Although this may make me come off as a spoil-sport and (I love this term) a party-pooper, I have a confession to make: I'm not a "Hallowe'en Guy."
Never was. Never got off on being costumed. Even as a kid being peer-pressured into trick-or-treating, I donned the most minimal of appearance-changing accessories as a perfunctory disguise.
When I reveal this little-known personal factoid to others, the usual reaction sounds something like: "Well how can that be, given how wildly you dress every day?"
And that's just the point.
My everyday wardrobe explodes with colour and/or walks the boundaries of what's new (even my Wikipedia entry mentions my "eccentric attire" in its first sentence). Top it all off with about five pounds of jewelry (earring, neck chains, five bracelets, at least three rings and a heavy watch), and my sartorial presence speaks volumes. A costume seems so anti-climatic.
In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I was part of a live, one-on-one interview series headed by McGill Marketing professor Karl Moore at a Homecoming event. During our session, he asked me:
"We're about the same age. How come you're so much cooler than me?"
I looked at Karl, his personality sucked up into a black hole of business suit and tie.
"I guess it's the stuff I wear," I laughed, as I shook my right wrist with a clank. Given the audience, I had "dressed down conservatively" that day in a purple cashmere sweater and vintage Levis.
"Oh, I could never wear that," Karl said.
To which I replied, not just to him, but to the entire audience watching us: "When was the last time you tried? I suspect 'never'."
I was right.
Now I didn't ask him, but I strongly suppose that Karl had no problem getting into vampire garb or pimp costume or what have you for any of the parties he was invited to over the weekend. Same thing for the multiple dozens of disguised people I saw walking down Sherbrooke Street Friday and Saturday during my late-night dog walks.
Well, THAT's the real point.
Hallowe'en Gives people a "License to be Different"
The Hallowe'en License makes it okay to stand out, to go wild, to shock, to make people laugh or gasp.
Problem is...it only happens once a year.
Which is why the "holiday" is no big deal for me. What has made me "me," what has allowed me to succeed greatly, and also, to be frank, what has allowed me to fail spectacularly, is the fact that I have taken Hallowe'en's two-or-three-day "License to be Different" and converted it into a lifetime membership.
Let me take this post into the homestretch with a little anecdote from my childhood.
Like many others I suppose, I once asked my mother, "Mom, there's Mother's Day and Father's Day...how come there's no Children's Day?"
She smiled warmly and answered, "Every day is Children's Day!"
So what did I learn this week?
For the world to progress, for people to be more fulfilled, for the benefit of our economy and our spirit, and for the enjoyment of us all...EVERY DAY should be Hallowe'en.
There's nothing stopping you, especially when you are your own license bureau.