Some of you will know this, but most of you won't; I'm a Halloweenie. It's an inherited passion, passed down through the Gilberts. Yes, Grandma, Mom and I all have a love of the gruesome holiday. Since I can remember, we decorated the house, dressed up, and hit the streets.
It's not about the mountain of candy you can amass with a well planned route. It's not even about the costumes. It's about experiencing autumn. When you step outside on October 31st, it isn't just any night. You can smell it in the air; feel it as the wind caresses your cheek. Some people think the veil between our world and the afterlife become thin enough to pass through. Ghost stories are told, resulting in goose bumps and a tingle down your spine. Myself, I'd say it's the most perfect night of the year. Cool, crisp, fresh. Full of promise.
The start of high school was the end of great Halloweens. You're suddenly too old to trick or treat. The women's section in the Halloween store seems more like a hooker's closet. Far away from friends, bars seem to be the only place to go. Surrounded by strangers who are only thinking about getting drunk (and getting laid), it becomes increasingly hard to have a good time. As for DJ's, while taking requests seems like a good idea, on Halloween it backfires. There aren't a whole lot of festive songs that aren't embarrassingly outdated. Thriller is the greatest Halloween song ever. Monster Mash... should have been allowed to rest in peace.
This Halloween seemed a bit last minute. For months I harassed John about costume ideas. After the Venner visit we had less than a week. I gave up on a couple costume when John told me he likes waiting until the day before to make his. I purchased a dress and declared myself a 50's Hollywood Movie Star. The day of, as he drove us to Walmart, I was offering suggestions ranging from ridiculous to decent. Receiving no feedback, I was fed up by the time we walked past the greeter. Turning to my left, I saw a crane machine.
Knowing John's affinity for them I offered my last suggestion, "You could be a crane machine..." That's all it took, and he was off and running. $30 and four hours later, John had his costume.
Katherine had invited us to join them for Halloween which we did. She and Don were dressed up as Napoleon Dynamite and Deb (the portrait photographer girlfriend). At 9 they decided the trick-or-treaters were done, and we went to the Flight Deck. John won the costume contest and $500. Katherine and I were dead on our feet by the time they announced it at 1 AM but John was all smiles.