Another All Hallows Eve gone. The dawn re-stitches the seams between this world and the others. Costumes are cleaned and packed away. Candy is sorted and stored.
I wave buh-bye to the #weeniece.
Sure, my four year-old niece was here a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, she hadn't quite tumbled tip-over-toe into the grips of "I'm scared." Now, there's the "scared" of playing along with the commercialized season, and there's the bat-shit climb-out-of-her-skin stark terrified. I witnessed an unusual amount of the latter this visit.
Color me bemused.
I'm admittedly keen on Halloween, but I don't get my rocks off by scaring little kids -- particularly the ones whose sheets I have to launder. When the #weeniece visits for the autumn, it's a celebration of the season not the spooky. I see more of Ohio farms in a week than I do the rest of the year. Corn maze? Yep. Pony rides? Yep. Pumpkin patches? Everyday. House of Horrors? Not even close.
'Sup with Askeert?
I live not far from Spooky Hollow. No shit. The name of the road is Spooky Hollow. Delivery guys find it hilarious this time of year. Last year, my niece giggled endlessly whenever we were on that bendy twisty road. "Thspooky, Thspooky, Thspooky," she'd chant, begging her daddy to drive us along Spooky Hollow. This year, she became a puddle of snot and tears at the mere mention of the name. What changed in her developing brain that made something fun into something terrifying? Not the street itself. That hasn't changed in forty years. Something the adults said? We couldn't think of anything.
Makes you wonder...
No, not about the sanity of a four year-old. I'm referring to Nature vs Nurture, the development of the brain, the evolution of individual fear. What is it about things, situations, or places who've never inflicted harm to us that would cause us to fear them? Sure there are certain creatures that would logically provoke a flight-response on first encounter -- charging grizzly bears, smoking dragons, twitching roaches. Why dance with a stone gargoyle one year and faint from terror the next year?
Fear -- Not Always Rational
Do you have an irrational fear? Something that makes half of your brain think "not a threat" while the other half freaks the fuck out? I've a long list. It starts with bugs.