In preparation for our move across the country, I did my best to edit our possessions down to the absolute essentials. The non-essential items that made it through did so because of purely sentimental reasons. For example, Michael brought his life-sized cow yard ornament that his father made for him. And I brought Castle Grayskull.
Now that October is in full swing, and fall surrounds us on every side, I decided it was time to start planning for Halloween. So I pulled the three crates of Halloween stuff we brought with us out of the storage room. Yes, three. How is that an "absolute essential," you ask? How is it that we have two boxes of Christmas stuff, but three for Halloween?
I was never terribly interested in Halloween in college or early single life. I never had the foresight to plan ahead, then dreaded trying to throw a costume together at the last minute. So I would avoid Halloween altogether, or I would be that guy who shows up at a party sans costume. Then, when Michael and I met, Halloween started getting fun. We would plan ahead, think of clever or funny costumes, then spend time gathering the materials and putting everything together. After a couple of years of this, I realized I had this long-dormant dream of having a trunk full of costumes at my disposal. So I started gathering and preserving our costumes and accessories from year to year.
Maybe it's from watching too many episodes of I Love Lucy or The Brady Bunch, but I find it very satisfying to say, "Let me check the trunk. I'm sure we have some pilgrim costumes."
The other fantasy I have is being the go-to guy for last-minute Halloween help. Like, it's Halloween night and the doorbell rings. But instead of trick-or-treaters, it's a friend who's on his way to a costume party, but doesn't have a costume. "Wait here," I'll say. "Let me get you a cape." Somehow, I sleep better knowing I can do that.
Looking through the contents of our Halloween trunks, I get as nostalgic as I would looking through family heirlooms or Christmas ornaments. Aw, remember when were were obsessed with Iron Chef and went as Morimoto and Chen Kenichi? Remember when we were Amish? Remember how unpleasant the make-up and prosthetics were for Snow Miser and Heat Miser? Oh look, my crown of thorns!
This year, we won't be parading down Santa Monica Boulevard or going to Laura and Paula's annual Halloween bash. Instead, we'll be dressing up and hitting the local events and soirees. I'm particularly keen to find out if we get any trick-or-treaters in this area. I'll have to ask the neighbors. Our driveway and carport are begging to be transformed into something haunted.
It's funny how a year can fly by, defined in picturesque terms by holidays and seasons. Like the title cards in Meet Me in St. Louis that tick off the passing of time with Norman Rockwell-like paintings of summer, fall, winter and spring. It makes me wish I had some Meet Me in St. Louis costumes.