A Look On The Lighter Side: A few fears between us for Halloween

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was at a Get-Ready-for Halloween party, when the conversation turned to worries and fears. 
“So, okay, everybody,” said our hostess, “What kind of things are we really afraid of, this time of year?” 
Her husband hastily added, “Things that aren’t political!”
“Oooh, ooh, let me go first,” I said.  “I’m afraid I can’t think of anything to be afraid of that isn’t political!”
“Now, Judy, you know very well that isn’t true,” my husband said.  “What were you saying to me, just the other day? About our front steps?”
“Oh, that. Well, yes, I was afraid we wouldn’t get them fixed before everybody started coming for  Halloween.”
“So?” My husband prompted me. 
“So okay, they’re fixed.  But then I had another problem.  I was afraid you wouldn’t get around to putting a working light bulb in the porch light before Halloween.” 
“And?” 
“And today you finally changed the light bulb.”  
“Yes, I did.”  My husband turned to the others.  “Because I am more afraid of Judy yelling at me than I am of anything else!”  Then he winked. 
“I worry about what to give out,” said one of the other moms.  “I used to worry about red dyes in the candy.  But now, have you seen the latest?  About not giving out any kind of candy with nuts?  I guess it’s important but sheesh — what does that leave, besides candy corn?”
“And you can’t even give out candy corn,” said another mom.  “Not if it’s rattling around loose.  But who sells individual bags of candy corn?  Nobody!” 
I piped up again.  “One year, I was all ready, but nobody rang my bell!  The next day I found out that all the kids had skipped my house because it wasn’t very decorated.  So it’s not enough to change the light bulb, fix the steps, and have candy — you have to decorate, too!”
“I’m afraid of not buying enough candy, and running out just as the big kids start coming around,” said another one of the women. 
“I’m afraid of buying too much and having a mostly-full bag of candy that calls out to me every evening,” I replied.  “Also, I worry that some day I will need a better costume for the Halloween parties like this one.” 
My ever-supportive hubby said, “Yeah….you might be right about that.”
“I was joking!  Don’t you like my witch’s hat?”
“It’s charming…but let’s just say it’s seen better decades.”
I went off to another room, to sulk.  Oops.  I was facing a ceramic pumpkin-bowl of candy. I went back to the kitchen where everyone was hanging out. 
“Say,” I asked our host, “don’t you worry about cutting your hand when you carve your pumpkins?”
“Not any more,” he answered.  “A few years ago, I cut myself terribly, had to go to the emergency room to get stitches.  And trust me, you don’t want to be in the E.R. on Halloween! So now I just paint the faces on, and nobody cares.” 
One of the other dads said, “That’s lame!”
“You know what I don’t worry about, any more?  My pumpkin being too lame!”
Someone else asked, “But then how can you put a candle inside it?”
“I don’t worry about it catching fire, either.”
I used to worry about my kids running ahead of me around corners in the dark.  I used to worry about houses where a big dog answers the door. 
I used to worry about how was I going to get my kids home, fed, into a costume, up and down  the neighborhood, and back — all before dark. Then, on top of everything else, this was back in the day when we changed the clocks before Halloween so it got dark a whole hour sooner!
“At least they’ve changed that,” said my husband, “and moved the clock-changing-day to the Sunday after Halloween.” 
“Hey! That’s right before Election D—…”
“Hush, Judy!  Don’t say it! You’ll scare the grown-ups!”

By Judy Epstein

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