Usually, when Halloween rolls around, I am left out. What I mean is that I am the butler, the enabler, the inefficient decorator, the bad make-up doer, the scrambler, the chef, the doler of chocolates. But I am rarely one of the featuring stars in the evening’s show. When I say these things, I don’t want you running off with the idea of a pestilential sulker dulling Halloween. Far from it. I may decorate like a wet cracker, but there is one thing I bring to the evening – enthusiasm. One of my friends once said after witnessing a football game played by kindergartners that there was more enthusiasm than skill in the game. Exactly how I like to slot myself in the Halloween throng of emotions.
When I smile after hoisting a ghastly costume on folks, I smile widely, deeply and with affection. It gives the wearer confidence as they head out into the Halloween night. I like Halloween, for it is the one night when it is okay for serious minded adults who think of worldly problems to go out and publicly quack like ducks. It is often an illuminating experience to see that people give more attention to one’s quacks as a duck, than their most reasoned and logical arguments. It is all good – imagine if the Hippoceres lightened up.
If you like Halloween so much, why is it you don’t make more of an effort to dress up yourself? You ask. My answer drips in selfless service. There is usually a gaggle of folk around me needing attention – the costumes have to be just so and the food needs to be just so-so, the parents or parents-in-law have to be convinced to loosen up for Halloween and there it is. By the time the vampires, fairies and super-heroes come laden with plastic pumpkins, I have barely had time to lay the dinner on the table and grab a devil-hairband bought years ago, and smile (I have been accused of being the friendliest devil known to mankind, thereby failing spectacularly in even the simplest of costumes.)
This time, Halloween was on a Saturday and I had more time and energy on my hands. I started planning a whole two hours ahead that I wanted to be something too. Not just that. I was the decisive force: I wanted my costume to be Environment Themed. In what I thought was a brilliant teachable moment, I said that if we don’t save the environment, we won’t need Halloween Decorations at all, since the macabre stuff we see as Halloween Decorations, would be the sorry state of Earth.
Look at the sorry state of Earth here:
The husband gave me a shocked, dismal look. The meaning of that look needs a much stronger pen than my own to record. I realized that far from a Teaching Moment, it could well become a Traumatic Moment, and swiftly swerved the conv. towards suggestions.
That did the trick. Ask us to talk and give suggestions, we trip over one another. There was a lot of shouting and a few good suggestions.
We need Water, Save Water, Less Plastic, More running water: (rivers, brooks), Recycle better, Anti Deforestation, More Trees, Drop of Water, Become a Cloud, No Toys (The toddler son came up with this and said proudly that he did not want to play with his toys anymore, and that I could give them all away, and not buy anymore. The pride on his face I tell you! It would have been a lot more virtuous if he had remembered that at the Lego Store the next day). The daughter said that I should crusade against oil spills since they harm animals, why not a Clean Ocean-Reef? Or Be a Farm.
I wonder if you notice a theme here: viz: Dashed hard to pull off. No dropping into a store and plucking a costume from the Shelf here. It would have to be made. I have already written about the complete lack of skills in areas like that.
The daughter said I needed to keep an open mind and try, or I’ll never know. I heeded her advice. How hard could it be?
Coming up Next: Part 2