Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween, Bad Hangovers, & Community Service

Don't those items go nicely together?  Halloween is approaching, and just for fun, I typed the word "Halloween" into the search bar on my blog to see what I have said about the topic in the past.  It was really no surprise to discover that every time I referred to the holiday, it was usually followed by the word "blech" or some other disgruntled interjection.  I noticed that every year I try to explain to some degree why I don't care for this particular holiday.  This time, in lieu of writing the same reasons over again, I was simply going to be lazy and link up to a post from the past.  But surprisingly, the best explanation I could find for my dislike toward Halloween was packaged as a comment to one of my followers:
Halloween can be a source of contention for me. I used to love Halloween as a child, but Clint absolutely hates it, so I sometimes feel a little resentful that my kids aren't carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating like other kids. We still do fun things around Halloween, but I feel a bit deprived of those traditions that I grew up with....Luckily we both love Christmas and go WAY out for that.
That explanation isn't entirely fair though, because even without Clint's disapproval of the holiday, Halloween would still fill me with a small sense of wariness.  I was never able to watch horror movies as a child (and still can't today), because gruesome images disturb me.  I know all of it is fake and supposed to be fun, but replication of human torment in any form just isn't fun for me, especially when you consider that there are real-life crazies out there getting off on that stuff.  Likewise, some of the more extreme Halloween decorations bother me.  I don't mind spiders and webs and cackling witches and that sort of thing, but I don't like the really gory stuff, such as dismembered body parts, bloody faces, and so on.  It seems like every year, the decorations are getting more graphic.  What happened to the good ole' days of hanging up sheets on your trees?

But the thing is, even with my sensitivity to Halloween, my feelings of wariness as a child/teen were always off-set by the fun parts of the holiday.  The pumpkin carving, costume wearing, trick-or-treating, parties, etc.  But in my married life, I feel like I have lost out on a lot of the thrilling parts, yet have still been stuck simmering in a state of gloom as the holiday comes and goes.  We still have these fun themed party with his family each year, but all of the traditional Halloween stuff has been completely taken out of the equation.

But I did just use the phrase "in the past," and that's because in the last two years, Clint has started to be a tiny bit more open toward Halloween.  It started last year, when he actually agreed to go to our friends' Halloween party.  And now this year, he actually bought tickets to the dojos annual party, which I could not be more thrilled about.  We've contemplated going to this party a few times in the past, but this time we actually set it in stone.  Here's the ticket (had to cover address on top):


They're dead-serious about the designated driver thing.  Apparently Sensei Brandon takes your keys away upon arrival, and a lot of people end up spending the night.  Clint's saying that he's going to park our RV in the parking lot so we can crash at any time, but I don't know how serious he is about that.  Although we do already have people claiming spots in our RV.  Clint keeps telling them, "Okay, but I should warn you, I like to cuddle." 

So the one problem with all of this?  Last week, I was all proud of myself because I organized a community clean-up project for my Builders Club.  Two other clubs decided to join us, so I now have 75 kids signed up to pick up litter, starting at 8:00 a.m.  I didn't realize until AFTER I finalized all of the plans that the date I chose (the 22nd) happened to be the morning AFTER the Halloween party.  So I'm going to be partying all night, crashing some time in the morning, and then waking up at 7:00 a.m. to go out into the desert with 75 kids to pick up trash.  Worst hangover EVER. 

But I don't care.  There's no way I'm cancelling out on going to the dojo's party, nor am I going to baby myself that night by attempting to cut out early.  Nuh uh.  I've waited too long for this.  I'm ready to get my Halloween on.