July 12, 2009
The appearance of pumpkins and assorted skulls, crows and witches in stores recently has put me in an organizational mood. Since I know it's only a matter of time until I buy something new, I've dragged out my bins of Halloween stuff (the stuff that doesn't stay out all year) for some pre-Halloween housecleaning. There was a time when nothing, absolutely nothing, was thrown out or otherwise disposed of. Old costumes. Plastic masks. Cardboard cutouts. Pumpkin buckets. Leftover make-up. Halloween Happy Meal toys. They all lived happily in a black plastic bin most of the year. But those days are gone. Since I have a finite amount of storage space, I'm committed to making my Halloween stuff fit into two or three bins. Maybe four. Something had to go.
And after sorting through it all with a cold eye and a ruthless heart, I disposed of . . . a total of four items. Two of them were old plastic skeleton hands. The fingers weren't even separate. They had to go. Then there was a too-small vinyl cape. Hurriedly purchased when someone waited until the last minute to put together a costume and just had to dress as an old-school vampire. Its time had come. And finally, I bid farewell to the flashing eyes. A neat idea, I thought when I bought them. Until I realized that they functioned only in flashing mode, on and off, on and off, at the same constant interval. I grew to hate them.
As for the rest, I just couldn't let go. I've become too attached to the plastic masks. To the faded ceramic pumpkin houses. To the little wind-up, glow-in-the-dark, walking ghost. And you simply never know when you'll need a pair of glowing devil horns.