Or the post in which I become that woman.
So. Last night was Halloween and for my money Halloween was kinda womp womp womp. When I was a kid Halloween was a such huge deal: costumes, candies and It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Now. Not so much. I guess when Halloween is thrown in your face along with Back to School clothing sales a fun sized snickers can be bought any day of the week and a DVD will allow one to watch The Great Pumpkin whenever it’s just another day. When I saw a lady driving slowly down the street as her kids rang doorbells that summed up Halloween in a nutshell. It ain’t what it used to be.
As a kid Halloween was all about scary movies (that I sorta watched and had nightmares for
weeks, months), costumes and candy. It was a time for neighbors to get together one last time before winter set in and forced them into their houses until Spring. In school there was chatter about what costumes would be bought or for one particular family, what homemade something that would be ooohed and ahhed over. There were parades, wear your costume to school and a good time. Then came crack and the idea of opening your door to strangers was not a good one. More and more people opted out of Halloween and a few years later we moved to Delaware County where Halloween was re-introduced and every Judy Blume book I read came true.
Delco folks took their Halloween seriously. Houses decorated like no ones business, homemade costumes and the candy haul. The first year Buffy and I went out with Leaky and her friends we literally had to stop home to get a second bag to carry out haul! I remember the first year I saw an honor bowl, where people were instructed to help themselves (?!?) and no one was there to monitor!!! A few years later when Buffy had Pop and we took her out trick or treating people actually invited us into their houses so that grandma could get a closer look at costumes.
It was unreal! But once again the neighborhood changed and people were not so receptive to strangers. There were news reports with people upset because people from the city (Black folk) were bringing heir kids to these suburban neighborhoods to get candy and soon after Halloween was moved to either Mischief night, private parties or people just kept the lights off. Long time residents began to move away, new folks moved in and instead of neighbors there were just people who lived on your block. One year there more and more dark houses than lighted ones and other options were needed. My mom and Buffy had each found religion at this point tso their celebration went in other ways.For my mom it meant that Halloween is a devil’s holiday ans although she is not above eating an Almond Joy or Charleston Chew she opted out of giving away candy to neighborhood children. My sister’s church hosted Hallelujah parties for children to celebrate in costume with activities and contests and a safe place for kids to get candy.
At work acknowledging holidays is/was/is sorta frowned upon. Someone may get upset if you dare greet them with a happy Halloween (or Merry something or whatever). Since I’ve been a tad on the rut side I was all for it. But there is something about fun monster books, telling kids about that little old lady not afraid of anything and singing the five little pumpkins that scream October.
Last night in lieu of trick or treating, The Bee and I stayed hung with Mom and watched a movie and ate pizza and junk food. Halloween Gluttonfest was a ball and despite our cool costumes, me as a Star Trek Lieutenant Commander and The Bee as a socialite this was a great end to the day. We partied at work, ate junk and then spent the night creating anew tradition. I am sad to see the end of Halloween as I know it but OK knowing that we were able to experience the day at its high and found a way to tweak it at its low. Mom mused that the economy may have had something to do with the low participation but I don’t know. I think its not knowing who lives next door to you and being so busy that saying a simple hello no longer happens.
We were able to keep up with one tradition….half priced candy!
Happy Day of the Dead,