Generally they write me or I write them, all in the nick of time. I’m going to start with my 7th grade boyfriend, Chris. I think we’re Facebook friends but I don’t think he reads my blog, but I know I shouldn’t say half of what there is to say about him. He was, for lack of a better term, a dreamboat. And I don’t even mean that in a shallow way, although if you like blonde quarterbacks with intelligent blue eyes, he would have been the guy for you! That said, this was more of an inner thing.
He also said, and keep in mind this was a 12-year-old boy from New Jersey, “I don’t know why guys our age act afraid of guys they perceive as gay, as if they’re going to get hit on. It’s like, don’t flatter yourself. Why would he want YOU? Especially if you act like such a jerk.” Seriously. Those were his thoughts in 7th grade! ohmygod, why did we break up? If you must know, he had his friend Bobby break up with me in the school cafeteria. I have no idea why? It was middle school. I’m super odd, as you may know. I take rejection and heartbreak quite badly, and I also don’t experience them as often as the alternative. I can be pretty fierce when I want something, but that’s only when I’m pretty sure I can have it. You know?
So that’s the direction I took. Only to tell you that I loved what Chris said – about the atmosphere of Halloween. When I was a kid, I lived on a mountain. We attacked trick-or-treating in groups of ones and twos and severals. Groups of siblings and/or friends. Costumes and pillowcases. No pumpkin buckets for us. We were on missions to get as much candy as humanly possible. It was spread out, though – the whole thing like a marathon. Easily a 5K with all that candy sprinting. You could see other people, but they’d be costumed blurs on mountain roads. We had a strict 8pm curfew. Scarlet asked me last night what I was for Halloween when I was her age. “A California Raisin!” I said. She could not stop laughing. I wish I had the picture to prove it, because it was a real thing back then. Mom, do you have it somewhere? It was magical. I have this:
Unless you’re talking about getting dumped in the school cafeteria. That only happened one time, and it wasn’t as bad as a Post-It Note left on a computer screen, but that is only a fictional story to tell. As deep as Chris was, I think I got over him in a day because I was 13 and although I was capable of intense feelings back then, I took a break from them in middle school because my eye was only on ONE prize. And you know what? He kissed me. It happened 24 years later, but he kissed me.
I went off track again, so I’m steering myself back onto the Halloween train. When I was a kid watching Halloween movies, it was all about the atmosphere, yes, but there was that certain something at night. It was trick-or-treating in CROWDS of amazingly dressed people. I thought that only happened in movies, like Hocus Pocus. Bumping shoulders with Frankenstein. Standing in line for candy. I had a charmingly interesting childhood, but I didn’t have that. Until now. In Northampton.
It’s all a wonderful blur. The crowded streets of downtown Northampton trick-or-treating. Then downtown Florence for the Rag Shag Parade. Walking with friends, looking for friends, laughing with friends. Then there’s the house trick-or-treating – right out of a movie. It’s amazing how many amazing people I see, and how I see so many strangers every year. Will I ever know everyone in this city? Probably not, and that’s ok. So much to unfold and discover – like a great book that’s still being written. We’re writing it, and I think we’re doing a good job. I remember every face I saw, masked or not. I always will.
What’s priceless about Halloween is that feeling and that magic and that atmosphere. It’s bumping shoulders with Frankenstein, and lining up for candy. It’s running into smiling friends and clients, and friend clients. Client friends? Was it the chicken or the egg? What’s priceless about Halloween are the memories – still strong after 30+ years – and the fact that I get to help build them for two littles. It’s the fact that I said to my kids, “All of this? Not every dad becomes Iron Man for a day and not every place on earth is this charmed. So you better love it! And give me some of your Snickers bars!”
This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “What’s priceless about..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.
P.S. From about 2nd grade until 10th grade, it was all about boys/men named Tim or Chris. I have about three of each. Some kissed me and some missed me, but hey, that’s life. As long as I never get dumped in the school cafeteria again.