I don’t know about you, but for me this day stirs up childhood memories of carving pumpkins, playing in leaf piles in the cul-de-sac, dressing in cutesy costumes, and of course trick-or-treating. Every year on Halloween, my sisters and I would come home from our rounds and dump our pumpkin-shaped bins full of candy on the living room floor, where we’d sort our sweets into piles according to category. Chocolate over here, tarts over there. Then we’d make trades.
As a kid I dreamed about October 31st for months in advance, but this year I didn’t. Fall snuck up on me like the killer in a bad horror movie. It’s all summer’s fault, because summer never came. June, July and August were bitter and cold like winter, while September and October reached highs of 78 degrees. The weathermen call it an Indian Summer. Without a normal summer, how can one prepare for fall? I’m still not used to San Francisco’s bizarre seasons.
Actually, today’s the first day it feels like autumn. Colorful leaves aren’t blowing in mini-tornados on the streets, and jack-o-lanterns don’t sit on my front porch (the jack-o-lantern draped in an Oregon scarf lives at my parents' house in Beaverton), but fall has finally arrived. The fog is a thick, lifeless blanket. This morning, on my walk to work, I could hardly make out the street signs ten feet in front of me. Usually I’m darting through crowds of professionals clad in fancy suits, but today I walked alone. It was spooky – very Halloween.
This is the first year I haven’t dressed up. I made a great Sandy last year, while Darren clung by my side as Danny. Maijken and Jason mimicked Barbie and Ken, and Alexa threw on a flattering 1920s flapper outfit that we picked up at the Halloween superstore on Van Ness Ave (the best in the city!).
Today, instead of painting my face and shopping for wigs and gaudy jewelry, I’m at work, helping other people decide what to do tonight. I know all about the city’s best parties and costume contests, because I’ve been researching them for our residents all morning. A group of owners are even throwing a Halloween pot-luck tonight in my lounge, while I’ll be at my desk in a stiff uniform, typing and copying and creating invoices to fax. When they ask about my costume, I’ll tell them I’m going as a concierge.
Yes, I wish I could visit Van Ness’ Halloween superstore, or at least watch the Oregon vs. USC game, but I’m learning to roll with the punches. It’s all part of growing up.