Today was Halloween and I got to actually celebrate it in a meaningful way for the first time in years!
As a child of course we did not celebrate Halloween, my parents would put out a bowl of candy and keep all the lights off in the house so it looked like no one was home.
When I got to college I started going to college Halloween parties, and for two glorious years I went to the Halloween parade- once while I still lived in NYC, and was able to walk back home after the parade, and again my first year of grad school, when me and a girl in my program from the midwest (and not the very populated area of the midwest) who had never been to NYC before went on a trip to NYC that weekend. The Halloween party is like nothing you have ever seen...all the freaks in the city come out to play, and as a card carrying member of the freaks, it's like a city suddenly full of my people. Plus they have awesome giant puppets of skeletons and stuff (if anyways watched the rally for sanity/fear on Saturday, the puppets are kinda like the stephen colbert puppet, only more scary stuff).
They year after that I had a Halloween costume party at my apartment in grad school, and dressed as a witch. I think the year after that me and Quiet Girl carved pumpkins. This one was mine:
But after that I didn't really celebrate the holiday for a few years- I was busy in grad school, didn't have many friends celebrating, and you don't get many trick or treaters when you live in an apartment.
Anyways now we live in a house, in a neighborhood full of kids, and B and I decided to dress up and sit on our porch and give out candy! I have this dress I bought in high school...well there's a backstory to that too, see in high school I was kinda the "freak" of the school (hence my card)- nothing too crazy, but I wore black a lot, and was basically as goth as one could be in a school with a strict dress code where you are not allowed to wear make up until you're a senior (and then only "natural" colors). When I was in high school this new store opened in the mall- Hot Topic- and somehow I managed to talk my dad into buying me a dress from that store for a Purim costume, along with an awesome set of black wings made with fluffy crazy feathers. This was back when hot topic sold a bunch of fancy dress up goth clothes...nowadays I think they are more of a punk/emo/t shirt place. Sadly I lost those wings when I moved out of my parents house- well not lost, I bet my mother hasn't thrown them out- but I left them behind because I didn't want them to get crushed in the move, and since I never had a car I never had a chance to get them back.
But i still have the dress! And I have a witches hat from when I had that Halloween party. And I have a bunch of jewelry from when I was goth(ish) in high school, and some old black lipstick, so my costume was born. B already had an old Halloween costume in a drawer somewhere.
We sat out front in our costumes and gave out candy to kids- and there were a LOT of kids, some very little kids came around 6ish, and then there was a lull, and then after dark there was a crazy amount of kids coming through! We got lots of compliments about our costumes, and one of our neighbors stopped in his tracks when he saw us and was like "dear lord!" before taking a bunch of pictures of us (And he says he will give us a print! Some of my neighbors are pretty cool- this guy is a retired professor from my school, and we've had a bbq with him and our next door neighbor who is also a retiree). We also met a lot more of our neighbors from our block and the surrounding neighborhood (I suspect some of the kids came from other neighborhoods though- some arrived in cars). B may have scandalized some of them- I bet they don't see a bunch of crossdressing nuns with beards down here- but most everyone laughed, because it's ok, because it's Halloween! And that's the beauty of this holiday, you can really let your freak flag fly, and for this one day a year, it's ok! With everyone!
It's a shame I never got to trick or treat as a kid- I really had fun giving out candy to kids this year, my first time involved in trick or treating. I guess I'll have to wait till we have our own kids to get to see the other side.