Hate Fall, Love Halloween

Oct 30

I hate to tell you this, but Fall sucks. Yeah, yeah, the leaves are pretty. That’s because they’re dead. You want foliage, you like the falling leaves of red and orange? Fine. Makes a nice song. But dead leaves are not a good sign. Trust me.

And yes, the days are not as hot as the stifling days of summer. That’s because winter is coming, when days will be cold. Icy, bone-chilling, flu-catching cold. The days will be also short. Daylight Savings Time short, here in the Northeast, and by midwinter,  shorter than the nights, involving entirely too much darkness. A revolting development unless you’re a Vampire.

halowlenny.jpgOn the other hand: I LOVE Halloween.

Especially at the National Arts Club this year, where the theme was Woodstock. Kind of an “Autumn of Love “Event.

Yeah, man, Halloween is cool.

You can dress up any way you want. Or not. You can put together a great costume, wing it and make a fool of yourself, or just take pictures of everyone else.

All these options are good. And if you actually like dead stuff, you can go ghoulish, with fake blood and fangs and black painted nails. It’s the holiday where the dead (and the undead) are celebrated, and vampires have nothing to apologise for.

And neither do naughty nurses or sexy flight attendants from space. On the other hand, if it’s a Woodstock party, then it’s always nice to come as a Flower Child or Andy Warhol, don’t you think? 

 

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Meanwhile back in the real world (do we hafta?), what the hell do you wear in the Fall . . . . .

It’s supposed to be “sweater weather,” but that’s a joke. A lightweight-cardigan-from-Uniglo weather or a heavy-handknit-fisherman-sweater-from-Ireland weather? You never know if it will be balmy, like today, or damp and dank like yesterday. You’re either too warm or too cold. Some days, the weather calls for tank tops and flip-flops , but you’ve packed them away. Other days, you could use a down jacket, but that seems like rushing the season.

I’d like to rush the season. I’d like to give it the bum’s rush, as they used to say in my neighborhood. Did you know that the word “autumnal” means cold and grey? Strictly speaking, as if anyone speaks strictly these days, it refers to the “typical” days of Fall. But poetically, it’s used to describe bleak weather in general, the kind of day my mother used to call “nasty.” How can you like a season that’s mostly nasty? Even the word, Fall, is negative. The opposite of the word, Spring, about as positive as you can get.

I don’t mind winter nearly as much as Fall, because I’m dressed for it. In the winter, I wear hats and scarves and furry coats, boots and toasty warm socks I bought in Seatle because I figure that if they don’t know how to fight the cold in Seattle, we’re in trouble. I also have boots from Norway, and a parka from Northern Canada. A girl can’t be too careful. I love those cuddly clothes from the northern realms. halowmonopkid.jpg

Another reason to love Halloween is that you can make little kids happy by giving them a few pieces of cheap candy. And can have some nice moments yourself, like when this adorable young man, who came as “Mr. Monopoly” to our building party, didn’t get a bit rattled when I asked him when I could collect my $200 but simply handed me an Advance To Go card. This kid will go places, way past Go.

But I like Halloween equally as much because it pisses off all the right people, especially the far fringe of the religious right who think it’s some kind of Satan worship (oh please). And the food police who are convinced that all those little pieces of Reeses Pieces, which we love to pieces, will kill us, our teeth, the planet, and possibly the entire Universe. Now I love cauliflower as much as the next person, but give us a break. It’s Un-American to be cranky about candy on Halloween. That would be like counting calories on Thanksgiving.

The hallowed holiday of Halloween is also celebrated by Pagans which they call Samhein (wasn’t he the hero of a 40’s detective story?) and they  seem to have a good time, autumnal weather or not. And who’s to say they’re any more crazy than the rest of us, who go to parties and parades, wear weird get-ups, consume unconscionable quantities of alcohol, and still pretend it’s a holiday “for the children.”

Carry on, adults! It’s about time you had some fun. Especially in this terrible economy and this dreadful season. halowmigeul.jpg

So I hope you all will survive Fall  — and that you had a Happy Halloween.

I know I will  — and I know I did. Peace and Love . . .

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Photos by Lou Chisena, Pat Fortunato and Lenny Herbst, the utlimate hipster.

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