I love William and Mary but I find myself returning to DC for Halloween. Since I was little, my family has always taken the holiday very seriously. I came home to find my mom hanging black streamers along our porch, taping “beware: caution” tape across our front pillars, placing glow in the dark skulls in the bushes and masks on the trees, hanging skeletons and other fake bodies from the roof, and scattering bones and broken shutters in the lawn. After placing peanuts on the ground to make a crackling noise when guests came to the door and playing a halloween soundtrack, our house was set for the evening.
My mom dressed up in a black outfit including a black, ripped t-shirt with a skull on it and wore a scream mask – opening the door with a large “Boo!” or “Can’t you read the sign?! It says not to come here!” The little kids would inevitably get upset and hide behind their parents while the older boys freaked out and then tried to play it cool in front of their lady friends.
One of my favorite parts was hearing my mom guess what their costumes were. The following is just one example:
- Mom: Well those are cute outfits, who are you guys?
- Trick or Treaters: We’re the Jonas brothers and she’s Starbucks.
Mom returns to the dinner table….
- Me: How was that person Starbucks? Was she a coffee mug?
- Mom: I’m still not sure… she had antlers on.
That, or my dad picking up the phone and saying “You have 20 seconds to spell Halloween backwards” instead of the usually “Hello, Fien-Helfman’s residence” response. Now I’m just lounging and watching a scary movie with my parents and brother. It’s definitely been a more low-key Halloween that it has been in the past but you need nights like this every once in a while. Tomorrow I’m leaving early in the morning to head to Charlottesville with a friend so we can see the changing leaves along Skyline Drive and go apple picking. I’ll be sure to upload photos of the trip once I’m back.