I have survived my first real celebration of Halloween. I never knew this would be the most complicated holiday. You’ve got your political ‘Christ in Happy Holidays’ Christmas celebrations, a Thanksgiving rid of political correctness, probably because there’s too much to correct to stay thankful, Columbus Day, also known as ‘a Monday’, Independence Day (still on the bucket list, but seems pretty straight forward to me: America on steroids), and then those days like Easter that do come with decorations, but are celebrated on a Sunday and do not really count. Out of all these, Halloween is the most complicated by far. I will present the next three arguments and the accompanying questions: decorations, costumes, candy.
The gas station around the corner had an inflatable Dracula-in-coffin that kept creeping out. Cute. One of the places we went garage saling the other week had a fake cemetery in the yard, including hands breaking open the graves. Also, they had a four year old daughter. I’m no four year old girl, but I know those things would freak me out every time I’d look out the window after dawn. What kind of feelings are those people harboring throughout the year? I can imagine people that would love to have Christmas decorations all year long, but who is eagerly waiting for the day he can finally get everything out of the attic, where all the zombie hands, white skulls, and plastic graves are stored for the rest of the year? What if someone forgets they’re up in the attic, looks for his camping gear and grabs a zombie hand? What if I go look for someone else’s camping gear, grab that zombie hand and fall down the stairs? Maybe I’m crazy, but I can see real problems here.
Picking a costume replaced picking a birthday gift in complexity for all the same reasons. A gift isn’t just a gift, it’s a reflection of the relationship you have, the thought you put into it, and showing lots of creativity. A Halloween costume should be all that: a showcase of creativity, wit, and, if you’re recently married, the shared ability to dress up in hideous clothes. I shot only blanks this year, and so I was standing at the Walmart Halloween costume aisle, nervously going through my options. Why is a boring black dress suddenly a Halloween dress just by calling it a ‘witch dress’? How does nobody get offended by very non-political costumes in a country where the diary of Anne Frank gets banned in schools for pornographic images? On the subject of political correctness, will my idea for a ghost costume be interpreted the wrong way? What size dress did Mrs Missouri wear again? Tough questions, that in the end made me go for a mustache, and look online what men have mustaches (I decided Ron Swanson over Mark Twain). When applying the ‘stache, I looked like a famous German politician strongly linked to Anne Frank, so I cut it up and dressed like a weird guy with really thick eyebrows.
Then there’s the candy. Again, picture me hopelessly wondering through the candy aisle. How many kids actually lived in our neighborhood? How much do you give each kid? Can you give out one fun-sized chocolate bars if kids are used to gallons of soda for just over $1? Would we be home in time for trick or treating, or would we miss some of the kids? If we have leftovers, what would I be willing to eat up until Thanksgiving? It’s enough to drive you crazy. I bought Reese’s (not my favorite) and Snickers (my favorite). We ended up with a salad bowl full of candy and a whopping four kids on our door, leaving us with the notion to get much less candy next year, and the need for an exit strategy for a lot of chocolate.
Trick or Treat?