Colonial Halloween Parties

I am still trying to extract toasty Halloween feelings from this lovely October toaster, even though I just really miss my toasty best friend and wish so much that he were with me for this autumn weather. I don’t understand my fixation with “toasty” today. It probably came about because I got a bagel at a place called Urban Eats this afternoon, and I asked the woman to make my bagel extra-toasted. Although she said, “definitely,” the bagel was most definitely not even moderately well-toasted. So I had to spend 10 minutes toying with the office’s toaster oven; the result of my toying was a delightfully toasted lunch. All was well in my toasty world.

Back to October. I went for a walk last night in the Central West End and it was quintessential October perfection other than not having a hand to hold. This is the first time in years that I have been able to really enjoy the essence of October since I don’t have coursework to keep me fretting indoors. But, I am just now registering how difficult long distance relationships are, mostly because they depend so heavily on conversations. Sometimes you don’t feel like talking to your boyfriend. Sometimes you’re mentally tired and you just want to go for an evening walk with him, cuddle in bed with him while watching Kitchen Nightmares, bake chocolate chip cookies with him, and just plain exist with him.

But, we can’t just exist together right now, and it sucks. So, as I explained in  The Halloween Purples, this Halloween will be spent handing out candy at my office supervisor’s house while he and his family go trick-or-treating. I’m starting to feel like a loser, but I’m not into parties. I mean, I probably wouldn’t turn down an invitation, but…I don’t know.

I just really want to eat this plate of cookies:


I have, in fact, been fantasizing about Halloween parties today. This started when a co-worker said that she was going to an apple party for Halloween. An apple party? Her words filled my head with the most wonderful images, smells, and sounds. 18th century evening-wear, spooky stories, candlelight, fiddlers, people dancing in a festively decorated hall, people bobbing for apples, caramel apples, candied apples, apple cider, apple pies! I felt jealous of her. I re-thought my opinion about Halloween parties. I wanted to go to a Halloween apple party. I love apples. I would love to go to a glistening, crispy party with a bunch of apples and apple things. So I was envisioning myself breathing in the glorious aroma of warm apple cider and biting into a delicious caramel apple. I was sublimely intoxicated by all the heavenly smells. I’ve been having a lot of dreams about formal dancing lately, so I was even excited about the prospect of dancing at this so-called apple party. How fun it would be to twirl clumsily about that dance floor in my party dress. But then my coworker laughed at me and said, “It’s not an apple-themed party. It’s a party with Apple people.” Apple people? People dressed up as apples? Or perhaps humans bred with apples and created a new species? I was genuinely confused, even though I knew that she had worked at the Apple store not long ago, and that her boyfriend still works at the Apple store…I would never have connected “apple party” with Apple technology. Just another modern Halloween party with jello shots, Pinterest-inspired treats, and iPhone lovers??? All of a sudden, I no longer felt jealous of her. I no longer felt the desire to go to a Halloween party. “I only like go to Colonial Halloween parties,” I said with a sniff. She laughed again and noted, that was a very hipster thing for me to say. Ugh.

My clever mind knew exactly how to prevent my spirit from dying at that disappointing moment. My imagination wrapped me up in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, because I recalled the harvest party that preceded Ichabod’s climactic horse ride. That party was great…a bit past Colonial times, but still a perfectly Halloweenish party that I’d attend. Home-cooked Dutch food, flirtatious dancing, spooky stories causing hairs to rise and goosebumps to form…give me a glass of cider and I’m in heaven.

Here’s a perfect line about Sleepy Hollow: “There was a contagion in the very air that blew from that haunted region; it breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land.”

Those words. Oh my gosh. And it gets better as Ichabod heads home from the party at the witching time of night, with all those ghost & goblin stories crowding upon his recollection. Oh boy, Washington Irving can narrate my creepy nighttime adventures any time he pleases. So many of my favorite images associated with Halloween are woven into this short story. Such as?

Creepy trees. At the witching hour! Pretty sure that I have explained my fear of the woods before. But at the witching hour? Even better.

sleepyhollow tree2 trees3 woods1

Generally, trees can be fantastically creepy, and they are depicted as such in many classic movies that we all hopefully watched as children.

snow white woods

Well, that particular screen capture makes Snow White’s tree situation look pretty tame. But believe me, it wasn’t just a matter of her dress getting ripped. It was a freaking nightmare.

And those curmudgeony trees in The Wizard of Oz that slapped Dorothy and threw apples at her? Scarier than the Wicked Witch, by far. And speaking of trees, am I the only one who hadn’t heard about that munchkin who supposedly hanged himself during filming?

munchkin cropped

munchkin contrast

Yay, another creepy image of trees to haunt my doomed imagination forever.

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