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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just Not Feeling It This Year

It might be that this year’s holiday season has been marred by the absence of a true holiday lover, my wife’s mother. It might be that I just don’t have the time or the patience to get my ass in gear this year. It might be that I’m growing old and losing that childlike wonder about the holidays. For whatever reason, I’m just not feeling it this year.

I’ve heard parents talk about how holidays, like Halloween, become fun again because you get to relive it through the eyes of your child. I don’t know. I mean, my daughter is digging the whole Halloween scene but I’m having trouble seeing it from her perspective. I’m sure if bothered to put the laptop down and stopped spending so much time on the shirt side of Mongo, I’d be able to see it. Maybe not. Trying to build that empire, right? I know. It sounds silly to me, too. I’m trying to cram all the things I want to do into the space of four hours and probably missing out on life. I’m missing out on the life of my child.

Of course, that’s the only reason we’re even celebrating Halloween this year, for her. If it were up to us, we’d give out candy and go trick or treating but that would be it. No decorations, no big to do over a meal, no fanfare or fete. Yet, we are going above and beyond and attending a Halloween party. It’s a costume party to boot.

The last time I dressed up for Halloween was back in 2002. We went to a party, at a friend’s house, dressed as Sharon and Ozzy. It was during the whole craze over The Osbournes. One of the other guests showed up as Ozzy. Of course, he looked more like Ozzy from his Black Sabbath days and I was from the reality show days. We deemed him “Ozzy on Heroin” and me “Ozzy on Viagara."

This year we tried to coordinate our kid’s costume with ours. She was going to be the Cat In The Hat and we were going to be Thing 1 and Thing 2. I even used my shirt shop to produce the Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts. All we needed to do was buy blue wigs and get red sweatpants. Well, who knew that red sweatpants were so hard to find? My wife had a pair but checking three stores yielded no results. That and we couldn’t find a Cat In The Hat costume. We dropped the ball and went shopping way too late to find one. Luckily, the little one was alright with going as a ladybug. It works out because at least we aren’t all going to be dressed up for the same event.

The big thing for this Halloween will be the addition of the fire pit. My in-laws bought us a portable fire pit for the summer time and for Halloween. It was my mother-in-law’s idea. It’s bittersweet that we get to use it on one of her favorite days, but sad that we never got to use it until after she died. She would have loved it. We’re still having people over for dinner after trick or treating, mostly because The Steelers are playing The Saints on Halloween. The World Champs against us. Should be an interesting game, considering the season, so far.

I will still watch It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown with my kid, not because she loves it, but because I do.   She’s just hostage to my nostalgic whim.  I know she enjoyed it in the past but she’s fickle.  It took repeated attempts to get her to watch Toy Story and now I’m fighting a losing battle with Shrek.   She’s three, what does she know?   But this Halloween, she has no choice.  We’re even going to watch it recorded off of television instead from the DVD.  Why?  Because there’s just something special about it being on television.   If only it still included the old CBS Special Presentation intro from when I was a kid.   It’s on ABC, now, so I know that won’t happen.  Those bastards better not edit it like they did with A Charlie Brown Christmas or there will be hell to pay.

I suppose maybe I am feeling it a little. It just sucks that we waited until this past weekend to get the decorations up and it’s hard with my wife being out in the pumpkin patch on the weekends to make some extra cash. It sucks that Halloween is basically a one off holiday whereas Christmas kind of starts around the end of November and lasts until January. I’m sure that’s the malls’ fault but I can’t prove it.

There was just something so special about Fall as a kid. Even when I’m watching Michael Myers rip teenagers to shreds, the atmosphere of those films just lend themselves to a time when being a kid was fun. There was so much excitement over going out trick or treating and seeing the leaves turn and feeling the crunch of them underneath your feet when you traipsed through the neighborhood after dark. The shadows created a world beneath the one you knew. The Fall made the world feel brighter and more alive even though season was signified the transition towards death, the sunset of life. Perhaps it was the ever changing landscape. Something made it fun. I just have to find it in these last few days leading into winter. Of course, it didn’t help that it was 82 degrees yesterday with the threat of a tornado and Windapalooza.

If only that tornado could have swept through and gotten rid of all the leaves that are in my yard.  That’s going to be a bitch to clean up.   I love the Fall, but I hate those damn leaves.

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