Random Observations (Some Halloween-Related)

Sugar is like a drug. Once I start having treats – cookies, Halloween candy – it is hard to cut it off. I wish my body didn’t respond to it that way. For folks who don’t have weight issues, is it that their body responds differently – they don’t continue to crave it? Or, is it a decision/willpower? I envy those who don’t have that trigger, though I am grateful that I don’t crave alcohol or other addictive substances.

I miss having a sense of smell. I lost it (not entirely, I perceive some scents) years ago after a couple of rounds of a virus. Yesterday when a trick or treater came to the door, she asked, “What smells so good?” I was mystified at first. Then realized, “I just made roast chicken, I think that must be what it is.” She asked if there was any left. That made me laugh. But it also made me wish I could smell it! I know sometimes you become habituated to a smell when you’ve been in it a while and if you step outside and come back in you perceive it again – but that is not what happens with me. Something has to be quite pungent for me to smell it.  If I had to choose to lose one of the five senses, I guess this one would be the least critical. But it does dull taste and it makes experiences less rich. Oh well.

One other Halloween observation. When I happened to be on the Upper East Side of Manhattan a week or so ago, I was struck by how elaborate the decorations were (see photos below). I also thought some were quite gruesome. Have they gotten more horrifying over the years? I like cute pumpkins and Caspar the Friendly Ghost type of decorations. I don’t actually want to be frightened. I particularly don’t enjoy scenes that feature blood. A standard witch is fine, depictions of graveyards are okay, too. If it were up to me, we’d just skip the really gross stuff.

It is interesting to me that some people love that – seek out entertainment that scares them. I heard a snippet of an interview with Stephen King where he said that since he was a child, he liked the feeling of being scared. I don’t. I don’t want to watch scary movies and I don’t seek out risky activities (I’m faster on cross-country skis going uphill than down). I wonder if people who like horror movies also like thrill rides? I’d rather ride a roller coaster than watch a horror movie. Our son-in-law posted a list of horror movies he had watched in the lead up to Halloween. I have seen none of them. In one way, I feel left out of a whole segment of cultural references, but I don’t want to watch those movies, so I guess I’ll just have to remain in the dark, so to speak. It’s funny but both of my children, who grew up not watching horror movies, married people who love them. I will leave it to them to negotiate that – maybe they will become fans, too.

We have passed that threshold from the beautiful part of fall to the dreary. This year I did take the time to appreciate the vibrant colors. I think we had an unusual number of sunny, warm days that allowed the leaves to shine. We had some magnificent sunsets, too, made even more beautiful by the glow of the leaves. Now I look out the window and see mostly bare branches. There is beauty in that, too. I love the look of the silhouette of the trees against the sky. But not so much when it is grey and damp. Also, the less daylight we have, the less energy I seem to have.

This may be a little specific, but when you find a sub for an activity you are committed to (let’s say tennis), and then the sub finds they can’t make it, who is responsible for finding another replacement? If I told someone I would fill in for them and then found that I couldn’t, I would view it as my responsibility to get another person. I was a bit annoyed recently when the sub I found punted it back to me. But maybe I’m wrong on the etiquette. Thoughts? This is the kind of thing I should spend more time thinking about – instead of fretting about our democracy.

3 thoughts on “Random Observations (Some Halloween-Related)

  1. I can so relate to a lot of what you wrote. Candy is my kryptonite. Although I gave out 7 bags last night, I did not squirrel away a secret stash, which constitutes major progress. Early September heralds the advent of Halloween, with every display at CVS and supermarkets the will is further weakened. You are not alone!
    It has been a most glorious autumn. Loved the pictures you posted from wherever you chose to travel. Every year you think the colors cannot be more radiant, and next year they look even brighter. The season stays that way for me until Thanksgiving, then the cold, hard reality of winter’s arrival sinks in.
    Taking a sabbatical from news watching, it was becoming dangerous to my mental health. Although I also enjoy David Muir’s broadcasts on occasion.
    As for horror movies, I have a different definition of them than many. Our kids grew up with what reviewers have described as “torture porn” (Saw series, Hostel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake), whereas my horror taste runs more to Psycho, The Birds, the Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, the first Halloween.


  2. I recall as a child, my mother objected to my trick or treating because she felt that the holiday was associated with the devil. She was not entirely wrong but the devil turned out to be sugar and hyperglycemia. Ultimately, I always got to go out and I remember coming home and trading sweets with my brother so we each got more of what we liked the most.
    One more point about Halloween: If you are Jewish and you like to decorate outside your home for a holiday, you are pretty much confined to Halloween because you don’t have Christmas. Of course, I personally found a way to create some unusual Hanukah decorations that Linda found ghastly.
    Thank you for the thoughts and the blog post.


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