Yet, for some inexplicable reason, today is a day that is often listed as people’s favorite holiday. Actually, after the spectacular Mets victory Friday night, Curtis Granderson called it “my favorite holiday of the year.” Really? Seriously?
I admit that I have deep seated and, most likely, irrational emotional feelings about the day. For me, Halloween is more like Boo the **** Hoo. I don’t get it, although it’s MUCH better now that my kids are grown. At least I’ve started the day writing with a nice cup of coffee by my side instead of fighting with some kid over any number of Halloween-based issues.
So what is it about the day that I find so tedious, tiresome and altogether pissy?
- For me, Halloween marks the death of summer and sunshine and birds singing and ice cream and late sunsets and joy: Once I set my clocks back tonight, a darkness will descend over the earth and ice will fall from the sky and everyone will get sick and my hands and feet will feel no warmth for the next 6 months. It’s basically Armageddon. And, oh yeah, between Thanksgiving, Christmas and basically just the month of February, I’ll gain about 7 pounds and hate myself. So there’s that too. And it all kicks off with Halloween.
- The day is a long, logistical nightmare: And I mean NIGHTMARE, of the Halloween kind…From the time your kid can speak, you will begin to fight over costume choices, then the only costume they will want will be the one SPECIFICALLY listed at the top of the ABSOLUTELY CAN’T WEAR list of the costumes the school sends home months in advance. (The day that list comes home marks the day your life becomes a living Halloween Hell.) Then the fighting begins about where they can trick or treat, whether they need adult supervision, who they walk around with, what time they need to be home, blah, blah, blah. Keep in mind, too, that if you choose a costume that is sleeveless or short, it will be ten degrees out. If you choose a warm one, there will be record-setting high temperatures. Then there’s the parade at school. By the time your kid wears his costume to school, parades around in it, eats two tons of Halloween party candy, makes some arts and crafts project that some overly creative and overly zealous thinks Halloween is the cat’s meow and is dressed inappropriately as a cat class mom is inspired to have little Bobby make, the costumes a ****show by the time it arrives back home with jacked up on candy Bobby. Oh and in this little nightmare, when is dinner? Finally, at the end of the night when everyone is exhausted and testy, and hyped up on sugar, one of your kids announces, “Mrs. B says we have to do a project with the candy. We have to count and categorize all of it.” With that, Bobby passes out with white face paint all over his sheets, and you settle in to categorize Smarties, Butterfingers, Reeses and Twizzlers. You eat a lot of it. And add wine.
- Halloween reinforces all the clique, mean girls, cool guys horror of childhood for kids and adults: Little Bobby is now home with his costume barely hanging in/on. While you attempt to recreate what took you months of shopping, prepping, fighting about and gluing, Bobby is screaming because if you don’t hurry up, his friends will leave to trick or treat without him. Meanwhile fourteen year-old Jessica is miserable because she just got home and said that three of her so-called or so assumed BFF’s have all dressed up alike and didn’t include her. Now she feels like an idiot trick or treating with them because she’s the odd one out. It’s at this point that you need to reach for the tequila. You’ve been good all day and although you’d hoped to hold out til 4:00 pm, it’s close enough. There’s a limit to what you can handle and you’re there. Plus, tonight at the adult- only neighborhood costume party, you’re feeling high schoolishly insecure about your slutty pirate costume. What will the other women think? Better double down on that cocktail.
- There is something seriously wrong with people who like to be terrified: Halloween fills my television screen with horror and anxiety. The TV guide is full of every person’s nightmares night after miserable October night. Once I saw “The Exorcist” in high school and then slept between my parents for three nights, I was done. No horror movies, corn mazes, haunted houses for me. I can barely get through Disney’s Haunted Mansion without hives. What is wrong with you people who love this crap? Why, why, why…..Plus, I hate the Halloween decorations. I don’t want spiderwebs, spiders, headless horsemen, witches, scary pumpkins, hatchets, fake blood, gravestones and dead people decorating my lawn. SERIOUSLY, THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU!
- Halloween always causes some controversy: Whether the issue is with you and your kids about what they can wear as a costume, (sorry, but no matter how loudly or how long little Bobby screams, he is not going to school with a fake axe sticking out of his head and blood running down his face in Kindergarten or any other grade for that matter), nor is newly ample breasted fourteen year old Jessica using Halloween as an excuse to wear what would any other day be highly inappropriate clothing that, let’s just say, enhances her new look. (That costume is for the adult women like me who decide irrationally that Halloween is the time to bring out the inappropriate you. Don’t act shocked, you know it’s true. Just look around any adult Halloween party. The long hair wigs, short leather skirts and corsets abound). Then the school gets involved and makes up random reasons that kids can’t wear certain costumes. No weapons, no masks, and, a new one this year, no gender switching. I find that one interesting. We seem to embrace gender switching on multiple TV shows, but I guess we can’t let our girls dress up as boys or our guys dress up as girls for fun in school anymore. Whatever, what do I know? Then, of course, some schools allow candy, some don’t and some parents just get themselves all crazed about that. Look, I’m all for candy and the party and lots of cupcakes, but let’s face it, in a few hours they’ll have pillowcases loaded down with the crap, so what if they have corn muffins at school?
So enjoy Halloween everyone. Have at it, but count me out. Thank goodness, this is one day of the year that I’m thrilled to have no kids at home anymore. (Although the one in college called last year to tell me he’d charged a wheelchair, yes, that’s not a misprint, a wheelchair, on his credit card as part of his costume. My response was very Halloweenish in nature. I think I instilled enough fear in him to cover several decades of Halloween nightmares.) But for now, I’ll enjoy no kids here at least til the grandkids start to come. Then, I’ll sit back and watch the hell of Halloweens past unleash it’s vengeance upon my own kids as they start the process all over again in their own homes. Trick or treat?
Is Halloween a fave or your biggest nightmare?