Happy Friday, Fringelings. It’s Halloween, and I’m feeling nostalgic this morning. Maybe not nostalgic because no, I would not want to set the calendar back thirty years, just looking/thinking back. That means the iPod is cranked– sorry neighbors, hope you enjoy some morning Doobie Bros.
Art Child has been working hard to get me into the Halloween spirit, and I’m just not feeling it, no matter how many fun sized candy bars I’ve eaten. I always loved this day with my kiddos, so much fun planning and choosing the right costumes, the perfect accessories, the appropriate offerings for every age/dietary restrictions of trick or treaters who showed up at the door. And let’s not forget 8000 viewings of the Nightmare Before Christmas. “Oh yes! I am the Pumpkin King!” I’ve found Halloween to be a whole lot more fun as a parent than as a kid. I don’t know if it’s a neighborhood thing or times have changed, but we definitely didn’t dress up and go trick-or-treating for as many years as the kids around me (including my own) do now. Plus the costumes are better. I remember two choices as a child, raid mom’s (or dad’s) closet, or wear one of those godawful masks from the drugstore that left you walking blind and bleeding from little nicks the plastic gave. Halloween makeup meant your mother let you put her lipstick on, if you were lucky the powder, too.
I’m looking at the bags of candy I’ve got ready to dump into the bowl.
Charleston Chews were my brother’s favorite. Maybe this is what has me looking back. They used to come in these long, long bars. He would sit down after school with a Charleston Chew, a bag of Wise butter-flavor popcorn, and a glass of water. Daily. One year, I think the last I went trick-or-treating, he took me. Naturally, we went down the block we weren’t supposed to go down first thing. As I remember it, I had gotten to ring one bell before a group of older, bigger boys spotted us and began heading our way. My brother pushed me into someone’s yard and closed their gate to keep me out of harm’s way, saying something warm and loving like, “don’t you fucking move,” and was then egged and shaving creamed head to toe by those boys. I was untouched, half terrified and half thrilled by the drama. My he-ro. Every little girl should have one. After self defense lessons, of course.
My mother was one of the keep-the-blinds-closed-and-pretend-you-aren’t-home moms. I’m definitely not one of those, and hope I never will be. It’s all very civilized here in the city, anyway. There’s a sign up sheet left at the guard’s desk for several days before Halloween, and after school today copies of the list showing which apartments are willing to receive trick-or-treaters and when will be distributed. Older people can be funny about the Halloween costumes, even the ones who open the door and give candy. They seem to stop looking at what the kids are wearing, just throw out guesses. Overheard from one senior this morning, “Oh, how beautiful! Are you a princess?” The child was wearing furry ears and a tail.
So in my oh-my-God-it’s-been-how-many-years? mood, I started surfing Facebook. I saw the page of someone I went to high school with, and did the thing I said I was never interested in using Facebook for. I sent a friend request and a message. I’m guessing the request will be ignored (different last name than I used to have) and the message unseen, as FB told me the request will go to his “other” folder, since we aren’t friended. I didn’t even know the “other” folder existed until recently. Shocking as this might be, I was kind of a fuck-up in high school. He wasn’t, and is now successful in his field, while I scarf the Halloween candy hours to ensure I have to go back to the store and buy a bag of whatever is left that the kids will make faces at. Remember, that one old lady who always gave those Bit’o’ Honey bars?
Well ok, maybe I’ll share the Reese’s. But that beer tucked away in the back of the fridge? Mine, after the bell stops ringing.