Hamilton & Burr

Stacey Gross News Writer

You guys.

It’s almost here.

I’m like Linus in the pumpkin patch, y’all.

Halloween is the only day I hold sacred. I spend all year living for the next Halloween. I love everything about it. The weirdest, scariest parts of humanity are celebrated rather than mocked or just blatanly ignored. Trees are bare, the sky is dark and purple, like a perfect bruise, just before dark, and there’s this quiet resignedness to the whole world. Everything is just sort of hushed. The most vibrant of the autumn’s copper leaves are on the ground, now, and everywhere you walk in them each step seems to whisper secrets. It’s chilly, and my children and I huddle together, like sheep, for warmth at the bus stop in the mornings. I am truly grateful for my bed and the mountain of warm blankets I am lucky enough to be able to pile on myself every night, which makes me snuggle more deeply into it. Hannibal Lecter and classic movie monsters rule the channels, and thought experiments on things like the philosphpical quagmire of Dr. Frankensteins creation command my mind’s full attention. And, of course, the promise of a Reese’s cup jackpot looms, heavy as pewter rain clouds, as trick-or-treat draws near.

It’s like the spirit of the season is palapble. I imagine this is what normal people feel once Thanksgiving is over and we all awake from our tryptophan-fueled stupors in the soft, warm light of a Christmas tree in the otherwise dark living room of a sleep-silent house.

If you see a tiny Alexander Hamilton and a tiny Aaron Burr walking around with Joyce Byers from Stranger Things on Tuesday, wave to us. The girls have fallen hard for the Hamilton soundtrack. Every single time we get in the car they demand it. Thanks, Kiley Fischer. I was blissfully ignorant to the entire phenomenon, and content to stay that way, until you ruined me. But it’s fine. I can’t not love that they want to be those two. The idea came about, not surprisingly, as we were listening to Hamilton.

In the car.

Because of course.

We’d been toying with all manner of costume ideas. We were going to be fidget spinners and unicorns. We even considered unicorn-mermaids for a while. I was on board to make anything happen, but on this particular day the two of them were fighting as Lin-Manuel Miranda rapped about the constitution.

What were they fighting about?

June was looking out Harper’s window.

It was pretty offensive, apparently. I don’t pretend to understand their social etiquette expectations. I barely know the ones I’m supposed to know as an adult human being.

“You two bicker like Hamilton and Burr,” I told them. “You should be them for Halloween.”

I’m still not sure what happened, to this day, but they were immediately over their vicious feud and on board with the idea, and even super excited when I told them they’d get to wear white curly wigs.

When I agreed to buy them dueling pistols (wooden hand-carved rubber band shooters that they’re not allowed to actually point at one another, so calm down, Carol), they were so committed that I couldn’t even change their minds when I submitted the twins from The Shining for their consideration.

I chose to be Joyce because her love for her child drove her completely out of her mind. As does mine. Because although I clearly approach this whole parenthood thing with a serious dose of irreverance and dark humor, it’s nothing but love that brings a woman to frothing mother status. Whether there’s a conflict between your kids, or in relation to thim, and whether it’s you or a stranger in the middle of the conflict, your love for them will make you do, say, and think some pretty shocking stuff in response to that conflict. It will also make you question your sanity, probably daily, as you’ll pray to whatever God will hear you for wisdom in developing parenting strategies, and for patience in implementing them.

Plus, I already have the intimate familiarity with anxiety required to nail the twitchy aesthetic that woman carries day in and day out.

We’re going to be a pretty awesome group. I love trick-or-treat. First of all, I love the night time. I know that it’s completely emo and dumb but I love it. I love when it’s dark and spooky. I always loved running errands in the winter, when it gets dark at like 4 p.m., because you feel like you’re doing something really clandestine and wrong. Even if you’re just going out for a gallon of milk. It feels more important and serious under the cover of night.

Maybe I’m just obsessed with being out at night because I have two five-year-olds and all three of our bedtimes are 9 p.m.

I’ll never understand why some people don’t want to trick-or-treat with their kiddos, or won’t let them participate. Oh my gosh, you guys. I’m going to walk like five miles in two hours on Tuesay. This is going to be the most exercise I’ve intentionally gotten in weeks. And people are going to give us chocolate for doing it. Why would you turn that down?

Sure, I’m going to eat like six Reese’s cups afterward, but it’s all good. Denial is what makes our lives manageable, sometimes. I mean, the point will be that I walked five miles, right? Just focus on that and pay no attention to anything that happens ten minutes afterward, please.

Body positivity, yo.

And let’s take a moment to talk about the types of things it’s acceptable to hand out for Halloween, yes?

If you are the house that’s passing out apples, pennies, raisins, or pencils?

You suck. Don’t even argue, because you just suck, and you know that it’s true.

Said the woman who stuffed her kids’ birthday pinata with plastic toys and nothing, I repeat, not one thing edible.

But this is Halloween we’re talking about here.

If you’re not passing out candy – chocolate candy, dude – then you clearly do not understand this event. Someone has given you incorrect information. Or you just had a really bad childhood or something and it made you an unpleasant person with the need to hurt others to ease your own pain.

That being said, when my kids no longer want me to trick-or-treat with them because they want to go with their friends, which they won’t have any of if I don’t back the heck off, I’m absolutely going to sit at my parent’s house with a bowl of condiment packets from various fast food restauraunts and shatter the dreams of innocent children to express my frustration and loneliness.

I’m not kidding.

I’m already saving taco sauces, guys. This is going down.

I’ll become the grinch of Halloween.

Just sitting on the stoop under a bare porch bulb drinking Jack Daniels straight out the bottle, chain smoking Lucky Strikes and openly weeping as I explain that sometimes life gives you crap choices when children complain that ketchup isn’t an acceptable treat.

That’s going to be the most terrifying house on the block.

I’m actually kind of excited about it, if you couldn’t tell.

Happy Halloween.


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