2017 has been a difficult year. It’s been a year filled with uncertainty. Just speaking for myself, and for the friends of mine who I’ve talked to about this, we’ve all gained weight, felt our anxiety stronger than we have in years past.
All summer long I felt like I was in an overwhelming marathon of taking care of a thousand things at once. Some of you I’m sure can figure out why there’s been more anxiety this year than others. If you can’t, well, that’s a conversation for another time. 2017 hasn’t been easy, it’s been well…it’s been.
Now that we have passed labor day weekend, the threshold of Fall is upon us (which is the name of my super pretentious novel coming out next fall). Fall to me means one thing. October. Which also means Halloween. If you’ve followed my exploits in these here pages for any length of time, you may recall that in the Ross family Halloween is a Christmas sized holiday. We take it seriously. We take making Halloween fun VERY seriously. This goes back to my mother’s memories of her childhood, and her father making Halloween fun and spooky and memorable. So with 2017 being a year of anxiety and ALL THE THINGS, I have been looking forward to Halloween and Fall more than ever.
It came to pass that after a VERY busy August, I found myself out and about on Labor Day Weekend doing some shopping. I went by a popular chain department store, the one that doesn’t have a website devoted to those interesting characters that shop there. When I walked through the entrance, I noticed their dollar section had Halloween stuff in it. My heart skipped a beat, my pulse swelled. I gasped and thought to myself “Do they have their Halloween section up?”
I raced towards the back corner of the store, the one where their seasonal stuff always is. As I turned the corner, I saw it. A huge sign above the section that indicated that Halloween had arrived. I rushed over, skipping past the board game section—that’s how serious I am about this. When I got under the sign, I was surrounded by all kinds of Halloween loveliness. Costumes, candy, decorations. It felt like I had just walked into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
In that moment I was a child on Christmas morning. Rushing around to check out all the fun toys. The decorations that talked, lit up, made spooky sounds. The ghost projection light that you can put in your yard to make your house look haunted. The bust of Frankenstein that says “Friend, GOOD!” The witches, the goblins, the ghosts, the plastic skeletons and styrofoam tombstones. My heart felt full. The smile on my face stretched a mile wide and lasted for the rest of the day.
I bought some Halloween socks and a few pieces of decor. I made notes about things I wanted to get so I could go home and plot the best places to put them. The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, my friends. Though 2017 has been the year the world has felt broken beyond repair. I found hope that day among the spiders and the goodie bags. Halloween may not seem like the key to fixing all our ills, but it’s a damn good place to start. See you next week.