Avoiding the Inversion Ritual: Why I Won't be Doing Halloween This Year
I always loved Halloween. From childhood, my mom would dress me up in crazy outfits, usually spooky ones, and I had a great time. I'd drag my pillowcase around our neighborhood filling it and going back three times till I had enough candy to make me sick for a week. When I became a drama teacher, I created haunted houses with the kids. Every Halloween, hundreds students would experience the "haunted mansion" or "high school from hell". At home, three strobe lights, a graveyard and a smoke machine was standard. Me, dressed to the vampire teeth as some witchy creature with her pet tarantula, Charlotte — and my Mom, glow stick shining through her teeth, scared the kids for hours.
I spent bags of money on Halloween and boxes of paraphernalia are buried in our basement. I bought only the best candy — lots of chocolate — none of that cheap kiss candy ( I always hated it). I wanted to re-create the great experiences I had when I was a kid. That one lady on our block whose house had no lights on and when she opened her door, she was standing there holding a knife and cackling . She was great.
Forty years ago there was no spider webbing or decorations (except for the odd jack o' lantern), and Mom made our costumes. No one was trying to upstage anyone with decorations because the night was all about us — about the kids.
My mom died last October 23. She lived a good long life — she was 93 — but she had Alzheimer's. The last three years were very difficult. Last year I did not celebrate Halloween, and no one seemed to mind — despite the fact that we usually get over one hundred kids at our door. I thought this year would be different, but the anniversary of her death hit me hard and I just didn't feel like it.Continued on the next page