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Next Sunday it’ll officially be that dark time of year (and, coincidentally, Dia de los Muertos aka All Souls Day aka All Saints Day, as if we all haven’t already had plenty of scary, dark, uncertain stuff in our lives in 2020)! How about a wee bit of levity for these not-so-dark days just before Halloween?

Maybe I’m just cracking myself up, but I laugh every time I read this fluffy blog post I wrote two years ago. What I didn’t say then are these three things, and I hope you’ll contact me with your answer to number three:

1. The sordid story of Bluebeard has always held a special fascination for me. I came across it — at an inappropriately young age — in a fairytale anthology in my maternal grandparents’ library in Gate City, Virginia. Reading was my chief source of entertainment during wintertime visits. As long as I was quiet, the grownups left me alone. So I was free to peruse any number of age-inappropriate tomes. The tale gave me nightmares and raised a lot of questions, but I never let on to my parents. Terror-filled dreams were a small price to pay for access to such forbidden fruit.

2. The feminist subtext about patriarchal violence was lost on me at the age of 10. But — wow — does it come through loud and clear now!

3. Has anyone ever told you not to open a door? If so, did you comply? Or did you open the door anyway (either immediately or later in secret)? I’m taking a poll so let me know!

Photo Credit: Patrick Tomasso
Author and RealEstateTherapy curator Cynthia Cummins has been devoted to homeowners and homebuyers for three decades and counting. Visit for more information on San Francisco real estate.