I Haven’t Got A Clue


Twenty years is a long time to hold a grudge. Maybe writing this story will make it end.

I don’t care for Halloween. It just does nothing for me. My wife and kids love dressing up, carving pumpkins, trick or treating, watching scary movies, and being on prolonged sugar highs. I go through the motions with them, because they have my love and attention. If i tell the truth, I could live with a horror flick or three and eating my weight in pumpkin pie for a weekend, then calling it all off. I realize it’s a time to not take things seriously, loosen up, and have fun. If you know me, then you understand, I don’t have fun when I’m supposed to.

I enjoyed Halloween as a child. Two decades ago, something happened and I just decided I was made for Christmas and Easter, so All Hallow’s Eve could shove it sideways.

Like a lot of guys, I have an over the top fascination with The Godfather Movie Trilogy. In 1991, I was one of a few people who actually thought the third Godfather film was art. Since I was a teenager I have had people tell me I look like Andy Garcia. When my hair’s long, the tan is deep, and I’m in the right mood, I see what they’re talking about. Andy played Vincent Mancini-Corleone in the third movie. He makes more wardrobe changes than Madonna during a tour. He chews scenery. Mostly, he steals the movie from Al Pacino. For a costume party, I decided I would be Andy’s Vincent. I had to work that afternoon so that wearing everything to the radio station. The suit jacket was wool. The black mock turtle was too tight. I had half a bottle of hair gel slicking my hair.

Despite being uncomfortable, not really costumed but dressed up, and extraordinarily cranky from work and school, I met my friends at the party. I entered the scenario wanting people to “get” my Halloween idea. When people asked if I had just come from Catholic Mass I decided I wasn’t having fun. Then things got out of hand. I drank too much “Halloween punch”, got sick thus ruining a really nice sports coat and found my girl who may or may not have been more than a friend being overly nice to a not very super Superman. That night, and subsequent Halloween disappointments, I have recoiled in horror at the idea that the day and night are anything more than a time for me to be angry and regretful.

I’ve struggled for years with anxiety and how that has clouded my thinking for the most simple things in life. Halloween isn’t anything more than an excuse to let go and laugh. Watching my wife and kids really be excited for October 31st has me thinking that this “holiday” is just an excuse for kids to be kids and grown ups to be kids. When it comes to having fun at the right time, often, I haven’t got a clue.

*****blogger’s note ****

This is my entry into my friends at Write on Edge http://www.writeonedge.com ‘s prompt about Halloween costumes and The Lightning and the Lightning Bug’s Halloween Memory of a “Horror” http://thewriteandthewrongword.blogspot.com/ .

Today’s song was playing at that party in 1991. I’m a Dramarama fan. I enjoy this song every five or so years it crosses my path. I heard it this morning by accident looking for a Soundgarden song. It brought back the memory of twenty years ago. Then, I wrote. Here’s Dramarama’s I Haven’t Got A Clue.

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24 responses to “I Haven’t Got A Clue

  1. On Sunday my hubs and I dressed as Popeye and Olive. He picked Popeye, so that left me with Olive. A friend asked me what I was dressed as. I looked at him and point blank replied “Santa. Of course.” He giggled uncomfortably. I mean, OLIVE OIL! Come on! But Vincent from the Godfather? I’m glad you’re learning to let go of old grudges.
    ;)

  2. Halloween is all about the kids. I don’t get all excited about dressing myself up. I get excited planning costumes for my kids, taking them trick or treating, decorating the house for THEIR enjoyment….about the only thing I still love about Halloween is carving a pumpkin :)

  3. well I hate Halloween, and I pretty much always have. I don’t like scary stuff and the whole Holiday just isn’t my cup of tea.
    I actually should get more excited about dressing the kiddos up, but I don’t…I do it and I want them to look cute etc, but I refuse to make it more than it is.

    I would watch Rom Coms and eat Pumpkin Pie all weekend, we could tweet until the kids come home. :)

    I loved this, honest and vivid.

  4. I grew up in a family that didn’t celebrate Halloween, so now as an adult, I don’t really get it. And I don’t have all those childhood memories of costumes to look back on.

    I do, however, love the day after Halloween candy sales. Nov 1st is my holiday!

  5. For me Halloween was always more of a kid’s holiday. I’ve been to one costume party and it was a toga party that had nothing to do with Halloween. It really is all about the candy now because my kids are too old to trick or treat.

  6. I have to write about it five months out of the year for work and am already working on Halloween 2012, so I’m a Scrooge now when it comes to Halloween. But I think it’s totally all about the kids, and whether you’re young or old, it’s really just a day/night to escape reality for a bit and pretend. Like you, I can never seem to be “on” or “relax and have fun” at the right time, but at least you can enjoy your family ;)

    Plus, you know, maybe something pumpkin flavored?

  7. I get that. Sometimes I get stuck in my head, and i just can’t get out. It’s a trap, for sure.

    My husband once dressed up as the ‘Good Will Hunting” guys….tracksuit, chain. Nobody got it.

    They just thought he went really, really Guido.

  8. I love Halloween, but it makes Mark grumpy, so we haven’t done much, but now with Felix I can have it back!

    I’m sorry no one got Andy Garcia. People are thick sometimes. Hopefully stepping out with your Venus will alleviate some of the old anxiety.

    Have fun!

  9. I am with you on this one. Far too little bang for the buck if you ask me. Multiple kids needing multiple costumes and too many Halloweens where I was somehow voted room mom for all three of my kids’ classes.
    I plan to dim the lights and watch a movie. The teens will be answering the door this year!

  10. Since you confessed to all of us, I will confess that I’ve never dressed up for a Halloween party as an adult. I never got it. But, I don’t mind it. The kids always do. Maybe I should break down and try to have a little bit more fun. I guess all the slutty costumes just turned me off. I’ve seen way too much skin from the overly confident the last few years. But, there are non-slutty costumes, I do realize this.

  11. Not a halloween fan. 1. hate people in costume. 2. hate random kids showing up at my door when I’m trying to drink wine and watch TV like a normal person. 3. If I want candy, I can just go buy some. 4. I always buy a big bag for the night, hardly anyone comes, and I end up gaining 3 lbs.

  12. Oh wow – your Halloween anxiety sounds EXACTLY like my Christmasophobia. I’m exactly the reverse of you – I hate Xmas and love Halloween, but your description so conforms to my own emotions about that other holiday that I temporarily hated Halloween in sympathy. (Especially the part about putting on a show for the family. I put on a show for my husband and kids about Christmas, but I not-so-secretly want to hunt down the guy in the red suit and put a stop to him for good.)

    Between that and your description of yourself as a music snob, how could I fail to enjoy your blog?

  13. One year at a Halloween party I saw a pregnant lady smoking, drinking, and dancing. I was pissed!!! Later in the evening, I realized that she wasn’t really pregnant. She just didn’t have a costume so she decided to be “barefoot and pregnant”. I laughed and laughed. This whole time my husband was playing guitar with the band. As he walked by I said “OMG!! I thought she was pregnant!!!!” He looked at me, made a face and said “Shhhhhhhhhh!!!! you thought she was pregnant?????” lol! He just thought she was fat. He didn’t “get” her costume either….

  14. I honestly could take or leave Halloween too. I really only do anything for it cuz I have kids and I want them to have fun. I’m totally the type who would turn out all the lights and pretend I’m not home all night. But mommyhood drags me out of this bad attitude of mine. I don’t even have a good reason like you.

  15. I didn’t celebrate Halloween when I was a child. Not allowed in our home. I always wondered what it would be like to dress up and go off collecting candy. When I had my children I decided that this would be fun for them. It turned out to be a fun day for me to. Like you said, it a day to have fun and for us, the adults, to be kids again.

  16. Your idea with a few horror movies & a shitton of pumpkin pie is my idea of heaven.

    I do love Halloween . . . it’s the one time that you sit back and take the art of “not taking things too seriously” seriously.

    That said, I’m a Thanksgiving guy . . . friends, family, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, and football on the couch? Yes please.

  17. I always like the idea of a grownup costume party, but just can’t get into it. Approx. 15 minutes of wearing something and looking stupid and then I’ve had enough and just want to be me again. Perhaps you felt the same.

  18. It’s the dark, moody teenager in me that still gets excited over Halloween. But, like you, I’m not really into the parties and the dressing up. Honestly, for me, it’s more about the scary movies and the dark atmosphere. I guess the “goth” kid in me is still screaming to get out.

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