A Bit of a Personal History: Halloween

It’s been about a month since I posted last in the blog. Sorry it’s been so long, but I’ve been keeping myself rather busy in the interim. I finished my novel; started finalizing plans for the end of the year; planned my novel, Powerful, for NaNoWrimo 2013; and to top it all off, my work schedule’s been shifted around so my time feels completely off kilter on top of everything else. It’s all thrown me for a loop, but I’m starting to land back on my feet.

Still, It’s late October, so there have been some fun things to do in the middle of insanity. On Saturday, I went to what may well be my last Halloween parade in the small town I’ve grown up in, and still live in currently. It was a bit of an odd experience, as I went with my Mom, and there weren’t any kids that we brought with us. I expected comments on how it was horrible that I wasn’t in a relationship yet and didn’t have any grandkids for her to bring to the parade. This kind of conversation has happened more than once, so that those comments never came was a surprising occurrence, but appreciated.  What truly made it odd, though, was that Halloween wasn’t something that our family celebrated when we were younger. Going to something like that parade was a no go back then.

We were Christians, and in our church, Halloween was just not a Christian thing to do. We didn’t do costumes or anything like that. The church had a carnival every year, and that’s what we did while the kids were out trick or treating. We didn’t even watch any horror movies, either. I was happy with the life, mostly due to not really knowing any other experience first hand. Once I got a bit older and I started being a bit more social, I started realizing what I was missing out on with Halloween and trick or treating, and I started to regret not going out and doing that. This came to the forefront a few years ago when I was asked by my mom herself if I was mad about not going trick or treating as a kid. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I said no. To be honest, I wasn’t mad at her about it; that was actually something I was telling the truth on. More than angry, I was disappointed. Those All Hallow’s Eves are the things of legends, where you may get into a bit of trouble, but you went around with your friends, or if you were unlucky you were saddled with a younger sibling, getting candy and wearing costumes of either who you wanted to be, or of what scared you. Either way, it turned into a lot of fun with stories that you kept with you for a long time. Maybe those would even stick in the back of your mind and make a rare appearance, leaving you hopefully good memories of your younger days.

I didn’t really celebrate until I went to college. There, even so close to my hometown as I was, Halloween made a show in force, and it was an exciting world of people being something or someone they wanted to for one night in the year. There were parties, costumes, and almost any other activity that you could think of happening, and it was all available at my fingertips. It was great fun, and the second year I went to a Halloween party, I actually had a costume. I was Jake Blues. It was a rather easy costume to put together, but I got asked if I was a detective quite a lot, considering I hadn’t found anyone to go with me as Elwood. Still, it was a ton of fun, but after the night was over, it just left me remembering what I missed out on as a kid.

So yes, I did feel a bit cheated out of life experience, at least as it is in the US. Like I said, though, I wasn’t angry. It just lets me know what I want to do later on when (and if) I’m a parent myself. If I ever have a kid, I want to make sure they can get the whole Halloween experience. Costumes, candy, a little bit of mischief, watching a movie that may be a hair too scary for them, the works. I want them to have the Halloween I didn’t get to have, not out of revenge over what I missed, but so they don’t miss  out on something on my account. It’s the least I can do.

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