No, not the freaky place that was owned by the grown boy who likes little boys – Louisiana sillies. If you have been a regular reader, you know that this is my first Halloween in my new permanent home, state, town. If you aren’t a regular reader, well well…..what is wrong with you? At the end of September, I noticed a a couple of houses on my block became completely decorated with Halloween stuff. I would say they lean a little towards the “Griswold” style of decorating if ya know what I mean. Maybe they got everything on clearance last season or something. Then a few more popped up and whew – it is freaking out of control around here. I have out my Starbuck’s Halloween bears and a few things the kids made over the years.
Then there is the whole costume predicament. In my whole adult life I have NEVER had another adult ask me what I was “going to be” for Halloween. I have dressed up a few times for school events where you kinda had to. What am I going to be? Where am I, who are you, are you serious? Yep – they are dead serious. I had to tell the moms at the bus stop this morning that they need to understand that the Halloween spirit is NOT alive and well in the rest of the Country and that this is unique. Ya – I got the “Greta is there Vodka in your coffee mug” look. Then I called my boss at NOLA.com and asked to have a chat with him LAST WEEK & he tells me he’ll get with me after Halloween. Are you going on vacation I ask – nope – it is just the Halloween season. You gotta be kidding me. That is when I realized that I do live in Neverland.
You see, growing up in a suburb of Boston – everyone did Halloween very simply (like Bostonians do everything). Every year mom pulled out the 3 same glow in the dark ghosts and we stuck them on our front window. We would go to this five and dime type store and pick 1 costume with the stupid elastic mask that always broke after 2 minutes. And if you haven’t ready Jerry Seinfeld’s Halloween Kids book – go get it. We lived on a block and we went around with flashlights and got candy. I would lay all my candy out on the floor and convince my brother that the chocolate was bad and should be given to me in exchange for Mary Janes. The candy from the neighbor who was a little “off kilter” was confiscated after we went to her house & the apples were thrown away for fear of razor blades after some stupid wive’s tale scare. My parents still live in the same house and every year my dad hopes he will get lots of kids and he is lucky if he gets 1 or 2. At least he has learned to only buy stuff that he likes (smart guy).
When we lived in El Paso I had to stockpile candy. Because, shortly after the neighborhood kids came to my door (before 9), the vans from Jaurez would come packed like sardines. You would be expected to give 1 candy to each person at your door and if you questioned the adult – you’d get the “baby in van sleeping” routine or “sick nino.” No problema – they don’t get Halloween in Mexico. Eventually I’d just have to shut off the lights and go to bed.
Oklahoma – fugetaboutit. Everyone pretty much goes to church and my little goblins cleaned house in our neighborhood. Yep – the grown-ups were just shoveling candy into their bags because the rest of the kids were at some festival at their church where only cute & fuzzy costumes were allowed. Pretty cool!
So I guess I am getting into the spirit this year. I have my flaming cauldron out front and my kids sort of have costumes (quit changing yer mind daughter). I have stockpiled on candy as I was told this neighborhood will get slammed. I would much rather see adults enjoying this holiday as much as the kids. Maybe after Halloween I’ll buy myself a costume for next year!
Just remember my golden rule for Trick or Treating – MOM GETS ALL THE CHOCOLATE!!!!!
(c/p at NOLA.com)