Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Memories

Happy Halloween, everyone! 

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. When I was little, my dad was the one who took me trick-or-treating while my mum stayed home and handed out candy. We lived in the country, and our street was the perfect place for trick-or-treating. After dinner, my dad and I would head out and hit all the houses we could. I don’t have a lot of clear memories, but I remember being happy.

I don’t remember what my first costume was. I have a picture of myself in front of the fridge wearing a cat costume - I look to be 4 or 5, but I’m not sure if that was my first Halloween. I remember being all the typical things – a clown, a witch, a ghost. Costumes back in the late 80s/early 90s weren’t as cool or elaborate as they are today. I do remember that when I was in Kindergarten, we all got dressed up and paraded through the entire school – into classrooms, through the portable, through the gym. I have a vague recollection of kids doing that for a few years before we weren’t allowed to dress up at school anymore.

Halloweens all sort of blur together until my last one with my dad, when I was 9. He was going through chemotherapy treatments, had lost all his hair by then, and wasn’t feeling great, but he wasn’t willing to disappoint me by not taking me out. So we headed out, got to the end of the driveway, and it started to snow. Ahh, Canada, how I love thee. We turned back around, got our mittens, my dad covered his bald head, and we headed back out. I don’t remember anything else about that night, and I don’t even know if I appreciated it at the time – the fact that my dad was so sick, but still took me out. I had no idea it would be my last Halloween with him, and I wish I could remember every second of it.

The next year, my brother’s then-girlfriend took me out. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned my brother until now, it’s because he’s ten years older than I am, so by the time I was old enough to trick-or-treat, he was too old, and was always doing stuff with friends. Or maybe at Halloween parties at school? I honestly don’t remember. Anyway, Jamie’s gf and I hit more houses than I’d ever done, and even went down two of the side streets, which was pretty exciting for me. 

That girlfriend was gone by the next year, so my best friend and I went trick-or-treating. I was a zombie cheerleader, and Suleena was a punk or a hobo, something like that lol. It was so much fun – my first time trick-or-treating with a friend. I was a month and a half shy of being 12, and felt so grown up. That year was my last year at home in the country. My mum and I moved into the city the next summer.

So, that next year was my last year trick-or-treating. My other best friend had just moved into this new subdivision that was still being built, and so we decided to have a Halloween party there and go trick-or-treating in the new neighbourhood. There were 4 of us if I remember correctly, and we all got dressed at Jenn’s place before heading out. Now, this area was one of those areas where you know people are well-to-do. And I soon learned that that reflects the type of candy you get. I remember getting full-sized chocolate bars and cans of pop. Best candy haul ever. We went back to Jenn’s and did the regular 12/13-year-old stuff – played some games, watched movies, ate junk, played truth or dare. It was great.

I can’t remember if I did anything my first year of college, but the second year, a friend from high school and I went out to a club with one of my college friends, Rhonda (I talked a bit about this in last week’s Tune in Tuesday post). Rhonda is the type of girl you want to party with, so we had a ton of fun. 

Rhonda and me

The next year, that same friend from high school invited Suleena and me to her house for a Halloween party (my first real Halloween party!). This friend was sharing the house with 5 or so of her college friends, so with all their friends and boyfriends, there were a ton of us. We partied at my friend’s place for awhile, then headed out to a club, all dressed in our costumes (I was a devil and Suleena was an angel). It was a lot of fun, and was one of the last times I saw that high school friend because it was all downhill from there (which is why I haven’t named her). And that’s a whole other story for another time! I’m sure it’ll get worked into a book at some point lol. 

Suleena and me

Since then, I’ve only been trick-or-treating with my oldest nephew a few times. He loves to dress up, but the trick-or-treating thing is just beyond him. I remember the first year I went with him, he was 4 I think – we hit about 2 houses and he was ready to go home. I would have happily traded places with him for the chance to go trick-or-treating again! 

Mum, Noah, and me

Now I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Halloween. I look forward to it all month, autumn is my favorite season, I love pumpkin carving with the kids…but then I don’t get to do anything or go anywhere. My big excitement for tonight is eating junk, and maybe watching From Hell (mmm, Johnny Depp, that should cheer me up). Hopefully some year, I’ll get to celebrate my favorite holiday again!

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