Sandy—All Trick, No Treat for Wilton

For the second year in a row, Wilton is experiencing meteorological havoc in late October. Cancelled school, power outages, extreme weather conditions—and dashed hopes for Halloween.

Happy Un-Halloween Anniversary.

I know, I just jinxed it, given that it isn’t even Wednesday yet, but I’m going to bet good money that the dream holiday of every child—“People give us candy? For free? And this is okay with you, Mom and Dad? Really?? Cool!”—will be dashed against the rocks of hope like surging waves from the Wicked Witch Sandy of the South.

The kiddies aren’t the only ones disappointed by the weather. A few million adults like me were really looking forward to the holiday too. Even the basics, like watching the costume parades at my children’s schools, are exciting. Besides seeing the cute costumes—the girl in a box made to look like a washing machine, the boy dressed up like the guy who sings “Gangnam Style”—I love to get a glimpse at my own kids enjoying a bit of time cutting loose while still at school.

Here’s a big confession about another Halloween tradition I fall prey to—raiding my kids’ loot bags after they’ve gone to bed. I’ll let you in on a little secret: there are no calories when you’re standing in front of the pantry and eating the contraband you’ve smuggled out of their candy. Really! (That's because the inner guilt burns away all those extra fat grams.)

I’ve always approached life like every day is a costume party, with Halloween as the ultimate outlet for my inner child. I love coming up with fun costumes. Back in 1998, when I sported a blonde bob haircut with bangs, I went to one Halloween party with my bangs teased and hair-sprayed to stand at attention, and carrying a mummy-wrapped stuffed animal with toilet paper—voila! I was Mary from “Something About Mary.” A few years back my husband and I went as Brangelina (complete with a basket filled with a dozen dolls to stand in for all the kids in their family). Then two years ago, I took the blonde Brad Pitt wig and wore that with my son’s Wilton Soccer jersey—Boom! I was my son.

I know I likely won’t have the chance to wear the costume I planned for this year, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to give it a little bit of exposure (for anyone who still has access to the Internet and actual power in the Wilton area on Monday morning). My plan was to dress as “50 Shades of Grey.” Nothing tawdry, not one of those ‘sexy’ costumes that’s all the rage this year; it was a literal interpretation of 50 different grey shades, with a grey sweater and grey pants, and paint chips of all the different grey paints available. (Get it?) I thought it was clever, but I don’t think there’s any hope my costume will see the light of day—or rain and wind of day either, for that matter—on Wednesday. So look to the right of this column to the photo for the big reveal.

But of course, what’s truly more important than the disappointment of not being able to wear a costume is that people will stay safe through Wednesday when Sandy is expected to pass, and later on into the week. There’s been such a flurry of worry and preparation—no water, bread, or D-batteries to be found on Stop and Shop shelves, area hotels all booked up, and sighs of relief for those who acted after last year’s Irene and got their generators.

Late Sunday evening, while I was obsessively watching the news for every detail about what’s going to happen with this “500-year, worst-case-scenario storm,” I listened to a CNN interview with geologist Nicholas Coch from Queens College. His prime worry was all the water flooding into Long Island sound, and predicted that the most serious devastation would happen all along the shores of the sound. You could almost hear the shocked scientific awe about the impending, unimaginable events-to-come as he described this “absolutely incredible meteorological phenomenon”:  the confluence of high tide, a full moon, the storm surge, and waves blown by the wind as all elements that might cause 25-foot waves along the beaches of Connecticut and into New York.

Suddenly I have but one more reason to yearn for Halloween—we’d get to keep the illusion that we’re safe. So, stay safe Wilton. Stay safe friends and family elsewhere. Let’s hope the only casualty will be Halloween.


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