Today is Halloween, yay. In what will be a few posts about my evolving relationship with autumn, today I will explain that of me and Halloween:
When I was a kid, Halloween never became for me what Seinfeld once referred to as "every child's dream to get candy." Don't get me wrong; I loved candy and I had dreams...but growing up in Germany on American bases, I didn't feel this universal/cultural push to dress up over the whole thing.
I mean, I did dress up and I was glad that in the end I got a big pumpkin head full of the stuff for doing it, but I really didn't get excited about it like I did for Christmas or, say, Veterans Day.
Living back in the States where Halloween hit the grocery shelves in August, I tried to wonder what I was going to "be," but could never, for the life of me, come up with what I considered a good costume. I didn't really think any superheroes--from the more-traditional Superman to the then-popular TMNT (Heroes in a Halfshell)--were that worthy, nor the likes of princesses or witches (which, in my opinion, were the same thing anyway.) And I was sick of being an "army man," and so was my dad.
Thankfully I had motivated friends and was able to annex myself to their themes--cowgirls and such.
High-school cross country provided a relief for what had then become an actual Halloween aversion/phobia, no irony intended. We'd usually have an important race the following day and that gave me an excuse to stay at home, eat pasta, and watch Absolutely Fabulous reruns on Comedy Central. Either that or I could usually make some "clever" play on my uniform: Zombie Cross-Country Runner, Fat Cross-Country Runner, etc.
My senior year, however, I felt I owed it to the class of 1999 to put some effort into my presence at our Annual Spooky Ball and decided on a bumble bee because I could try to be cute while also looking like I gave a crap. What happened, though, is that my then-boyfriend and I broke up a week before and I just ended up looking like the girl from the Blind Melon music video while Andrew danced with his new love, Schuyler Reese.
She was a synchronized swimmer.
I warmed up to Halloween in college, which can initially be credited to the addition of beer. I also had matured artistically, and came up with some good ideas, one of which actually won me a $50 beer tab, completing the metaphysical cycle which had brought me to such creative heights in the first place. What was this inventive idea, you might -or might not- ask? A tree.
I came in second only to a swarm of Hooters Girls.
Since then I've had some peaks and valleys in my All-Hallows landscape; Margot Tenenbaum and Brownie #3 of Girl Scout Troop 826, to name a few. Last year I was off the Halloween hook since I was runnnnnning a marathon the next day. But all in all, I've come to embrace this silly day as an opportunity rather than avoid it as a big pain in the ass.
This year's plans, you might -or might not- ask? Well, it was a toss up between joining my roommates as Snakes on a Plane or my girlfriend as St. Pauli girl (her) and Sam Adams (me). Given my evolved appreciation for Halloween (as well as its intoxicant-inspired origins), I went with the beer-themed choice...which proved seredipitously successful when I came across a gallon-sized pewter beer mug while shopping for the rest of my costume at the thrift store. Granted, without this prominent prop I kinda look like Beethoven, but still...
It is on this note that I leave all (three) of you readers with Happy Halloween wishes and the following now-cliche, yet always-brilliant, quintessential American Halloween passage:
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door.
Only this, and nothing more."
Or is it?