Well! It’s Halloween! I’m writing this in advance so Halloween might be cancelled. See, we’re getting this Hurricane Sandy thing up here, it’s supposed to hit tomorrow. All the rain, all the winds, no power. It’s going to be cuckoo-bananas, apparently. I mocked Hurricane Irene before it came, and then so many people around here lost their homes and power and stuff and then I felt terrible so I’m not going to mock this one. I should be fine, though. I don’t know that I’ll lose power. And if I do, it should come back pretty quickly. My place is pretty good about power. I didn’t lose any power the last time we had a storm. (Wait, is this a Hurricane or a Tropical Storm? I don’t even know. I haven’t been paying attention. It’s been a long busy week.) So, anyway, last time I was all “HA HA HA WHERE WILL I LOOT” but this time I’m going to not mock because it ended up not-funny after all. But I’ll be fine, I’m sure. (But if I don’t have power, I want blogs to be READY. I am a PLANNER, you see.)
Although, listen, people are FREAKING OUT. At the answering service, Saturday was INSANE. So many calls. “Will I lose my oxygen machine if the power goes out?” “Where can I buy a generator?” “Can I legally butcher and eat my children if I lose power for more than 2 days?” (One of these is not a true call. You can decide which one.) We all had PTSD at the end of our shifts. The call volume was off the charts. I’ve never seen anything like it. Apparently it was like that during Irene, too, but I was employed then so I didn’t see that. People are SO SCARED. It made me sad for them. I wanted to pat their heads and give them cookies.
Anyway, so! It is Halloween. So let’s talk about HALLOWEENS PAST.
When I was a wee Amy, my parents weren’t all that into Halloween. This is because Dad considers Halloween begging. Dad is not into Halloween. “We have MORE THAN ENOUGH MONEY,” he would say to my mother. “We can BUY our children candy. They don’t need to GO TO PEOPLE’S HOMES and BEG them for it as if we are POVERTY-STRICKEN.” “Sigh sigh,” my mom would say. “That’s not the point of Halloween, dear.”
It was always very cold up north at Halloween, so we’d get costumes and then have to wear thermal underwear under them and winter jackets over them, and then unzip and show the people our costumes and shiveringly zip back up and run back to the car. We lived in the sticks. There weren’t many places you could trick or treat. You had to go one place, get back in the car, go to another, it took like HOURS. There was very little walking. You didn’t get much candy.
I was (why? I have no idea) a hobo for like three years running. I think because the costume was warm. Mom just put schmutz on my face and I wore Dad’s old clothes and we put a handkerchief on a stick and there. I AM A HOBO. No princesses for THIS little Amy, no no not me. I was BADASS things. Hobos. Hippies. Those cheap costumes you got that were all plastic at the Kmart. CLASSY BITCHES I WAS CLASSY.
I don’t remember what Amy’s Brother was. I just remember he doesn’t like candy so mostly he would trade me for all the Tootsie Rolls. He used to like Tootsie Rolls. I hate those cussing things. They’re not chocolate. They PRETEND to be chocolate but they taste like dirt and paste and false taffy. Now he doesn’t even eat those. He hates sweets. I know, what’s wrong with this kid? (He’s not a kid. He’s in his mid-thirties. However, he’ll always be 5 to me. ALWAYS. Which is why it perplexes me that he’s a dad now. My baby brother has a baby! Huh. When did THAT happen? Oh, over three years ago now? Carry on, then.)
Mom would vet all of our candy. Homemade stuff? IN THE TRASH. (Unless it came from my grandmother. Hers were safe. Which was good, she always gave us homemade doughnuts. YUM. She makes excellent doughnuts.) Fruit? TRASH. (Because, razorblades. I was cool with that. I hate fruit. Give me fruit at Halloween, I will look at you sideways ALL YEAR LONG.) Some candy that wasn’t wrapped securely? TRASH TRASH TRASH. Then we could have the rest, but only a LITTLE, and only in TINY AMOUNTS, over the next few MONTHS. Sigh. Thanks for looking out for our health and teeth, Mom. I GUESS.
When I was in high school, my friends and I decided to go trick or treating because we wanted candy. So we did. We could drive. I think when you’re old enough to drive, you probably shouldn’t go begging for candy. People were NOT AMUSED. “You are too old for this!” they said. “GRUMBLE GRUMBLE WE WANT CANDY” we replied. (Also, one guy was on his porch pretending to be a scarecrow, and then he would come to life and attack you, and he TOTALLY GROPED US. That is NOT ALLOWED, sir. You can’t use Halloween as a cover to GROPE JAILBAIT-AGE GIRLS. Gah.)
Then in college, friend D. and I were so, so poor, and we wanted candy SO BADLY, so we went trick-or-treating in the WORST HOMEMADE COSTUMES EVER and people would NOT give us candy and were the MEANEST. “NO NO,” they said. “YOU DAMN COLLEGE KIDS. Candy is for CHILDREN. You are NOT ALLOWED.” Friend D. and I were very sad because we really wanted some candy. WE JUST WANTED SOME FREE CANDY YOU PEOPLE. You are SO MEAN.
Now I kind of ignore Halloween. I like the IDEA of Halloween, because I like scary, but no kids ever come to my house for candy so I’m not even buying any this year (and if we get the rain they say we’re going to, no kids are going to be able to trick or treat at ALL or they will get washed/blown away) and I’ll probably be working, anyway. And NO, I will NOT be dressing up. I haven’t dressed up since 1993. A lot of people wanted that night off from work so they could be with their kids or go to parties, and I’m ok with that. I don’t have family/kids. I’ll take one for the team. (I’d love to see The Nephew trick or treat, though. I bet that would make me the happiest. That kid’s got more joy in his little finger than I have in my whole body. He’s utterly amazing. I adore him so.)
Dad likes Halloween now because he tells Mom, “This year, you should buy a lot of candy with peanut butter in it. Kids like candy with peanut butter and chocolate.” And she does, then he turns off all the lights and says, “Oh! No kids came. I utterly CANNOT imagine WHY. I WILL EAT ALL THIS CANDY. Don’t you EVEN worry. It will NOT go to waste. How fortuitous it’s my favorite kind, PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE!” And every year, Mom pretends she’s not aware he’s playing this trick and every year he pretends it’s a new trick he just came up with and every year it makes me laugh. (Chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite, too. Of course it is, did you have any doubt? It is DELICIOUS.) This year, Dad will miss the chocolate and peanut butter holiday. Because of MOOSE. Sigh, Dad. PRIORITIES.
So. Halloween! If you go out, be careful and safe and have all the fun; if you stay in, watch something scary. That’s what Halloween’s for, as far as I’m concerned. And if you’re in the way of the Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Whatever It Is, you be careful. Don’t get washed away or blown away or electrocuted or drowned or whatever-the-hell, I worry about you. Also, shh, don’t tell anyone, but I LIKE CRAZY WEATHER. Well, as long as I’m not driving in it, or something. I love watching it. It makes me feel all electric. I think I was a storm-chaser in a previous life or something. I used to love monsoon season in Arizona so much. I used to go outside and just twirl in the purple-orange air. It was my favorite time of year.
And if you happen to see a teeny-tiny Buzz Lightyear, ask him to say his catchphrase. You’ll be filled with such hope for humanity you won’t need anything else for MONTHS. Sincerely. He’s just the best thing. The absolute best. No question. Love you, kiddo. Miss you like crazy. Happy Halloween.