Well, last month didn't go so well, so here we go again:
I gotta say, Halloween has risen in my estimation. Always kind of an also-ran holiday in comparison to the big ones (you never what day it will happen on, you don't even get a day off of work, community leaders tend to dictate its parameters), the holiday seems to consist of nothing but candy, costumes, and kids. Personally, I've always been a big fan, because I like the rituals of pumpkins and stockpiling all of that candy and trying not to eat it and indulging in creepy movies and the scary vibe. Plus, the after party is sometimes a wingding, to quote Sheryl Crow.
This year, Halloween came into its own, at least in my world. As much as anything, that is because it fell on a Saturday, which was a general command to the social people of the world to start planning. And my children are adults, so we all experienced a children's holiday through adult eyes, which any aware adult will tell you, is one of the ways you keep going, as long as you don't get "creepy" about it.
Friday night, we put on a concert, a kind of Halloween concert, where some attendees wore costumes, where the house was decorated, where some other band members, unbeknownst to me, whipped up a credible "Thriller." And we rocked the show in our earnest, somewhat sloppy way, good enough to keep the crowd interested and the vibe charged. It was a great way to kick off a holiday weekend.
Saturday, despite a threat of rain, we had more children come to our door (320, by my count) than we have ever had before. They were a polite, gracious swarm of visitors to our neighborhood, the kind of group that makes one feel like an asshole for griping about spending $60 on Halloween candy. And even in our own neighborhood, the younger families are on the rise, and we saw plenty of neighbors that we don't otherwise know.
But there was more to Halloween than that. There were my daughters headed to a party in Nashville in self-crafted costumes representing characters from BoJack Horseman and Disney. Adults take costumes more seriously now than ever before. My dad tried to trick or treat from the cute, young cashier at Whole Foods in a cat costume. You could drive around on Saturday afternoon and see costumes everywhere. People, wanted, needed Halloween.
There was my Spotify playlist, which I worked and grew throughout the week, until I didn't want to hear "Witchy Woman" anymore, if I ever wanted to hear it at all.
There was the suave, young male vampire at my door, who told me, "Imma eat your blood. Imma eat your dog's blood." He was all in, even if he didn't quite understand what he was.
And, yes, there was that after party, the annual debrief of neighborhood happenings, plus s few guests.
There is all of the leftover candy my father gave me that will have student " treating" in my office for several days, especially now that a certain candy-hogging faculty member has moved on.
Probably, like most things, Halloween has been like this, but I'm just noticing it because of a confluence of age and timing. America, in the 21st century, is all about making a big deal out of everything, and as long as Rome isn't burning ( and it isn't always easy to tell), I'm in favor of that. It is well documented on these pages that I love holidays, that I think they deserve our celebratory focus.
Finally, on a cloudy, rainy Sunday, there is that sense, that metaphorical hangover, if you will, that says that no one quite wants to let go of this weekend. I felt it ins stores, in restaurants, in the long nap I fell into in the early afternoon, waking only in time to see the last drive of a Steelers' loss. The weekend was that good that I didn't even Care. I hope yours was, too.