It’s Halloween…. And have I got a spooky tale for you, you allotment of pretty pumpkins. You coven of hot hags. It’s a tale of witches. An angry mob. Premonitions. Drownings. Are you sitting comfortably? Doors and windows locked? If so, let us begin….
A few years ago, I was sat in a nurse training course (Yep, I used to be a nurse. Sorry, did I not tell you that? A nurse. Yep, they let me train and work as a nurse for ten long years. And yes, I left by my own free will. Nope, I was not kicked out. Yep, they actually let people like me look after people like you. No Halloween trick. Scary eh?). It was the kind of training that nurses have to do regularly to show that their brains haven’t rotten away like an over ripe banana being devoured by hybrid maggot-flies. It wasn’t that interesting.
It was, however, also unfortunate that the course be made even more tedious by a twat of a tutor who was seemingly so insecure that she had to question and humiliate every sensible answer given by her brightest students. She was possibly the only university lecturer that I ever met who seemed irritated by the intelligence of others. She was a twat. No doubt about it people. A twat. However, it was during this lecture, when I had my first vision.
“Errrr… What now?” I hear you, my wondrous werewolves say. Sounds crazy I know but I swear it was a vision. You see, just as the lecturer responded to her latest bright-spark of a student (a wonderfully wise midwife) I seemed to doze off slightly and a historical scene, clear as day, popped into my head. I witnessed this lecturer, this female misogynist, leading a large angry mob and dunking this fabulously bright young woman into a lake… Accused of being a witch.
Apart from being thankful for the distraction, I didn’t think much of the flash of a vision until, on the last day of the course and in an impulsive fit of hysterics, I told the midwife. Instead of the expected giggle, she responded by being pale as garden-centre-Christmas-display snow and telling me that she believed she was in fact drowned in a previous life. How she believes in pagan teachings. How she would consider herself a white witch of Mother Earth. Well fuck me – that shut me up. Completely silent I was – for at least 60 seconds.
That little incident happened over six years ago and yet it remains in my head, the memory settled in my brain and sat like a squatter, refusing to be replaced with other things I should remember like my best mate’s birthday or my child’s non-school uniform day. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that I understood why this vision had stayed with me. I had a revelation. You see, here was a vision of a group of brutal folk. Of the extinguishing of this liberal, kind, wise woman. Events that were clearly traumatic. However this was coupled with an aspect of uncertainty. I was nowhere to be seen. And that got me questioning myself… If I wasn’t there. How do I know? I mean, what would I be? Would I be the dunker? Or the dunkee?
Would I be the dunker? The kind of woman who says things like “You see… other women just feel threatened by me” to your bare, thirty-something, fine-lined face and seeping mascara eyes (the tube said it was f@cking waterproof). The kind of woman who spends days preparing a dinner party, insisting it ‘was nothing’ as she is presented with your newest failure of a raspberry pavlova. The kind of woman who says “Motherhood just never phased me, I just managed to get on with it” as you tell her you’ve been prescribed your second course of antidepressants for postnatal depression. Am I this kind of woman? The kind of woman that can only be elevated by another woman’s dunking????? That doesn’t sound quite right…
Would I be part of the crowd? Would I follow like a sheep, not wanting to cause a stir or stick up for others? The kind of woman who believes the victim ‘deserved it’ because of her short skirt. The kind of woman who, despite intelligence, insists before her argument in a debate that she’s “not a feminist” (WTF? Not a feminist? How can you not be a feminist?) in some attempt to obtain kudos and respect. The kind of woman that turns up the sound of her TV as she hears her female neighbour’s argument turn sour. Am I this kind of woman? The kind of woman that doesn’t concern herself with the rights of others????? That doesn’t sound quite right either…
But, yet the real scary thing this Halloween is… I recognise that I do actually have this potential. I think we all do. Yep, sometimes we get insecure and say hurtful things. Or perhaps, in our darkest moments, we may feel slightly relieved that our pal didn’t get the job of her dreams. I mean, how would that make us feel?
Or, maybe sometimes life is just too bloody hectic and we feel so frazzled we avoid the troubled friend we spied in the supermarket. Or perhaps we keep our head down as our colleagues bitch about the weirdo at work who we secretly like despite everyone else having an irrational fear / hatred of them.
I know I do have this potential. The potential to be the dunker. To be part of the angry mob. We all have this potential. How bloody depressing.
So therefore ladies, my group of gorgeous ghouls, I have a challenge for you this Halloween. After trick or treating, after hanging up your pointed hats and parking your brooms, make yourself a promise. Turn your cloaked back on your dunker potential. Refuse to be part of the angry mob. This Halloween, be the dunkee. Give a bit back to Mother Earth. Be liberal. Be wise. Don’t waste your time making judgements. Celebrate in someone else’s achievements. Don’t be a bitch. It’s better to be a witch ;-)
Rambling Red wants to hear your own Halloween trick or treats!!! Please comment below…