It’s Halloween time, my second, really, since leaving my ex – and I’m enjoying it. The first year, I was still in shock, still sort of dazed. I managed to buy candy just in case there were Trick or Treaters (there was one) and other then that, I did no decorating, nothing.
The kids go to the big Halloween carnival at the church… Sorry, it’s not a Halloween carnival, it’s City Hope or something like that, and it’s a Halloween Alternative. Anyway – it’s cool and it’s great. There are games, activities, candy, food and other fun stuff, and it’s free to the community. They also usually do the church’s big To Hell and Back sermon thingy… OK, great. Have fun, not my scene, thanks.
Meanwhile, I always loved Halloween. It’s that time of year when you get to poke fun at your fears. Maybe it’s my love of costuming, makeup and effects coming out – but I’ve always loved the haunted houses, creepy décor and eerie or gross makeup. But I spent 13 years unable to do any of that, and instead had to use “harvest theme” décor.
There were no witches, or vampires, or goblins, or things that go bump in the night in my children’s Halloween costume repertoire, nor were any of those things in my holiday décor. Nope, those things were considered “demonic”. Instead it was pumpkins, and scarecrows, and corn and cornucopia and it looked like an early Thanksgiving or something like that. I’m not into farm décor, thanks, but there I was slinging straw and gilding gourds. All I really wanted was to break out the black lights, spin some spider webs and get ghoulish.
So, this year, I decided to live a little.
My front door and patio area are adorned with wisps of cobweb. The stuff stretches all over the front door and meanders over the arch to trail along the plants and patio gate. On my front door is a sign, “The Witch Is In” – just because I thought it was cute, and propped right next to the door is an old-fashioned looking witch’s broom.
So far, that’s all I’ve done. I’ll likely do more. I’m torn between keeping it tame and borderline cutesy, as it is now, and turning it into a real ghoul-fest. I’ll probably go somewhere between, and opt for an old-fashioned, traditional haunted house look. The cutesy witch sign will make way for a cauldron (to be filled with dry ice come Halloween, for that eerie fog effect), the cobwebs will expand, and touches out of Gothic horror novels may appear. My front walk and patio area would make a perfect slice of ancient “dungeon” after all. Nothing to grisly, nothing too ghastly. No, I want the atmosphere that seeps in, not the one that slaps you in the face and becomes laughable.
My kids, meanwhile, those charming little munchkins I thought would be offended by the obvious change in style, instead love it. Both absconded with chunks of my webbing and have since adorned their beds with the gossamer stuff. (MAC even had some help from his old mom…) Their Dad would be outraged. No, strike that. He’d be quietly “disappointed” and would instead lecture, no – preach, at them regarding the deeper meaning and symbolism of using that spider web.
But not me! Nope! I’m free to enjoy being a little silly, free to grab on to that little piece of childhood that we can all still enjoy when it comes to silly holidays like Halloween. Yes, I know all about what the day is, where it came from and all that stuff. But to American children, it’s a day of silliness, or perhaps ghoulishness, where you can become the boogieman and laugh at that which otherwise frightens you. And the big bonus, you get candy for you efforts! As an adult, perhaps it’s a day to feel just a little bit like a kid again.
Yep, that’s it. I’m getting more decorations! And I’m stocking up on candy! Maybe we’ll get a few more Trick or Treaters this year, there are more kids in the complex now…