again. (these parties have since been banned) I am keeping my fingers crossed we don't have any children again this year and if we do that Mike will do the honours cause he loves Halloween!

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  2. Aw, I kind of like Halloween! I don't always go all out with decorating, but I like watching scary movies, like trick-or-treating/trick-or-treaters, and used to make my own costumes (some very elaborate). It was fun emptying the loot and seeing what was there when we got home. Some years we'll get a fire pit going and pass out candy with neighbors down at the curb (weather permitting). But it is never too soon to think about Christmas, so you can get busy with that!! :) I love Christmas too. And Thanksgiving.

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    1. Cate - it sounds like I might like it if I was celebrating with you!

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  3. I am not a big fan of Halloween, either. Actually, if it went away forever I would not be the least bit sad. However, since three of my boys are still trick-or-treating age and love dressing up, I get to 'celebrate' it each year...at least for the time being.

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  4. Can't say I'm a big Weener, but I do remember it fondly...especially with my own kids. Hunter and Tyler went as construction super hero workers while Em was a shark on one of our first. Twas fun.

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    1. Okay - those are pictures I am dying to see!

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  5. I can't stand Halloween and I am always happy when it is over. I also dislike all things horrible and I grew up near Detroit, the night before Halloween meant fires all over the city, apparently it was a thing to set fire to abandoned buildings. That would be all over the news on the 31st.
    With my own kids it was always stress, especially when they were off in different directions...! I'm with you Wenders, bring on Christmas.

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  6. I was asked to dress up for a Halloween dinner this Friday and I answered no with no further explanation.

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  7. We are firmly in the Halloween years but I put the children in charge of decorating this year. I've done my dressing up for a party last weekend and now have only to distribute the treats (one for you, one for me...) Happy Halloween!

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    1. I think I may have lost my mojo now that the kids don't really care, whereas for Christmas, I would be all about it, regardless!

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  8. Any pumpkin that you're putting out is one more than me, my love.
    Im beign the halloween grinch this year, not going to parties (well actually was only invited to one) though bizarrely I do have a costume, I will not be wearing it.
    I do like always to go as something dorky. I avoid the sexy witch sexy pirate sexy kitten which some of my friends so love to do. (actually to be fair just one of my friends does that and very notably)

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    1. I didn't get invited to one at all, Jody! I do have a Scorpio party to attend on the 15th and have just organized my annual Christmas Dinner for my closest friends, theme of which will be It's a Wonderful Life this year - lots of retro stuff to work with there!

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  9. When I was growing up in Scotland Halloween wasn't a thing, so I only really experienced it with my own children. Right now we have a pile of candy as I get the feeling we'll have lots of kids passing through our street on the night, but I don't have any decor. Roll on Christmas!

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    1. Did you have Mummers? Where my sister-in-law grew up in Newfoundland they still have mummers, which I think would be amazing!

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  10. I do nada for H*ween at this point; I don't like grown up dressup parties. But I loved it as a child and when my own were little. I sewed their costumes most years-- an orange felt pumpkin, a satin Alladin outfit etc. We don't get trickortreaters here so I've not bought any candy either.

    I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving and Christmas so will start those lists soon.

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    1. See - I have to get a machine and learn how to sew. There's got to be a plan - I see that now!

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  11. I can take or leave Halloween. Having a little one who is seeing everything for the first times makes me very motivated to make it fun for her. Dollar Tree for decorations in house and engaging her by pointing out the neighbors' decorations.One thing I'm trying to do overall is have fun and not try to Pinterest my way into fatigue. I am taking that pressure off of myself. We had to look out for razor blades in the apples, too. lol

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    1. Gigi - when my kids were little I did love Halloween more as they were so excited. I went into the dreaded crawl space last night and couldn't even find the halloween bin. Actually, I almost got trapped by everything in there....

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  12. I am the Halloween Scrooge. I used to exhaust myself by making detailed costumes, pre- fancy costume catalog days. I was so relieved when the boys moved on to simple and easy. YOur bin might be in my garage. I couldn't find mine either!

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    1. Maybe well get some mojo back as grandmothers?

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  13. Oh Wendy, as you know I love Halloween. yes I decorate the house all over and buy far more candy than the 12 children who show up at my door could ever eat. I made the children's costumes for years and still have a tickle trunk full of adult and children's dress ups. It was much more fun when I worked, lots of adults around, to entice but this year I didn't get or make a new costume. t had friends stop over so I wish I had made the effort. :-)

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    1. Ger, I should put you in charge of my Halloween!

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  14. I've spent the evening looking for a movie that may have appeared on Midday Matinee in or around 1973. A Yahoo search of Midday Matinee brought me here! Would you have watched a movie one afternoon about a gal who was wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to die in the gas chamber? Drama being drama, the call that would have saved her life came too late! For some reason, it made sense at the time, her funeral was held on a tropical island. I have carried the memory of the ending of this movie around with me for about 40 years. Unfortunately, I have no memory of the movie's title. I hope you don't mind that I have left this comment!

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    1. snowmore - I am not aware, but will ask my friends, many of whom have better memories than I do! Surely we can figure it out!

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    2. Wendy! Thank you for replying. I'm sure my comment seems quite off the mark to your post! I should have mentioned the movie is not, to the best of my memory, "I Want to Live". Such a memory to carry for so long. Thank you!
      Robin

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    3. I was once at a dinner party where we tortured ourselves for 3 hours trying to recall the name of Dr. Rudy's secretary on The Six Million Dollar Man (It was Callahan and this was pre-internet) Funny, I did think of I want to live, but I doubt Midday Matinee carried such quality!

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  15. What did we do before the internet! It must have been torturous trying to recall her name. Thankfully, you must have been amongst good company!
    Long story short - it was my Grade 3 teacher who suggested we watch this movie when afternoon class was cancelled due to a snowstorm. Many many years later, I asked her if she recalled the name of the movie. She also said "I Want to Live", but I had already seen "I Want to Live" and knew it wasn't what I remembered. My need to know the name of the movie gained traction when the internet became a way of life, but I may never find out what I've long remembered. Such is life!

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Kindness is a virtue...