I was Cleopatra a few years in a row. And then something with wings.
And then when I was 12 or so, I got egged in the leg on my final Halloween trick-or-treating excursion. I carried around the bruise for more than a month and my love affair with Halloween slowly faded away. Halloween seems to bring out the worst in people. An odd combination of indiscretion and inhibition collide into an orgy of slutty cops and coal miners.
And then there are the masks. Eyes and faces and gestures reflect humanity or, a lack thereof. When those elements are hidden, it’s hard to know who and what you’re seeing.
And perhaps most of all, Halloween has been transformed from a child’s holiday into something owned and operated by adults. In fact, a legislator in Connecticut is proposing permanently moving Halloween to the fourth Saturday in October. His stated goals are for parents to avoid having Halloween on school night as well as to take advantage of the economic development opportunities of having Halloween parties and celebrations on the weekend (hotel rooms, ballrooms, restaurants, bars and the like).
Just think: Halloween party-goers and small children dressed as honey bees can be on the streets together! Every year!
But I am not without hope. Halloween has not completely departed as a childhood celebration of creativity, imagination and candy. And tonight, I’ll be at my door with Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and a smile. Oohing and ahhing at the witches and pirates and vampires and hoping that the innocence of child with half full bag of candy and and a loudly declared “trick or treat” doesn’t ever leave us.