• Andy Ross

The Siren Song of Comfort

It’s been a long, cold winter. It’s been a long, cold winter for about two years ago. There was a moment in the Summer of reprieve. A window in which the clouds appeared to be lifting and I had hope for the Fall into Winter. But no. Morons had to ruin the party for us. It’s like getting in trouble in Middle School for something you didn’t do. Most of my ire at life right now is due to other people. I know I’m not alone in that club.


So as my discontent trudges on I find new and challenging ways to keep myself motivated. The tricks that worked in 2020 don’t work as well as they did then. I had to find a new “life raft” to keep my going as my hopes for Halloween 2021 quickly dashed away. Halloween is an important holiday to me. If you’ve followed my adventures here for a long time you know that. It’s Christmas level big in my family, always has been.



This is why I chose to seek comfort in Halloween. Halloween in one particular place. Sure, it’s a giant retailer. Sure, it’s not anything that’s gonna leave me with long-term spiritual fulfillment. Yet, it’s what I needed. What is this magical thing my soul was grasping for? My friends, it’s the only thing I found I could count on these days. People? Pah! You can’t count on them anymore. What you can count on? The annual Halloween section at Target.


Every year it’s there. Without fail. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, hai, nor pandemic will keep Target from filling the seasonal section with spooky wonders. It begins towards the end of September. You start to slowly stalk the aisles to see if all the lesser back-to-school items are gone. Hoorah! An aisle is empty, this must surely mean the comforting embrace of plastic skeletons is nigh!


But no. It was a falsehood. Returning three days later I found there were just more empty aisles, more back-to-school things moved to clearance, and no sign of spooky decorations. Oh, sure. There was a tiny trickle of Halloween-themed bags of fun-sized candy. That steadied me. That gave me the courage I needed to know that soon, very soon, spooksville would be alive and well at Target.


More time passes. Then, as if Brigadoon itself was emerging from the mists of time, it appears. Aisles are full of candy, treats, costumes, decorations for both my walls, tables and my lawn. It’s as if one was just been led through the door to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. My heart swelled, joy rushed through my veins. I began to be that person who presses the “try me” button on every single thing that has one.




As I stood there looking and listening to the various displays with their catchy melodies and haunting sounds, I found myself gently singing under my mask “Did you ever know that you’re my hero?” My cart was soon full of candy, wooden Halloween wonderland village displays, party favors, and a decorative plaid pumpkin that was destined to go on my mantle.


I found my reprieve again. Sure, it wasn’t going to last for days and days, maybe a day at the most. But there it was. A sense of peace. A sense of calm. A sense of trying to not overdo it on fun-sized kit-kats. Halloween. In all its blessed glory is here again. Maybe. Just maybe, it will be “normal” next year. See you next week.