It’s October 31. Halloween and I’m hiding out in my house. I have turned off the lights so it looks like no one is home. My friends think I’m ridiculous but that’s not true, I prefer to think of myself as ambivalent. I will explain.
I used to love Halloween. As a kid I was always thrilled about the prospect of a costume. Some of my friends would tell you that I no longer need Halloween to costume, that’s all there is in my clothes closet, but not the kind of costume one wears on Halloween. For example, I would not dress like a duck for a meeting downtown. Anyway, I loved to dress like a princess or a whore. Those were my two favorites. I never consulted my mother about the whore stuff, and if she happened to see what I was wearing, I think I told her that I was a beatnik or a nightclub singer. I can’t remember. But she was hardly ever around, so Tina (who always dressed in some horror theme) and I dressed unencumbered by parental supervision.
Boonton NJ was an amazing town in which to Trick or Treat. All the stores had glass fronts so the shop owners would paint elaborate murals on the windows. It was like NY at Christmas but instead of fantastic holiday scenes there were ghosts and goblins, witches and werewolves. We we would go from store to store before we went from house to house. And you didn’t just get candy from the owners. You got presents and money. (Except from the dentist who would give toothbrushes.) Some kids hated getting apples and pennies, they wanted candy, but not Tina. She loved the pennies because she always took a handful rather than just one. And I think there was one year she got a bra, a Tonka truck and a pack of Salem cigarettes. It was always colorful.
When Seth was little we would let him choose his costume and it was ordinarily a variation on the same music theme. One year he was Kiss, another he was a Rolling Stone and I think there was a time he was Curt Cobain—as a corpse. Jordan’s costumes were always colorful but not usually identifiable. But there was always make-up and a wig involved. I loved it when the kids were little—or big. I should say, I loved it when the kids were with me. Then there were friends to greet and games to play.
I stopped buying candy about 5 years ago. I gave little toys or puzzles or rings or fake tattoo’s. All stuff purchased at Oriental Trading. I would put on my witches hat and greet them with some frightening laugh. Then I would show them the big basket filled with Halloween crap and the kids would pick what they wanted. Jordan hated the toys. She wanted me to buy candy so we would have it for weeks after the holiday. “Too bad”, I told her “I think encouraging kids to eat so many sweets is a bad idea.” Then last year one mother lectured me about the fact that the toys were small and the kids could choke on them. “Supervision is not my job, Just don’t let them keep them.” I told her.
Anyway, that began my ambivalence. And I was torn about what to do this year. Then I thought about what had happened to the neighborhood in the last two or three years and why I was not excited about having people come to my door. It has become a Republican haven in the midst of Democratic Northern Virginia. After the “Washingtonian” designated Waverly Hills as one of the best places in the metropolitan area to live, new aspiring upscale Republican yuppies started to move in. They bought tiny houses, which five years ago would have sold for $250,000 but they paid over a half million dollars -- because it was the trendy place to live. I think I mentioned in a previous blob that they also felt entitled to take over the streets and let their dogs poop on property that was not their own. And now they have put signs on their yards which ask that you vote for George Allen, but worse than that, (if there can be a worse) there are signs that ask the voter to amend the constitution to prevent same sex marriage. And there isn’t just one on the WG’s lawn. (The WG is what the kids called the weird guy around the corner who was the only Republican within miles until 2004.) There are lots of them. Vote yes for Proposition one – one man, one woman, one marriage. In my neighborhood-- an anti human rights campaign. So the truth is, I don’t want to give the little Republicanettes any candy or toys or anything nice. I will not reward them for having parents with bad judgment and, I might add, bad haircuts. I will now keep my lights out and wait until 10:00 to take out the garbage. Then I will sneak downstairs, get myself a glass of wine, and revel in my memories of the good old days when we celebrated Halloween at Vice President Al Gores residence surrounded by people who would never vote yes on Proposition one. We’re Just Sayin...