Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Not my thing

I was never a fan of Halloween. Even as a child I dreaded the costumes, going door to door, too, as I am and have always been extremely introverted. Walking up to a stranger's house to ask for hand outs? Never my thing. Also, I have always been confused by those who enjoy being scared. I do not.

When I worked in restaurants, my distaste for the day increased. St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve, and Halloween are by far the worst days of the year to work in restaurants that serve liquor. Early on in the evening people have fun - I guess - but once they start really getting drunk, in general people become very mean, especially so on Halloween.

Here on East Capitol Street, Halloween is over the top. We get hundreds (literally) of trick or treaters, including busloads of kids coming in from the suburbs. It is mayhem on this street, something that the petty criminals of the spirit world really love. I will not appease them! No way.

During my years with Reclaiming, I learned how to honor the ancestors at this time of year by building altars, by remembering my beloved dead. I loved the Spiral Dance ritual during which we listened to the advice of sage ancestors, danced the spiral together in order to become more empowered to do good in the world. I loved Samhain in my community. It was wonderful!

But Halloween? Nope. Encourage the kids to be greedy by gathering as much candy as possible, then have to deal with the blood sugar levels rising then crashing? Dress them in ugly costumes most likely made in China? Approach houses where the people greeting the kids purposely try to be frightening? I do not understand the point of it. People say it's fun. Is it? It's likely I will never understand.

But then, I'm not fun. I'm not playful. I am a very serious person. I honor my ancestors throughout the year, especially as the days grow shorter. But Halloween? Yuck! That is all.


Rebecca Clayton said...

In the rural community where I grew up, Halloween was about mischief and mayhem--practical jokes at best, vandalism at worst. I guess it's a rural thing, because that's the way it is in West Virginia, too. All tricks, no treats. Yuck.

Halloween's attraction for me is the costume/theater aspect. Deciding who to "be" for a night, making a costume, pretending to be something else--that's what I find enchanting.

Maybe I should have gone into theater costuming? Or joined a Carnival club?

Reya Mellicker said...

You would make spectacular costumes, Rebecca.

The home made outfits are great, but usually they all wear costumes from the dime store. Many of them are racist or offensive.

Yep, the trick aspect of the holiday marks the presence of those low life ghosts. I suppose they deserve their night to wreak a little unimaginative havoc, but I will not be a part of it! So there!

Reya Mellicker said...

Rebecca I love the genuine theater of Carnivale. The point of Carnivale is to have fun, party, blow off steam and have fun, but it's not meant to be about causing trouble. That's the difference for me.

Pam said...

I know exactly what you mean with all things you've mentioned in your post!
Halloween never really took off here in Australia (not for want of retailers trying!) but I notice this year where I live, there are small groups of sweet-looking nicely-costumed children with very responsible parents in charge,walking to their friends houses. That seems to be the way it'S happening here, as the majority of people wouldn't have a stash of treats for callers.
There's certainly no decoration of houses, not from the outside anyway.