My Daughter the Dinosaur and Other Post-Halloween Musings

1 11 2011

Coming as it did on a Monday, Halloween seemed almost anti-climactic. After all, most of the festivities took place the weekend before, and as a week night, my mind was in Work Gear. So I hope I can be forgiven for not getting totally in the “spirit” of the evening (and yes, the pun was intentional). Yet this morning I had some time to reflect on the holiday.

1. Halloween is a lot of fun, but when it’s over, it’s old news. I noticed quite a bit of Halloween “debris” on the streets this morning: candy wrappers, some vampire teeth, a glove that got separated from its costume, and even a smashed jack-o-lantern in the gutter. Many houses had that “Halloween Hangover” look; a day before they had looked cool, but now it just seemed a bit old. While I appreciate those who go all out in decorating, I’m glad I don’t have to get all the Halloween down and put away before getting the Christmas up. It takes an ultra-enthusiastic soul to keep up with that amount of decorating.

2. No one has to explain to a trick-or-treater the ins and outs of candy gathering. That’s why my house, on the end of a road where the lots are larger and the houses farther apart, receives far fewer visitors than the other end of the road, where the houses are closer together. Trick-or-treaters are all about efficiency. That, and the decorations are much better down the street.

3. “Too old for trick-or-treating” is just a state of mind. I asked one of my fifth graders if he went out trick-or-treating. “No way,” he snorted. “That’s for babies.” Yet we had a couple groups of girls who came rather sheepishly to our door last night,obviously middle school age or even older. I thought about mentioning something about the age limits set by our fair city, but thought better of it. They were having fun and it was doing no harm, unless you were one of those who had to buy eight bags of candy to feed the hordes who came to your well-decorated, close-to-each-other houses. Then there was the mother and her three kids who came to my door. The mother carried the baby, who had her own bag. “Ha,” said the older two. “Mama’s going to eat the baby’s candy.” Go for it, mom, I say. Never give in to the pressures of adulthood. My daughter knows this. A high school senior, she had a Go-To-School-Late pass this morning due to some sophomoric testing going on. We took the opportunity to scour WalMart for Halloween markdowns. She was in heaven, buying three different Halloween hats. I literally had to hold her in the car on the way home as she was hanging her head out, a dinosaur hat on her head as she roared at all the passing cars. I don’t have to worry about this one taking life too seriously!

That may be the reason why Halloween is so popular. It’s a chance to let loose, pour on the fake blood, and laugh a little at life. And it may be the day after Halloween, but I’m ready: I have a bag of marked-down gummi body parts and I’m just waiting to give someone the evil eye.

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