Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Vulture

I am a proud Halloween vulture. I pick clean the dying remnants of the holiday. I skillfully stalk those parts that barely remain alive, and then I pounce, violently bashing out the life left. Or I go to Ralph's, where my sister freaked out today at the bare shelves of the now-former Halloween candy aisles. Time to set up the Christmas displays.

Fortunately, to Meridith's relief and my excitement, all the leftover bags of candy, including the insanely, illogically large ones, were moved to covered long tables between the pharmacy and the refrigerated cheese case. 50% off everything. But it depends on the original price. A small bag of regular Hershey's Kisses with orange and black foil wrappers was discounted to over $5. Meanwhile, my mom got a sizable bag with the standard shiny gray foil wrappers at Wal-Mart yesterday for far less than that and filled one of our containers at home right to the top with them. Also at Wal-Mart yesterday, I found a bag of Reese's pumpkin-shaped peanut butter cups for well over $5. It wasn't as big as the 50-piece variety bag of Reese's products (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Sticks, Reese's Pieces, Reese's Fast Break) I found at Ralph's, and though that was $5.49 (down from $10+), I went for it because I like having a selection rather than the same candy dozens of times over.

Oh, and a 4-pound bag of differently-sized Tootsie Rolls. Bars, sticks, pieces, every kind available for a little over $4. I really like it this way. Huge bags of candy, and steep discounts the day after Halloween. No knocking on doors, dressing up in costumes, carrying around pillowcases or whatever one might prefer. I'm too old for that now anyway, but I like to get my pleasures immediately, not walking around and essentially working for it.

Despite that, I'm not cynical toward Halloween. This is not only my favorite holiday where people can change ever so briefly, but it's also when the weather is at its most pleasant. It finally feels right. A calm begins to settle over this valley, slowly melting into every crevice, parking space, doorway, curb, windowpane, and maybe person. It takes some time for that one. The adjustment this year is a lot more shocking than previous years because it feels like the new year began a few weeks ago. Now here we are, in November. Long before I turned 25, the years at least went slow enough to really let one feel the rhythms of each month. But now January goes right into September. I never thought much about the passage of time before this, but with facing the months becoming shorter (and yes, I know I'm still very much young, but this is the first time I've really felt this sharp jolt of realization), I wish this speeding of time could have begun later at 26 or at the start of 27 years old.

Well, as long as Halloween candy is sold cheaper the day after, as long as egg nog continues to be available at the end of October/the start of November, as long as the good feelings of the forthcoming holiday season still begin to develop right now, I can kind of live with the increasing speed of time. I'll just have to begin to read faster and more often now.