Thursday, October 03, 2013

In The Pursuit of Happiness: On the beauty of Halloween

On one of my many shopping trips a few years ago, some force magically lured me to the candy aisle. I usually can resist the urge to splurge on sour Skittles or the assorted Reese's treat, but the force was apparently stronger than my nearly beyond-human willpower that day. And that's when I saw them. Orange bags. Black bags. Bags with ghosts on them. Even bags with cute little pumpkins on the front. The Halloween candy.

It all sat on the shelves just ripe for the taking, and my mouth instantly watered at the thought of candy corn -- that glorious tri-colored bite-sized candy that resembles miniature triangles. I even had a hankering for those circular candies wrapped in that black and orange paper, never mind the fact that no one actually knows what those things are. It's just something you eat. Because it's Halloween season, and the last thing your inner child wants is to be left out in the misty fall night, an empty pail dangling depressingly from your side.
I inched a bit farther down the next aisle only to be greeted by a slew of costumes. But unlike the sheer joy I found among the gooey candy, my heart sank a little deeper, and I very nearly let out a loud sigh. Apparently, I've come of age where I can say, "In my day..." because, well, in my day, you had your choice of about six different costumes, including the ever-popular pumpkin, ghost and clown. And let's not forget the rebellious, rambunctious children who donned red spiky horns and ran around the classroom. Sometimes a classmate would come to school wearing a superhero costume. We all oohed and ahhhed at the silver cape and sequined bandanna. Said superhero's parents had to be rich, we all concluded. And now in the 21st Century, it seems all parents are rich. In the last 10 years, I've seen some dozen Britney Spears, the assorted Spice Girl, at least one of the Teletubbies and of course, the 12-year-old boy who steals his mother's high heels and makeup and comes to school in his (well, his mother's) Sunday best.

But there are those people, the Grinches of All Hallow's Eve, who like to kick those plastic buckets out of your hand. They even dread the fateful day, so come Oct. 31st, they hole themselves up in their homes, turn down the lights, hide all traces of candy and pray the doorbell never lets out a single ding-dong. They don't even care if candy-obsessed children revolt and egg the house. My mother is one of those people. She used to reluctantly dress up, one of the sorry prerequisites of working for the school system, and when the clock struck noon, she proceeds to disrobe. Off comes the painted-on black whiskers -- only three whiskers on each cheek because that's all she could muster at 6 a.m. And off comes the rather short and stubby black tail taped to her rump. She's a minimalist when it comes to all things Halloween.
But doesn't she know what she's missing? Don't all Halloween haters realize there's a whole world of fun out there on those dark and alluring streets? I don't remember my first Halloween, naturally, because I was a mere 2 months old, but the picture from the following year puts my fears to rest. In the picture, a classic close-up shot of Yours Truly, my red hair blending in seamlessly with my orange pumpkin hat with the tall stalk poking straight out of the top. Maybe I'll try to find that photo this year and relive those good childhood memories. If not, at least I'll have that giant bag of candy corn to keep me company... xoxo

P.S. To the makers of Candy Corn: I am holding you personally responsible for my recent tummy bulge. I hope you're satisfied!

P.P.S. On the beauty of fall.

[Photos via Pinterest]

1 comment:

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