Halloween could very well be my favorite time of the year. It’s right up there with Christmas, and my birthday. Except, you know, I get presents on those days so they’re a little better.
There’s something about dressing up as someone else for a day, and then traipsing around the neighborhood getting free candy that has always appealed to me. I trick-or-treated till about midway through high school, and only stopped when a woman answered her door and actually refused to give me candy because I was too old. I’m still kind of shocked by that. I mean, I was IN COSTUME!
But you know, I am nothing if not highly adaptable, and so, shortly after the trick-or-treating stopped, the Halloween parties began. I only threw one, when I was 17, in my boyfriend’s basement. (He’s my husband now, which has nothing to do with Halloween. I just feel the need to point that out anytime I talk about him in his boyfriendly role.)
When I started college, I fell into my group of besties pretty quickly, and one of the best things about my particular besties was the annual Halloween party. The girl who threw the party every year had a mom who was, in retrospect, a lot like me when it comes to Halloween. She went all out. One year, she used an ax (plastic) to escape (hack through) a coffin (cardboard). This, after the first tray of jello shots had been consumed and the second was making the rounds. So yeah, we loved it.
After college, my husband and I rented an apartment in a three family house. The dude upstairs from us was also a Halloween fan, which worked out great for decorating. In fact, he and I would sometimes dress up to give out the candy to our trick or treaters and I always had the windows open with creepy music or Type O Negative (depending on my mood and costume) piping out to greet the costumed candy beggars.
When we bought our house and moved to our quiet, empty neighborhood, it became apparent that Halloween was kind of a bust around here. My house is out of the way for anyone on foot, and so we get no trick or treaters. None. Ever. In fact, my house is so out of the way, I generally bring the girls trick-or-treating in Bayonne with their cousins. It seems nicer than driving into the neighborhood a couple blocks away, parking, and letting the girls have at. (Although, with Halloween being on a Monday this year, and Joey being in school, we are totally doing that next week. If you see us parking and then getting out with our trick-or-treat bags, don’t be mad. We literally are the only house on our block!)
Halloween has changed since I’ve become a mom. First, I’m less concerned about my costume and much more interested in getting black cat whiskers just right with my black liquid eye liner. Also, the definition of Halloween party has changed from “drunken shenanigans involving masks and too much makeup” to “making sure there are enough paper plates for all the kids in the class.” After I went trick-or-treating, all I wanted to do was sit up all night and eat candy till I hit a sugar coma. After we trick-or-treat now, all I want to do is pick through the candy to pull out a couple of my favorites, hide the rest to dole out over the next several weeks in an appropriate manner, have a glass of wine and go to sleep.
And I didn’t even decorate the house this year. Despite the fact that no one really sees it, unless they come to our house for some reason, decorating for Halloween is one of my favorite things to do. Typically my front yard has a bunch of tombstones, a smoke machine providing mist, a skeleton on the bench, a soundtrack and thunder and lightening effects, compliments of our resident electrician. (That would be my husband, and not Kimmie. Just to keep that clear.)
Still, I’m looking forward to Halloween. Yes, it’s changed. It’s not about the candy or the costumes, or the, ahem, drinking games (orange beer pong anyone?) Now it’s about watching my kids all excited about the candy and the costumes. Not the drinking games. At least not yet. By the time they hit that stage, Halloween will have changed for me yet again.
Chances are, I’ll be hacking my way out of a cardboard coffin with a plastic ax. And quite possibly still doing jello shots.