October is now upon us and in my mind this means only one thing: Halloween, the only day that makes autumn even worth happening (let’s face it, Thanksgiving is just mass murder), is less than a month away.
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. It sparked my curiosity early on — about as soon as I discovered it was the one night of the year when responsible adults would encourage pre-schoolers to accept candy from strangers. Every year, I dressed up as a ballerina or a Disney princess (except one time when my mom was really busy and I ended up having to go as a tree).
These shenanigans lose their appeal, though, to most people right around puberty, and that’s when Halloween becomes attractive for a whole new reason: the opportunity to drink excessively and dress lewdly. Halloween for grown-ups.
Unfortunately, the superstitious, the zombie-slasher movie aficionados (i.e. me) and the occasional angsty goth — the original die-hard fans of Halloween before this mainstream pop craze — are forced back into recluse on the one day of the year that should be dedicated to all their freakish whims. Maybe the “Miss Demeanor” sexy cop costume can coexist peacefully with a classic vampire get-up on Sugar Candy Mountain, but in real life no one wants to be the one awkward person dressed as a zombie ex-wife while everyone else is in bunny costumes. So of course us Halloween traditionalists have got to go.
Maybe I just feel a little immature with my scary movie marathons and haunted house binges that start about four weeks leading up to the actual holiday. But for some reason, I just feel a tinge personally offended whenever I pass Vivian the Vixen Pirate Wrench in the Halloween store on the way to ogle fake blood and ogre teeth. Is it so wrong that I miss bobbing for apples in alcohol-free liquid? What happened to pumpkin carving?
Halloween has this aura of creativity and mystery, which manifests itself in all those costumes. This is the single day of the year you can fulfill your creepy fantasy of being Michael Jackson by dressing like him and imitating him all night, and no one will lift a questioning eyebrow. In fact, it might even be funny.
Apparently though, most people’s fantasies are to be a drunken French maid for a night.
This sexy-alcoholic phenomenon isn’t quite limited to Halloween, either. New Year’s is always celebrated with red plastic Solo cups and glitter makeup. And something about the idea of St. Patrick banning all the snakes and lizards from Ireland just really makes me want to get belligerently drunk.
The worst thing about all of this is that on the night of Halloween, I’ll probably still give in and go to some gaudy Halloween party where everyone’s dressed up in a half-mundane, half-seductive costume (sexy referee, sexy airplane hostess?), because if I tried to show up to an actual Halloween party or go trick-or-treating, I’d probably be seen as more of a creeper than that guy who pretends to be Michael Jackson all night.
As a reasonable college student, I don’t really have a hostility for drinking or dressing in a way that makes other people feel like they should pay my cover tab. I do have hostility for the fact that these have wedged every original Halloween activity out of the way. There’s a time and a place for everything; Halloween is one of the few times and places that existed for us weirdos. And the fact that it gets taken from us just because we hit a certain arbitrary and indescribable level of “maturity” saddens a part of me.
Maybe I’m just a big dork who never grew out of dressing up and reading Goosebumps, or maybe these complaints all stem from the deep psychological wounds from that time I had to dress up as a tree. But why can’t we try to focus on how awesome Halloween is all by itself this year?