Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Nights...

I'm not quite sure where the weekend yet but it seems to be Monday already. It's been a bit strange today. I woke up in my normal Monday morning stupor, wondering how it managed to be 6 a.m. already when it was just 11 p.m. and I was going just going to bed. A couple of bashes of the snooze button later and I did finally manage to crawl out of bed. As I was getting ready, I went to start the kettle boiling for my morning cup of tea and I noticed something strange: It was daylight outside.

For a moment, I was thrown. I wondered if it was possible that I'd overslept by a lot, given that it's always dark when I leave in the morning. Only after a minute of undue panic did my brain catch up: Daylight Savings Time had ended.

The ironic thing was that I had already changed all my clocks and adjusted mentally to having that blissful extra hour of sleep. It wasn't like I didn't know about the time change. I think it was more that it was a Monday morning and on Monday mornings, thinking is not my strong suit.

I managed to wake up enough to drive to work after listening to the weather. (Vague report for the day: we might have renegade rain on Wednesday. Renegade rain apparently is the same of 'impulses of rain' or the simpler version: It might, or it might not). When it's actually daylight outside, you tend to notice things that you normally ignore. For example, there is an entire row of trees that looks like they're holding their hands to the sky in exclamation with the entire middle section cut out because of power lines. Also, mangled roadkill looks far worse in the light of day, particularly when it's fresh. Also, college students still cannot cross the street without texting, in daylight or in darkness.

So, I did make it to the office. Everyone's talking about Halloween. My Halloween was pretty nice. As I said in my earlier blogs, I've never really had the option to pass out trick or treat candy before so I was prepared. I had literally over four lbs of candy. My massive bowl was overflowing. I had my awful '80's costume on, ready to go out to a party as soon as the trick or treating was done. Trick or treating was supposed to begin at 6 p.m. At 5:50 p.m., my doorbell rang. There, on my doorstep, were three little girls dressed as fairies and princesses and escorted by their parents. They were adorable, even if they were early. One of them told me how pretty I looked- considering I was wearing legwarmers, jelly bracelets, a hideous neon jacket and my hair was hairsprayed up in true '80's "Mall Hair" fashion, I fear for her sense of fashion. I was a little worried for her, actually. She was shaking a lot as she spoke, quivering, even. She actually reminded me of my parent's pet chihuahua which quivers when it gets excited. I asked if she was cold, a little concerned about her shivering. Her dad sounded a little affronted, saying, "No, she always does that when she gets excited." So, she was a lot more like the chihuahua than I originally thought. Of course, I hadn't intended to be offensive with my question: I mean the normal response to a child who is dressed in a little thin white princess dress on a chilly night who is shaking like a leaf is that she was cold.

The rest of my evening consisted of long stretches of waiting for kids to show up and, when they did, they came in droves. I confess, I was a wee bit disappointed with the costumes. Some of them had gone to some trouble but there were an awful lot that had just put on a mask. The ones I liked were the ones whose parents were waiting and who reminded their kids to say "thank you." I'm a sucker for good manners.

I was gung-ho about my candy bowl at first until I realized it was only 6:45 and it was emptying fast. I tried to hold back on giving handfuls of candy to the kids but some of them grabbed it before I could stop them. I even had one little girl who didn't even have a bag but held her hand out expectantly. I almost offered her a grocery sack but she didn't seem interested, just took her candy and scurried away.

Then, the worst happened at 7:15 p.m. I ran out of candy. All I had were starlight mints which I'd realized were not the best thing to be giving out to little kids because they're a choking hazard. I felt horrible but I had to do the unthinkable: Turn out my porch light and close my door.

Strangely, this did not discourage the next batch of kids who rang the doorbell anyway. I offered them mints and they took them. As soon as they left, I did a very bad thing: I turned off all the lights inside my house except the ones not visible from the street and pretended I wasn't home.

My lesson from this evening is that I need more than four pounds of candy. Also, kids don't like lollipops as much as chocolate. Also, kids who are unescorted by polite parents will compare what they get before they even leave your doorstep so if you give one Twizzlers and one Oreo cookies, they WILL call you on it. Personally, since I tend to think of Trick or Treating as authorized begging disguised by a costume, I think kids should be a little more grateful for whatever they get. At least I didn't give 'em the dreaded Tootsie Rolls. My coworker was telling me about a mother who actually knocked on her door last Halloween because she'd given out peanut M &M's and her child was allergic to nuts. To that I say, "SHUT UP!" If you're going to take your kid out begging for candy, even if it is in tribute to a pagan holiday of sorts, you CANNOT tell people off for giving out candy. If your kid is allergic to nuts and it's a problem if he even looks at the candy then DON'T LET HIM GO OUT ASKING FOR IT!

Anyway, after I'd hidden in my house from the packs of dressed-up kids, I headed out to a Halloween party hosted by my coworker. That was fun. She's big on the holiday so her house was decorated tastefully and cleverly. It was an '80's party. I'd gone to some trouble to procure an authentic '80's outfit with the right accessories but as soon as I got there, people said, "Who are you supposed to be?" I didn't realize I was supposed to BE someone. I said, "I'm wearing '80's stuff," I said. They looked puzzled. I finally said, "I'm a Valley Girl," to which they were like, "OH! Neat." Then they gushed over my other coworker's costume which she'd pretty much bought off the rack at a Halloween store. She was an '80's rocker. I '80's person. I tried to blend in with Richard Simmons, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Nicks (?) and Ally Sheedy as well as the Ghostbuster and Pac Man but I stood out because no one seemed to know who I was. See, my misunderstanding was that an '80's party meant dressing in '80's fashion. Alas, it was secretly a "dress as your favourite '80's person party."

I never have been good at parties. I tried to mingle but it was very couple-y. Note to the world: Couples don't like to be separated by strangers attempting to be friendly. In the end, I had a nice time but it wasn't the most social of events I've ever been to, even though I attempted to be friendly.

All in all, it was a good Halloween if not the best ever. When I got home from the party, I was relieved that my pumpkins were still glowing; I'd been afraid that my lack of candy would lead to tricks- usually they involve smashing pumpkins and such. Fortunately, the kids in the neighbourhood were nice and I appreciated that.

Now it's time to take down the Halloween decor and think about the next season that lies ahead. To me, it's retailers, it appears to be Christmas since they've had the merchandise on display for at least 3 weeks already. I'm not ready for that yet but now that there's frost on the leftover pumpkins and turkeys in the store, Halloween is officially over. The candy is 50% off even though it's no different from the other candy that stores sell at full price. It's too bad it's a year away, maybe if I start now, I will have enough for next year. Ah well, you live, you learn, right?

Happy Monday...

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