Is it a coincidence that during this Halloween time of year (sorry if this doesn’t apply to you folks from non-Trick-or-Treating cultures) that black cats seem to multiply and the howling wind sounds like haunting ghosts? I think not.
Even the hastening darkness conspires to set the Halloween mood. Spookiness descends at the exact time when we all might be despairing about stocking up on light bulbs. So instead, we’re stocking up on candles, pumpkins and oodles of candy as if those innocent little children really would play tricks on us (Myren takes a different view of the children’s innocence than I do and uses this to justify his attempts at trickery).
So what’s your point? I can hear you asking now (yes, I’m a mind reader—but it only works on imaginary people who are reading my columns—then I get this fabulous insight about …okay, back to the point.)
My point is…well…it’s more an observation than a point. Let me illustrate with a snippet from a typical day in my life during this dark and dangerously spooky time of year.
First, I do not wake up to the sunlight streaming in the window—I only dreamed about that. Instead, the cat woke me—at first she looked like a black cat until I opened my eyes–with extra loud purring because even she knows about her role in the Halloween excitement. (She watches too much TV and I’m afraid all the commercials have affected her.) So in the murky morning dark I follow the sound of the cat’s purring (and occasional screeching when I misstep) to the light switch.
Fast forward to coffee-drinking—or I should say slow-forward since there’s nothing fast about my pre-coffee activities (which include dressing and what-not) (what-not is a handy word isn’t it?). By the time I finish my last sip of coffee, bedecked in my orange and black sweater sprinkled with felt pumpkins, ghosts, witches on brooms and random scary flashing lights, I’m feeling awake enough to put on my Halloween crown. It’s the black one with orange-colored pumpkins and flashing ghosts. I grab my sunglasses and whistle for Myren my Chauffeur. (The sunglasses are to protect against flashes of scary lightening since there’s always a tremendously horror-filled thunderstorm lurking.)
Myren pulls up sporting his witch’s hat in place of the chauffeur cap and I’m sporting a big smile. I’m in the mood to thwart the whole purpose of the witch hat, which is theoretically to make me cringe in fear, isn’t it? Okay, maybe I’m always in the mood to thwart Myren. At least he’s not wearing the pumpkin head—that would kill me—I’d have to laugh out loud. I have a crown with…I digress—back to the day.
My mission this morning is to get the candy. Oodles of irresistible, delicious candy of every kind imaginable to make my castle door the most popular in the trick-or-treating kingdom. (Myren is not on board with the mission exactly, but he knows which side his pumpkin bread is buttered on). I write for a living, so I know candy. It’s one of my major motivators. I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs with M&Ms. But I digress…
We drive around and run in and out of countless candy stores—you know those fancy stores with charming pane windows with all kinds of mouth-watering delights on porcelain and silver trays in the window and the chunky candy-loving clerks inside.
Finally we end up at a Walgreen’s with a truck-load candy sale two-for-one giant bag special going on. The back seat of the limo is already crowded with boxes of truffles and Myren is observing that no kid’s mother is going to let them eat unpackaged candy and I probably only bought that for myself. (Okay, maybe he has a point, but in my defense, I wasn’t thinking. I was blinded by the smell of chocolate—or something like that.)
There are about two thousand brands to choose from. So after looking around, I grab up bags and bags and carriages full. We ran out of space in the trunk—which was about the time my feet were getting tired and the daylight started dwindling.
Myren slammed the back door and we were off. I was looking forward to a chocolate snack and a not-too-scary movie (maybe Charlie Brown’s pumpkin) about now. And I was looking forward to all those cute little trick-or-treaters dressed up in fun elaborate costumes knocking at my door (I would find a way to keep Myren from scaring them away).
So my point is, don’t be too hard on all that commercialism and craziness at this time of year. It all serves a purpose. It’s all about overcompensating for the spooky starlight to keep our spirits up and chase the evil spirits away. Or to give us a headache to distract us from our depression about the dark and dangerous monsters. Either way, it’s not entirely a bad thing.
Stephanie Queen has some fabulous spirit-lifting and spirit-chasing novels perfect for reading this time of year. Check out her romantic detective series including her upcoming release Beachcomber Investigations and coming soon Beachcomber Santa. Visit her website at www.StephanieQueen.com for more information.