I must tell you that I have been looking forward to today's post ever since I finished my St. Patrick's Day blog post some six months ago (see http://lifeontheothersideofthewall.blogspot.com/2010/03/st-particks-day.html).
Sunday is October 31st, or more commonly known as Halloween. I don't know the true origins behind it, but for some reason it is acceptable to dress up as all sorts of odd creatures and the like. Even as a child I did not understand this, still don', and I can firmly remember on one Halloween I threw down a protest. I was asked, "What are you going to be on Halloween?" And I responded with, "Nothing, I am Aaron Likens".
Halloween combines many elements I find unsettling. First is the costumes and I can't help but wonder who the first person was that said, "On October 31st I am going to look like a ghost!" I know Halloween is enjoyed by many people, but I simply don't get it.
A lot of people like to go to places where they will be scared, such as a haunted house place. This too I don't understand because isn't there enough fear already in the world? Perhaps it's a release of some sort being scared knowing it isn't real, and I guess I could see that, but still I want no part in it. Emily once tried to get me to go to one and we arrived and the line to get in was mammothly long. I said, "oh wow, look at the time!" and then proceeded to get very tired. That didn't work so I started to cough and we made a compromise that if we stopped at White Castle on the way home we didn't have to go to the haunted house. Looking back I don't know which option was worse.
As a child I did take part in Trick or Treating because who doesn't like free candy? Several years I did cave in a wear some sort of costume, and then others I went out as, when people asked me what or who I was, "I am Aaron Likens. Why would I want to be anyone or anything else?" People always looked at me oddly as if I had spoiled a long secret, or given away a surprise plot twist of a movie they were about to watch.
Looking at the world now I don't know if I would want to go to any random stranger's house for candy. And maybe this is the essence of the ritual. I am afraid of people I don't know, but with the naivety of childhood the dangers of the world aren't as real. While I may not understand the dressing up aspect of it, or the fact people like to be scared, I will respect the ritual of Trick or Treating. When I live alone I don't know if my lights will be on because I don't like random encounters with other people and with that being so Halloween truly would be, well, I guess I wouldn't need to go a haunted house to feel uncomfortable, would I?