Friday, October 31, 2014

Parties, Judgment, and Death.

Today is Halloween. I've never been a big fan.

As a kid, I think it was because things related to death made me very uncomfortable. I had stronger reactions to death than most children, I think. I postulate that this is because when my grandfather died-- I was very young at the time, perhaps 6 or 8-- my father, who was with him at the time, called my mother to tell her, and I picked up on the extension and heard the conversation-- my father panicked and speaking barely incoherently into the phone.

I remember, when my father's mother died, several years later, my parents both came into my sister's room where she and I were playing and calmly sat us down and explained what had happened. I remember asking, through a few tears, if their was cribbage in heaven, because my Grandmother loved to play it. I remember them laughing and saying, "If there wasn't before, there is now."

If the first time had been more like the second, I probably wouldn't have spent several years of my life utterly terrified of death and all things related: gravestones, caskets, and all manner of halloween decorations. But it was not that way.

As an adult, the reason I never grew to like Halloween is that it seemed like it was the one night a year where all of my friends-- even the usually extremely socially anxious ones-- had parties to go to, and I (we, really, since it was always me and Zack) did not. We tried one year to go to a college party that friend invited us to, but it became clear to us very quickly that we had never developed the correct set of social skills to make it enjoyable.

There were a few teenage years where it was mildly appealing-- going trick or treating with friends who were too young to party and too well-behaved to make trouble. But my attempt to relive that when Zack and I were first together was met with a lot of judgement and scorn from the people whose doors we knocked on. It really soured me for the whole thing.

I also really dislike giving out candy. I don't mind watching it, seeing the trick or treaters, but being as low energy as I am, the constant up-and-down, the interruptions...I find it all very frustrating and tiring.

So taking Ezra out-- albeit, only to like 6 houses-- was a nice change of pace this year. There are few things that have been as good about being a parent as they are advertised, but the relief of any sense that I should find an event or party to go to on Halloween was nice, as was having a convenient excuse to be out trick or treating. Some people in my hometown really go all out, with the spooky lawn decorations. Now that I'm old enough to appreciate it without finding it-- well, not scary, but unsettling, shall I say-- it's really quite a scene to behold.

I guess nothing deep tonight, except, you know, the grandfather's death making me a nervous child thing. Oh well.

Day 18. Happy Halloween.

On with it.