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Thursday, May 28, 2009
Rhonda Parrish - Sister Margaret
The meaning of Halloween has changed for me throughout my life, and I'm not sure that I'm alone in that. When I was younger it was all about candy and freedom. It was the only time of the year my brother and I could go door-to-door all over town with our pillowcases in hand and collect goodies. I was all about the popcorn balls (this was back in the days when you could actually give away popcorn balls) and my brother loved chocolate bars. We were forbidden from eating anything until we got home so my mom could "check" it. Checking really took the form of inventory more than anything. There was always an aura of vague threat as you had to be careful that the 'big kids' didn't catch you alone or in a dark corner because they would take your candy away. That added to the atmosphere and the excitement. It was an adventure with a candy reward for bravery!
When I was a teenager my personal style was a bit…shall we say rebellious? Halloween then was a chance to dress up (in something revealing no doubt) and go to a school dance or party. It was also a great opportunity for me to stock up on fishnet stockings, colored hair spray, black nail polish and lipstick. Some of the people in the small town I lived in would say I made everyday Halloween. They would say this like it was a bad thing. Silly people.
It was also about fun and pranks. I was never one of the big kids who stole children's candy, but I've thrown a raw egg or two in my life (mostly at other similarly-armed people). I remember one time it was like a scene out of a musical with two groups of egg and shaving cream armed teenagers facing each other across main street. There was a moment of silence that would have benefited from a tumble weed blowing between us, and then? Pure chaos. It was awesome.
Nowadays I'm told I'm a grown up but my fascination for and adoration of Halloween hasn't wavered. Not in the least. One of the most frequent genres I write is horror. Did Halloween influence my love of horror, or was it the other way around? In the end, does it really matter?
A few years ago I married my soulmate – on Halloween. It was a small ceremony in our living room with everyone in costume. After we said our vows, ate and had some cake we ushered our daughter over to the neighbour's and then took her out trick or treating after. Who needs a honeymoon if you've got Halloween?
What does Halloween mean to you? Has its meaning changed for you over time?
All comments to this blog entry will be entered into a draw to win a copy of my story, Sister Margaret. It's not Halloween-themed but it does deal with vampires. I will make the tomorrow. Good luck!