Halloween is nigh, ready or not. October is in our face, even if middle age has us blinking and rubbing our eyes to see it clearly. When you're as old as the trees in front of your house like I am, things take a flip. Special measures need to be taken for your safety now on Halloween night, no longer your kids'. You may not like being a pedestrian in the dark (pesky uneven sidewalks) and you may get colder than usual (darn that aging thyroid) but you still have to get out there and walk the long orange mile of jack o'lanterns and scarecrows propped up on adirondack chairs.
When it's a middle age you taking the kids out on all hallow's eve, it won't just be the ghosts and floor boards they'll hear creaking in the night, it'll be your knees. Well, I've got you covered, friend, from greying head to bunion toe. With a few necessary adjustments designed to keep yourself safe, you'll be able to groan and moan along with the best of them. (moaning will be for our fallen arches and groaning for our aching backs, but who needs to know, it'll just sound that much more authentic)
How To Be Safe on All Hallow’s Eve [geriatric crowd edition]:
1. With your advancing short term memory loss, it’s a good idea to plan a route and draw out a map with familiar landmarks. No one is saying you’ll get lost, but ’tis better to have it and not need it, then to be found frozen behind your neighbor's house in the morning. (oh, but she was sooo close to home!)
2. Aging eyesight makes contrast between light and dark a necessity for clear vision. Walking in the dark against a dark sidewalk isn’t going to help you. Bring along the glasses you’ll need for your night blindness–or not, if you're okay with feeling your way around like a naked mole rat.
3. Choose face paint over face mask any time you can. Masks will muffle your voice, causing you to feel disoriented when you hear it; throw in the night blindness and hyperventilating panic that will make you think it's the big one, Elizabeth, and you’ve got the makings of full blown chaos and confusion. Don’t do this to your kids. Say YES to paint.
4. Bright colored clothing, for real. Go as Gramma Neon. Be Seen, Be Safe, that's my new motto [patent pending].
5. Wigs, capes, costumes: the triple threat! Wigs will overheat you when you’re already hot-flashing, capes will make you feel claustrophobic because of the string tied around your neck waddle, (a new thing that takes getting used to) and costumes?? Just wear what you wear when you shovel snow. Go as “Mrs. She-Just-Gave-Up-One-Day.”
6. Stop muttering and talking out loud to yourself when you cross the street. Wits about you, people! in the face of traffic. Small, darting children–yes, motorists are prepared to be on the lookout for those BUT doddering off-kilter adults? You'll catch them off guard, not a good thing.
7. Please don’t go inside anyone’s house. The home owners will grab you, lock the door behind you, then run out the back shouting “Kids! Surprise! Your new gramma and grampa are gonna babysit tonight!”
8. Older men, watch your choice of costumes. With your hairy ears and eyebrows, the werewolves of the night will find you and drag you back to their den to be their new alpha male. Ladies: now is not the time to stop the botox you just discovered. You'll look ripe for the picking when they come looking for lost souls of the dead.
9. Once home, have someone with good vision inspect your candy for hard and too sticky to chew pieces. Last thing you want on a night like this is to bite down and crack a tooth, or pull a crown, or snap your bridge in half, all from cheap peanut butter twists or stale popcorn balls.
10. Finally, TAKE CARE. Remember that this is the only night of the year that the door to the underworld is open. The departed are allowed out to harvest souls. Be careful, with our one foot in this world and one foot almost into the next, we are the tenderoni the underworld seeks. *I know we're starved for having someone look at us hungrily the way they once used to, but this kind of lip licking and eager hand rubbing in our direction, is not what we think we want.
Are we ready, troops? All right then, everyone grab their neon vest and flashing pumpkin necklace, we've got our job cut out for us staying on this side of the underworld for a few more eves.
|Glaucoma badboys courtesy of Walgreen's|
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