HALLOWEEN ONLY HAPPENS ONCE A YEAR

by Steve Clem on September 12, 2011

I love Halloween.

There’s no doubt that it’s my favorite holiday, which maybe makes me some kind of devil worshiping freak in the minds of some.

But alas, I’ve always loved it.

There is something about dressing up and pretending to be something else – a football player, a movie star, a psycho with a chain saw, or the President of the United States.

When I was in grad school, my ex-wife and I used to always host costume karaoke parties every year.

I decided to try and string together political costumes for a few years. One year I was JFK back from the dead (complete with entrance wounds in my neck). I couldn’t convince my ex to be Marilyn Monroe back from the dead. She didn’t share my level of classy awesomeness, I guess.

Another year I was Terry Braindead (a parody of then, and now AGAIN Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad).

Another year I was George Herbert Walker Bush, and made my ex wear a pearl necklace (wait, what?).

You can be anyone you want to be on Halloween. Your imagination is your only limitation.

But the older I’ve gotten, the clearer it’s become that putting on a mask and costume doesn’t mean you’ve become that make-believe person.

Yes, it’s easy for one day a year to pretend you’re someone else.

But the other 364 days you better not be pretending to be anyone but you.

As I passed my 40th, and then 41st birthday, I’ve realized that I wouldn’t want to be anyone else but me.

Yeah my hairline is higher than Willie Nelson on tour.

My belly is buddhalicious.

I wish that I could grow a kick ass goatee overnight.

I procrastinate, and get distracted easily.

I forget stuff way too often.

And when I’m hungry, I mean really hungry, I get really crabby.

I have a tendency to take things personally, and I am not good at asking people for help when I need it.

My feet stink when I’ve been on them all day. And I suffer from chronic halitosis.

But that’s me, damn it. And I love being this imperfect, old balls dude.

Yes, I want to do some things for my health requiring that I change some of that (goodbye Hoppy beer, hello water), but I’m not trying to “fix” myself, or become someone other than me.

And you shouldn’t either.

It’s ok to be a porn star, Steve Bartman, or Hanz and Franz each October.

But the rest of the time, try being you.

And if people don’t like it, you tell them Clemmy is hungry (really hungry!) and he told you to tell them to go eff themselves!

* * * *

Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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