I’ve always been upset when The Mom announces that she’s ‘not doing’ Halloween. Each year, I launch a counter-campaign, pointing out how much fun she actually has when she decorates the house and throws on a costume. She loves this kind of thing. It’s really one of her superpowers, the ability to turn the house into a house of horrors in mere hours. Though, generally speaking this doesn’t require too much effort on her part. She just takes some of the rotting compost out, tosses it on whatever about to rot pumpkins and gourds she gets last minute at the supermarket, throws a witch’s hat on whatever dog is in residence and cackles madly when she opens the door.
So this whole conundrum of getting some special treats for the kids next door is a bit odd from where I’m standing. Halloween candy is best because it’s terrible. I mean, just last night as I was walking over to meet a friend for drinks, I got offered some candy, from the nice lady who works at the super positive sex shop on the corner near my flat. She had a great big bucket of sweets and insisted I take a handful for the rest of my journey. The candy was horrible – it tasted sort of like bananas but mostly of sugar and threatened to rip my teeth out as I tried to chew it. I tossed it in the bin once I was out of sight of the sex shop lady. The candy was gross but I was pleased to have been given it because there is no other day of the year that it’s acceptable to take candy from strangers.
And Halloween isn’t about quality, it’s about quantity.
I remember when we were little kids, the moment we realised that all our friends took out pillowcases for their trick or treating and came back with them nearly full! Mind blowing doesn’t even cover it. For us, the mere fact that we were allowed out to collect all the sugary treats we wanted was not dissimilar to witnessing the Second Coming, every single freaking year. Of course we had a hierarchy of candies we liked, ones we’d eat and the rest, but the point of Halloween is to go around looking as crazy as possible, eating too much crap sugar and struggling through the sugar hangover. IT is not the place for quality, thoughtful things. That’s for Christmas and Easter. That’s when you want good chocolate.
Anyhow, judging from the signs of it, the quality of treats on offer is the least of The Mom’s problems. I remember when we lived together and we’d both be having utterly crap days. If The mom was alone in suffering through a terrible no good very bad day, it was evident at dinner: a half-eaten chicken breast languishing next to a small glass of tomato juice and The Mom gripping something sturdy, clutching a glass of wine.
We all have these days. I’ve been having them a lot myself recently, but this was to be expected given that I’m moving and riding out the last bits of DIY. It’s nice to know that Crazy D is on hand to dole out hugs, but I think I have a better system, which is decidedly British. I just send my best friend and co-conspirator an email that says Wine! Usual place, usual time. Wine! I don’t even wait for him to reply, I just head down to the pub and he turns up.