That’s me dressed as Snow White some Halloweens ago. Yes, that is an apple around my neck. That’s Colleen, my best friend, also around my neck. Yes, she is dressed as a nun and to go into the ironies therein would take up another whole post. Let it be enough to say that she and I have known each other for fifteen plus years. In the course of our friendship, there have been many Halloweens to pass. Not all of these Halloweens have been as fun as the one pictured here.
Ah, now have a look at that audacious optimism. In this next picture, I’m a pirate and she is a voodoo doll. How much money and man hours went into the crafting of those costumes, not to mention the hair and make-up that took all afternoon? We are very much full of it, aren’t we? We are looking down the scope of one hell of a Halloween, just two years ago. You’d never guess that a measly two hours after that picture was taken we would both be simultaneously dejected, defeated and disappointed. Our make-up will have melted from the heat of our respective temper tantrums and the taffy holding on our eyelashes in now adrift in the Arctic circle furthering the destruction of polar bear habitats. This is how a lot of Halloween nights go down.
But we are soldiers of Halloween. We dress up fantastically. We go out fervently seeking festivities. In spite of the fact that whatever man we might be running around with seems to go out of his way to make the evening all about him and what he has in mind, we go out anyway. We ignore the fact that we do the same thing year after year not expecting to feel any better the following morning. We go to a party and think this year will be different. This is just what we do. But does it have to be what we do?
Halloween is woven into my identity like having black hair and being a night owl. It is not just something I do, it is part of who I am. But this year I have been looking forward to it as much as one might meet an arranged marriage; it could be good but doesn’t really seem promising. This year I resolve not to be home and half drunk before mid-night eating spaghetti with chop-sticks. I want the holiday with which I so identify to actually reflect who I am, or at least who I want to be. So this year Colleen and I have been talking about how we are going to handle October 31. There has been talk of boycott, which is really just sacrilegious. There has been talk of pretending it’s Christmas and hiding under the covers with the porch light out, much like we do at real Christmas, but that doesn’t feel any better than wilting under the stage lights of a costume contest.
Finally, I decide to reclaim Halloween. I am going to do my favorite things on this, my favorite holiday. Not what I think I’m supposed to do to have “a good time” because that usually leads to anything but. I take a deep breath and let go of preconceived notions I have of myself. Colleen shares my sentiment. She stays in and watches zombie movies after her little one is finished with trick-or-treating. And this is what I did.
I wake up, make some strong coffee and do some writing. It is uncharacteristic of me to write early in the day, but I don’t have a thing to do but look forward to a Halloween playlist in yoga and the theft of peanut-butter cups. After I finally get dressed, I put on enough glitter to guide a shuttle in from orbit. Come Easter I will still be trying to figure out how to get all that gold off my yoga mat. I jack up my hair and put on a black cat t-shirt, paying homage to Pixie. I go directly to yoga class, where I am greeted by my teacher, Nancy, who is fresh back from Voodoo fest in New Orleans. She was in the presence of Ozzy and has some funky fine Halloween energy. She was kind enough to take this picture of me with the Shiva she brought back from India after her teacher training. It’s a picture I have long admired, and I decided that After 31 Halloweens, Shiva is the only masculine energy with whom I want to spend my holiday this year.When I leave yoga, I’m all aflutter with excitement over trick-or-treating. I don’t usually go trick-or-treating because I’m busy painting on my costume so I can go out. Not this year. This year there is an eight year old waiting for me after yoga.
I meet my sister and mom at Starbucks. Mom was able to show off her Westie-poo, Emmie, in the little devil costume we got for her. We grab some coffee while my niece hangs out of the car waiting impatiently for us to “come on!” I love seeing her excitement at having her favorite Auntie go trick-or-treating with her (my other sister and I often argue over who is the favored aunt, but I’m taking the title right now. It is, afterall, my holiday). When we’re finally out of our cars we run to each other and she jumps on me like a monkey. This is a common image of the two of us, with or without the costumes.
We walk into a neighborhood behind Starbucks and there are kids everywhere! There are twins dressed as pumpkins riding around in a decorated wagon. There are dogs and four-year olds dressed as bumble bees and teenagers wearing witch hats and cheerleader uniforms. Moms and dads are walking around with Dixie cups boasting the suspicious scent of chardonnay and I think, “That’s a good idea!” My niece runs up to houses, ever looking back over her shoulder so my sister can get candid pictures.
I always meet change with some trepidation. This year was a big change from the norm, and not only was it a change but a radical modification of personal tradition. But after properly looting the neighborhood for candy and my family returning safely home, I realize this year I feel as optimistic after Halloween as I have always felt before the festivities. I’m still lightly dusted with glitter and I have a calm and satisfied feeling in my heart. I pop open a nice unassuming Cabernet and warm up some left-over spaghetti that I do not eat with chop-sticks.
Happy Halloween and Best Witches………..Love, The Girls