As I write this, my fingernails are painted black. That pretty much can only mean one thing, Halloween is just around the corner.
I have nothing against painting my nails, but it’s both more bother than I’m normally willing to go to for my looks, and more ostentatious than I’m normally willing to be. And again, I have nothing inherently against ostentation, but I do have something against calling attention to myself. It goes back mostly, I think, to having been bullied as a young boy.
God says I’m rambling again and should get back to the point. So back to Halloween. Within three miles of my apartment I know of three major Halloween stores. When I was a young man I would go to a theatrical supply store to get makeup for my costumes, and for the rest of it, to various craft and department stores. Now it’s one stop shopping and I’ve got everything I need, and more than a few things that I just plain want.
I imagine the bad economy has actually been pretty good for the Halloween outlets, there’s lots of vacant retail space for them to get on the cheap. But the wealth of costume and prop shops is not just due to floor space bargains, God tells me that it’s also a sign of our country doing a little growing up. We don’t hide from death quite as much as we used to. And we’re a little more willing to revel in the things that our religions tell us are bad. We get to play with it a little on our own and come to our own conclusions, instead of just accepting what the preacher tells us.
Now we haven’t gotten full on into having a Day of the Dead, like some other cultures do. We like a little more variety than that. So sure we’ve got skeletons and zombies, but we also have werewolves, and princesses, and all manner of fetishes. And with the dropping costs and increasing realism of our seasonal latex grotesqueries, I can hardly wait until one of these years I see some some neighborhood kids out on the streets on November first playing a game of soccer with a rubber zombie head instead of a ball. Now that’d be a pickup game worth watching for a few minutes.