Thursday, October 07, 2010

Halloween lessons

October is here, and since I’ve been an adult that’s always been a happy month. The weather in Atlanta is perfect in October, with bright blue skies and light winds. My birthday kicks the month off with well wishes from friends and family, and it’s a great time to read outside, to clean the garden up for winter, to enjoy the company of friends at festivals.

There was a lantern parade along the beltline on October 2nd, and I took Dot out at dusk and we stood on the Edgewood overpass and watched giant puppets, a spinning globe, and dozens of Chinese lanterns pass. Our friend Steve was down in the parade taking pictures, and he took one of us as he walked under the bridge; though the light wasn’t great and he was at a weird angle, I hope it turns out. I’ve been winning a lot of professional prizes lately; hopefully I will be lucky in photography as well.

The husband has also been lucky, and now has a job. It doesn’t pay much, but he’s working at a bankruptcy firm – they are the sorts of legal offices hiring these days – and we did so need the extra income. All my hard work is winning me awards, but no extra money; I feel secure in my position, but that doesn’t pay the daycare bills. So the husband went to work and we hired The Babysitter, who now picks up the girls each day from school and gets them dinner.

October is of course the Halloween month too, with a great parade through my neighborhood, and all the little kids around tick-or-treating. Dot is enthusiastic about her bumblebee costume and Diana hasn’t decided if she will be a monkey or a witch yet. Tony, Andrew, and Joshua are down in Disneyworld enjoying the park decked out in its gothy finest. The guys took the kids to a pumpkin patch last year, and I’m hoping we can do that again this year.

I love Halloween more and more as I age, and I appreciate its lessons more than any other holiday. At Christmas, you only get presents if you’ve been good, and those presents are really determined by your parents’ income. At Halloween, you march up to the doors of others and demand treats, and you get them. You can skip over to wealthy neighborhoods if you so choose, if your own is only tootsie rolls and lollypops, and get candy bars. You can dress up and be whatever you want to be, get what you asked for, and if people are mean or bothersome, you can toilet paper their house. Contrast this with Christmas, where the supposed “fun” is walking around in the cold singing songs about someone else’s idea of god, and you can see why Halloween is a clear winner in the fun department. Stay up late, eat stuff that’s bad for you, dress to terrify, and beat down the doors of those around you and demand sweets. Hooray for October, hooray for Halloween.

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