Halloween Observations

Hope you all had a great Halloween!  Me??  WELL. Saturday night I took my younger daughter Trick-or-Treating.  Being new to the neighborhood, I was on HIGH ALERT.  Paying extra special attention to everything.  Such as, Why do so many people here have curtains? And why do these be-curtained people not have their porch lights on?  Or answer their doorbells?  Even when we rang more than once.  I could see faint light through these window treatments, so they were obviously inside, watching TV or playing on the computer.  But they weren’t answering their doors.  Granted, I had to stick our candy out front in a bowl while we went trick-or-treating ourselves.  Long story short: my husband & our older daughter were out of town, so we didn’t have anyone to “tend” to the house like we usually would.  And our jack-o-lantern must have blown out (it was windy).  Our 250 yr old house doesn’t have a porch light, and we also don’t have a door bell.  And no one was home.  SO it may have LOOKED like we were not participating in Halloween, even though I spent $25 on candy that sat outside in a bowl, uneaten.  What I am saying here – is my new neighborhood is way quiet.

I have come up w/ 7 Levels of Halloween Participation.  I had lots of time between Trick-or-Treats to do this.

1) The Die-Hard.

Grown adults who retain the spirit of Halloween they had as children.  These folks go the full 9 yards.  They don costumes.  Their houses don costumes.  Put simply: Die Hards DO Halloween.  They spend months in advance preparing for the Big Night.  They assemble props.  They install theatrics.  They make constructions worthy of awards.  These are the houses all the children want to visit, though their spooky extravagance may leave little ones cringing in fear.

2) The Holiday Enthusiast.

These people like Halloween b/c they like holidays in general.  They do window displays.  They hang flags.  If they have a front yard, they own at least one large inflatable.  Often these inflatables cover multiple themes, such as Holiday + Local Sports Team (i.e., satan wearing an Eagles jersey).  The Holiday Enthusiast celebrates Halloween the same way they celebrate all holidays.  With eagerness and commercial support.

3) The Tepid Observer.

These people give out candy only b/c it’s expected.  They really do not want to, but are afraid if they don’t they will garner negative attention.  A few are secretly afraid of being egged. or T.P.’ed.  They never decorate for the holiday.  To do so would garner unwanted attention.  Mostly they just want to be left alone, but it’s hard to be left alone when people expect candy.  So on Halloween they answer the door and smile wanly as they drop a single KitKat into your bag.  Then they close the door and retreat into blessed solitude once more.

4) The Reveler.

This category covers those who like to PAR-TAY!  No need to elaborate.

5) The Non-Committal.

These Halloween participants are there in name only.  Not b.c they don’t want to celebrate Halloween, but b.c circumstance gets in the way.  These are the folks who leave a bowl of candy out on the front porch w/ the light on.  They may or may not decorate.  They may or may not have a lit jack-o-lantern.  Many parents fall into this category.  Also, older people.  Or the young.  Pretty much anyone who has a life and cannot stick around on a Saturday night to dole out candy.

6) The Hell Raiser.

This person believes October 31st belongs to the devil and trick-or-treating is akin to satan worship.  All who participate in Halloween ritual are pagans.  These people will not be home Halloween night b.c they are at church celebrating something not called Halloween but for which most of them are costumed and receiving candy.

7) The Unexcused.

This category encompasses the rest of the world.  Who say TO HELL! with Halloween – not for any religious reason, but for sheer (INSERT WHATEVER LAME-O EXCUSE YOU CAN COME UP W/ HERE).  These people cannot be bothered to buy a bag of candy.  They have more important things to do w. their time.  Like stay home on a Saturday night, watching TV or playing video games.  Behind their iron fortress of curtains. While the costumed stand outside ringing in the dark.  Treatless.

Lord of the Flies

When we returned home from the Midwest, the first thing I did was drag my sorry self upstairs to crash out in bed. After nearly 15 hours in the car, it was all I could do. But the first thing my husband did, being the amazing soul he is, was go through the entire house to make sure everything was just as we’d left it. And everything was fine. Save for the flies.

When we left John says he noticed one lone fly bzzzzing round an upstairs room. No big deal. He figured it’d be dead by the time the weekend was over.

HAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!

Remember Cutie? My daughter’s runaway hamster?? Yes, I know I haven’t written about him in weeks. But that’s b/c we thought he was still on vacation. Well… he is, except it’s that reeeeeeeaaaalllly long vacation that never ends. Ugh. we can now state w/ fair certainty that Cutie has become banquet to 50,000 flies. So we’ve spent the better part of two days shooing, swatting and otherwise casting out these winged creatures from our happy home. And in tackling this new and vexing challenge, I have noticed something truly profound.

When a fly gets trapped inside, they follow a particular pattern. First, They zoom from room to room looking for an exit. Second, they find a window. They fly back and forth past the window, assessing the possibility of escape. In a last-ditch effort, they begin to fly into the window, over and over, as though their feeble crashes will at last force the glass and they will be free. Eventually, the exhausted fly succumbs to the inevitable, either crawling up into a ball and breathing its last, OR conversely, overcoming its initial aversion and fear and FINALLY allowing me to gently scoop it up and release it out into the world.

Having watched this scenario play out OH SO MANY times over the past couple days, I have been struck by the similarity between humans and flies. These flies leave you wondering. WHAT THE HELL??!! ARE YOU REALLY SO DAMN STUPID?? I AM HERE – ARE YOU BLIND?! MY HAND! It is GUIDING YOU OUT – SEE THERE!! THE OPEN WINDOW!!!! IT’S RIGHT THEEERRRRRREEE!! I AM TRYING TO SAVE YOU, YOU MORON!!!

When a human becomes trapped – and here I am speaking rather metaphorically – so by this I could mean a myriad of things. But when a human becomes similarly “trapped” w/ no hope of escape, their response is very much like the fly. We are stubborn. We are STUPID. We do not want Help. We don’t NEED HELP. Instead we rush round looking for a means of escape. OH! And there it is. But it’s not, not really. No, it’s an impenetrable hurdle. So we bang out heads against the proverbial glass, frustrating ourselves and every conceivable attempt at freedom. And when that *Great Hand from the Sky* reaches down to help, what do we do?? We fail to see it. Or if we do, we RUN THE HELL AWAY.

Sometimes life presents you w/ a metaphor that you just can’t help but notice. I do not profess to be any more in tune w/ the great Cosmos than the next guy, but I can tell you this whole FLY THING has gotten my attention. The past several days have been pretty hard for me. I do not like vertigo. Yes, it is BAD. Having to steady myself constantly against the rotational force of the planet, whilst everyone else goes about their daily business blissfully unencumbered SUCKS. Feeling shitty always puts me in a slightly philosophical frame of mind. SO. Feeling this way, I would just like to say HEY. HEY BIG GUY. If you are up there, pitying me or watching me with amusement, FEEL FREE TO HELP. I am here, just smacking my head against the glass, so You just FEEL FREE to stick that big ol’ mitt out for me already. As long as you’re not going to smash me dead, I_am_YOURS.