I recently read an article by Gil Namur about how he thinks he’s goofy and is okay with that. Personally, I wish more people were as goofy as goofy could be. Even the word goofy conjures up an age of innocence, does it not?
Humor has been and always will be a staple in my life. A good sense of humor is key, in my opinion, to any kind of successful and happy life. If you can find the humor in even the darkest days, well then I believe you have found the key to a long and happy life.
My first glimpse of humor came one Halloween night long after the little ones such as myself had been tucked away in bed. Long after we had eaten the last of our favorite candy bars and dreamed of lollipops and licorice in our sleep, anxious for the morning to come so we could sneak one last treat in before school. On this particular Halloween night a light in our upstairs hallway awakened me. Standing in the hallway was my mother looking in our linen closet. Groggy and half asleep, I wandered out of my room and asked my mother what she was doing.
“I’m going trick or treating,” she said to me. I looked at her as only a loving child would look at a mother who must know that you couldn’t go out after dark on Halloween night. It wasn’t safe. “I need a costume!” she said as I stood there in a daze wondering if perhaps I was dreaming. “What are you dressing up as Mom?” I asked in my sleepy voice. “A mummy,” she said, and I may have heard a bit of a snicker with that answer but I can’t say for sure . “You are a mommy,” I said to her and she laughed out loud, then told me to get back to bed. I pretended to slip into bed but stood a smidgen away from my door looking out in the hallway as my Mommy proceeded to mummify herself with several of our sheets from the linen closet.
It became a tradition of course for my Mom to dress up on Halloween in our neighborhood and visit friends. But that night I saw her in the hallway was when I realized my Mom was not just my Mom who always seemed to be so serious she also had a playful side, one that I had never seen before that night.
Mom’s love of Halloween and all the fun involved in being goofy lives on in me. Like my mother before me, I love a good costume! You can just let it all hang out when it comes to Halloween.
When my children were little Halloween was almost as special as Christmas. One year at my son’s school several of us moms dressed up to deliver candy to the classrooms. My friends came as the Spice Girls or as witches, and I showed up that Halloween as the Easter Bunny. My friend Angie still howls about the first time she met me dressed in a blue bunny costume.
Halloween gives us all a chance to be someone or something we are not. It also lets us cut loose and be a bit crazy. Or as Gil would say, a bit goofy! Sometimes we have to remember that little kid inside all of us who is just itching to break out in song in the middle of a meeting, or who wants to hug everyone, or who would like to stick her tongue out at people. Yes, that little kid lives just below the surface of grown-up life. And that kid waits and waits patiently so that every now and then he or she can be released into the world one more time just to wreak a little havoc, to laugh till your belly hurts and to just be. To enjoy that ethereal feeling of just being in the moment. The pure goofy joy of it all!
All photos by Martha Farley. All rights reserved.