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!