The Slippery Slope…Or How I Became A Halloween Scrooge…

HAUNTED HOUSE PICHalloween has always been on of my favorite days of the year. Better than Christmas? I think so. The planning was all-consuming: costume, clandestine meeting place and time, Trick-0r-Treating routes, and, of course, locating an ample-sized pillow case for the anticipated spoils of the night. Paper bags would do in a pinch, if Mom tackled you on your way out the door with a pillow case in hand. In my neighborhood, once you reached a certain grade in school, starting somewhere around 6th grade, store-bought costumes were out of the question. We refused to be humiliated in those plastic molded masks with the small eye-holes, two microscopic punctures for respiration and maybe a slit at the mouth, all held together with that flimsy, ultra-thin elastic band that ALWAYS broke away from the staple holding it securely in place. ALWAYS.  The older kids were so much cooler because they wore the classic stand-by costumes of the Bum – old clothes, a pillow for a belly, and a “beard” crafted from Mom’s make-up bag and, for the girls, a Gypsy – old dress, lots of jewelery with hoop earrings and heavy make-up. Yeah, that’s what the cool kids wore.

Of course, the real fun of the night came at the end when bags were overturned to reveal the treasures within. I can remember sitting on the floor with my brothers, each with our mountainous pile of candy and occasional popcorn ball-thing spread before us in all its sugar overdosing glory. And,then, the trading would begin.  Ahhh…those really were good old days…

I’ve never lost my love for Halloween. While I was never very crafty with designing costumes for my kids, I did manage to put a few pretty cool ones together that were handed down to the next in line. No, the real fun for me, was decorating the  porch to be as terrifying as possible: cobwebs covering the entry to the front door, forcing little ones to break through (and then re-applied for the next group), carved pumpkins that would scare the poop out everyone, creepy music blaring from the house, black lights, strobe lights, grave stones, severed arms and legs sticking out from shrubs and candles galore. It was just so much fun.

Today is a different story. As my house is currently under renovation, my entire first floor is basically unusable. Which means, there is nowhere for my husband and I to plant ourselves for the Trick-or-Treaters. We used to just keep the front door open and watch a good scary movie on TV, answering the door as needed. But, today, we have no TV on the first floor, as it has been disconnected during the renovation, and no furniture on which to plop.  The weather has been rainy all day, so we are stuck waiting, waiting, waiting in the dining room, which has become a make-shift office, with only two chairs available for sitting, just killing time on the computer until some parent gives in to their tots’ whining and takes them out, with umbrellas in tow and rain coats covering their costumes.

And, because of the current state of mess in our house, I was reluctant to pull any scary decorations out of storage, so the porch was perfectly welcoming and not in the least bit ghastly.  My husband couldn’t take it anymore, though, and ran up to the store to buy a string of skull lights and candles. I’m now feeling a bit like a Halloween Scrooge, hoping the rain continues, maybe even a storm to keep the kids in so I won’t be held hostage waiting for them with NOTHING to do.

Next year will be a different story, though. I’m already picturing a wonderfully ghoulish porch guaranteed to terrify anyone who dares to approach. I can’t wait. 🙂

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