Woman posing as May in a Bowler Hat.

Christy’s take on “Man in a Bowler Hat”. (Rene Magritte)

Woman wearing cabaret costume for dancing

I’m ready to hit the dance floor!

Halloween allows for creative minds to wander into wild and wonderful places. Making people laugh is the goal after all! As a ballroom dancer, I look forward to wearing something fun on the dance floor every year. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of twirling! No masks, no floating capes or protruding accessories.

Never mind how I feel about the littles knocking on stranger’s doors or how we load them up with sugar, my favorite part of Halloween is the costumes. The holiday has so many facets of fun — pumpkin carving, corn mazes, candy, scary movies, haunted houses, parties, and a little pink three-year-old looking like a fairy princess — that it’s hard to choose what to talk about in the 500 words I allot myself here.

The fun part starts ahead of time when there are young children in the house. That’s when costumes, house decorations and the perfect pumpkins have to get picked. Then, if possible, the whole family gets on the floor with newspapers, scoops out pumpkin guts and dreams up their best pumpkin faces.

Girl's dressed as Dolly Parton for Halloween

Christy channeling Dolly Parton at 12!

My daughter’s artist mind has always worked overtime this time of year. It’s my daughter’s favorite month and perfect for her beautifully creative mind. Halloween gives us permission to be someone else for a while.

I do have mixed feelings, though. I live in a university town where Halloween is a nightmare for law enforcement. It’s the biggest, drinking-ist, party night of the year and students let it fly. Big trouble for surrounding neighbors. Partytime starts at the local Goodwill store overflowing with costume possibilities. Aisles are filled with laughing college students, snatching what they can to impress friends and fulfill fantasies. A great week for people-watching!

Laughter Helps Us Through the Rough Stuff

I’m remembering past celebrations when my children were young and all the ghoulish high jinx we sprang on the neighbors. A smoking coffin on the porch with a dummy inside. Headstones littering the front lawn, etched with RIP’s and the names of neighbor kids. I’m also trying to remember when that kind of playful thinking stopped. When did life start looking like a business, everyday starting with the question “What do I HAVE to do today?” Obligations and responsibilities accumulated until some days I still feel like a robot.

I’m scared of curmudgeonism. It creeps up so gradually, though, that I haven’t even realized I’m taking life, and myself, much too seriously. The apparent nature of adulthood gets me down sometimes. I deeply appreciate people with a sense of humor and always surprised at the number of scrinched up noses when the word “costume” is even hinted at. Is it because people are afraid they’ll look silly? But isn’t that the point? Dressing up isn’t for everyone, but having fun is. Halloween is a perfect reminder to inject more fun into life! Laughing is a subject dear to my heart because, after all, humor not only feels great but it gets us through the rough stuff.

Weeded out this week: all hints of curmudgeon! Keeping my mind from drifting to the past or worrying about the future is my goal. The present has enough going on to fill my brain adequately, thank you.