It’s never a good thing when one, one in this case clearly being me, finds their life so intolerably boring that they can’t even think of anything to write about. But, sometimes nothing comes to mind. And then I end up going a week without a peep on my blog. A week spent sleeping erratically, getting caught up on bad TV, and generally bemoaning my achy back and annoying life.
BUT, never fear, it’s my favorite time of year! That… was not meant to rhyme. This is why I would never willingly choose to live anywhere like Florida or Southern California; I love seasons too much. The wet, both from rain and snow melting, Spring with it’s sort of rebirth feel, the summers that are both too hot and too short, even the horridness of Cleveland winter is worth it for fall. I, quite simply, love autumn. The change of colors, the vague constant smell of burning leaves, the dropping temperatures when it teeters on the brink of warm and cold and it becomes jacket weather. My best friend K said that it seems like the start of something, and she’s right. She’s also probably right about the fact that it comes from school. Spring is rebirth, but autumn is… renewal for me in a way that New Years could never really be. You can’t see me, but I am giving autumn a sort of swoony sighing expression.
And then, of course, there is Halloween, which is by far and away my favorite holiday. Most people say Christmas, and yes, Christmas is good. Christmas is warmth and friendliness even from strangers in a way that no other holiday can be. But, when the Halloween stuff rolled off the truck at The Job I got an excited sort of thrill that most certainly did not come when we started finding Christmas stuff in the mix.
There are a few things I love about Halloween, but dressing up is definitely one of those things. Everyone likes being someone else every once in awhile, but nobody likes it like me. Well… okay I am sure there are quite a few people who would disagree with the semantics of that statement but suffice it to say no one I know likes it like me. It’s the one time a year where it’s socially acceptable to wear ridiculous outfits. Not… that that really stops me in the rest of the year but social acceptance is still a nice thing. I’ve, also, never exactly been the type to subscribe to the sexy Halloween costume camp. I don’t really think that putting the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz in a skirt chopped off at the upper thigh is a good idea and am still confused by this:
(I mean… really??)
But then again, I don’t take Halloween as an excuse to wear nothing and call it a costume. K likes to use my fondness for the film Mean Girls as an excuse for her to watch reality TV. But, honestly, it’s seriously some accurate social commentary (it’s all just so true) there. And, the bit about Halloween is… pretty much spot on.
In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it. The hard-core girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears.
Annnnd, it’s true. There’s only how big a crowd needs to be (Halloween at Ohio University comes to mind) before you get a gaggle of sorority-esque girls in pink tee shirts and bunny ears with their arms linked together as they giggle like fourth graders and sip on Bartles & Jaymes. If you want to purchase a woman’s pre-packaged Halloween costume and don’t particularly want to be a Tavern Wench (yeah that was my uncreative last year), you’re hard pressed to find one that doesn’t reveal more skin than Paris Hilton in August. Rebelling from this norm mean one of two things; either you made a visit to your local thrift store or else you got very acquainted with a needle and thread. Or, both. This year I am going as Budget Dinosaur. This involves a full sweatsuit with a tail sewn onto the bum. Oh, and a dinosaur nose. It seems to somehow fit with K and J’s Mega Shark and Giant Octopus, and it was pretty much the least sexy thing I could think of. Well, that and a cardboard box robot. Maybe next year.
The other thing is that it’s the time of year when it’s easiest to be scared shitless. Horror movies are released year round, of course, but not quite like they are in October. It only makes sense really, Hollywood has never been one to ignore a cash cow and once a year, at least, people become obsessed with being scared. There’s a certain, sort of, thrill from the heart pumping, adrenaline rush that comes along with fear. Of course, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually been afraid of a movie. The first scary movie I saw was Scream. I was fifteen, had no idea what to expect, and was petrified. Absolutely pants shitting terrified. I remember sleeping on my best friend’s bedroom floor that night with her snoring away, and me wide awake and unable to even close my eyes without seeing Drew Barrymore hanging from a tree with her intestines spilling down her front. All I wanted was for that image to just go out of my head and to stop being afraid. Now, I sort of wish I could get it back. Sometimes they have a lasting effect. Not often, mostly I leave laughing, but every once in awhile there’s little things that stick. Two instances come to mind:
1) I cut class to go to the movies and see The Ring when it came out. I kept reading things about it and didn’t feel like waiting. So, I jumped in my car, drove to Easton and saw this movie I’d heard so much about. I wasn’t scared. It was sufficiently atmospheric, clever. I didn’t really know much about Asian horror films in general at that point, had never seen Ringu and knew that it’d be something I’d be looking into in the future. But scared? Not really. Not until a weak later at least. I am not entirely sure how plumbing sounded like my television turning on, but in my half asleep haze… it did. I flew out of bed. Flew. And didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.
2) Several years ago K and J and I went on our yearly sojourn to Virginia where her family has a cabin in the woods. We toted along a pile of scary movies to make the evening complete, but we knew that we wanted to toast some marshmallows on the campfire afterwards so we decided to watch the one movie we knew wouldn’t scare us in a million years, the remake of House of Wax. There is only one scary part in that movie; when the group of college kids camp out in a random field (whaaaaat?) and someone pulls up in a truck and just stares at them for awhile. It’s benign, but seriously… it would be scary. Yeah, it was. Just after the conversation we were outside when a car pulled up out of nowhere into our driveway. They were just warning us that they were hunting raccoons and not to be afraid of the gunshots… but we were probably MORE afraid of them just driving up.
But, in general; I’ve jumped, I’ve screamed, I’ve been completely grossed out, but that’s not really the same.
At least we have haunted houses for that. My first experience with one was the Hudson Haunted House, and at one point I found myself stuck in a corner as a man in a butcher’s apron and wielding a cleaver proceeded to swing at me repeatedly. I wouldn’t move and after far too long someone had to pull me away. It might have been my mother. As soom as I moved on I knew the guy was probably thinking ‘Okay, girl, hurry up and move so that I can stop doing this!’ but at the time I was completely paralyzed with fear. It was awesome. They can be horribly lame, but they’re sort of like horror films come to life; and those can be well lame too. But, even when bad they are still usually amusing. The same is pretty much true for Haunted Houses. People in very stupid masks can be scary, even when you know they are about to leap out at you.
It’s fun to be scared. Especially in October, and especially towards the end, and there’s a lot of stuff out there to help you along. But, really, if you want to seriously freak me out all you really have to do is stick me on a country road in the dark and let my imagination go free, cause really, that’s all any of those things can do… help along the imagination.