Several times a year, I assume, the elementary school down the street where my daughter began her school career offers programs, pageants, festivals, performances, carnivals. I assume.
I don’t pay attention, and I don’t participate. Of course. I have no connection to the tiny humans I see walking down the street, waiting for the school bus, holding up traffic as they cross at the light. They are not part of my life, and haven’t been for a long time. I acknowledge their existence and wish them well, but I don’t connect other than the stray memory of a long time ago.
Thus it is with Halloween. Once I was an active participant, helping to assemble costumes and makeup, walking through neighborhoods, holding hands and prompting my kids to remember their lines, be polite, and understand the scary stuff was all pretend. Been there. Done that. Done.
I don’t get Halloween, then. I acknowledge it, and with the help of this new Internet thing I can see that many, many adults I know take it seriously. It looks like fun. I wish them well, too.
But the inference I take is that this is an understood thing, a “holiday.” That’s how it’s referred to by many people, a holiday, which baffles me. It’s certainly something, but so is Groundhog Day.
I’m also not opposed to making up holidays. I invent pizza holidays all the time. It’s Tuesday; time for pizza. See? Easy.
And dressing up, engaging with fake dark forces, going to parties, buying imitation blood, or even just getting drunk and acting slutty (one friend’s explanation) are all behaviors that I comprehend. I’m not grumbling. I just don’t do it, or relate, or get it.
Now, Thanksgiving is a holiday. Christmas is a whole holiday season. Fourth of July is a damn fine holiday, even with crazy neighbors.
But May Day, say, not so much, and that’s where Halloween goes for me. Or Last Day Of School day. I’ve grown past it, reluctantly sometimes, and that’s where it belongs. So I watch all this activity and, as I say, just wish everyone well. Unless pizza is in order, in which case I will dig in.
My daughter, prepared for Dia de los Muertos. I had nothing to do with this.