As I type this, the Halloween decorations are being hoisted up and around me. So, to get into the spirit, it only seems fitting to poke my head out from behind the cobwebs, around the coffin, from under the perched gargoyle, and through the mist of the fog machine to bring you a bit of seasonal snark. There is so much to say about the one day of the year where it is a literal requirement to act like someone you are not, show up to strangers houses and ask for free stuff, and potentially don a cape to look like death, that we must dive right in: love it or hate it, it is certainly hard to ignore it. So here it is, your top 5 conflicting feelings about All Hallows Eve, better known as—Halloween!
#5 Trick-or-treaters – If you love seeing kids stumble to your door in all sorts of spooky, cutesy and down right disturbing outfits, then it is a must that we start here. Some truly do not enjoy this. Random people walking across your lawn and knocking on your door until the wee hours of the night—unforgiveable! Personally, in what can only be a harkening back to my youthful days, where legend would grow about the house that gave out the best candy, I like to respond in kind, if only to keep the kids from kicking decorations off my lawn. Not within my budget (or instinct) to simply give out full-sized candy bars to everyone, I always give one ridiculous over-sized candy bar to whomever I deem to have the best costume of the night. Then, invariably, like clockwork, my friends all laugh when I—amongst a whirlwind of ooohs and ahhs—give it to yet another 1 year old in a pumpkin costume. It happens every year, and I am always surprised by it. What can I say—the chubby kids in round outfits are the cutest!
#4 Haunted House – When you want to scare the bejeezus out of little kids, nothing does the trick quite like setting up your own little maze of horrors for them to navigate through. Some people go all out with more scary things than you could ever manage to deal with. Sure they are expensive to set up, time consuming, and generally disrespected by ever little brat that comes through your front door, but it’s all worth it when you get to scare the crap out of that little kid who has been knocking over your trashcans in the middle of the night. Consider it neighborhood justice.
#3 Inappropriate outfits – If you can think of any outfit that has ever existed for Halloween, rest assured that there is a less than appropriate version of it. Although this is a more recent trend (20 years? -I’m guessing here), it is amazing what can be done with a shockingly small amount of cloth and a can-do attitude. While most are really not appropriate to leave the house in, they do exist. On the other end of the spectrum, is potentially anything where the subject matter of the costume itself is offensive. I leave these to your fine imagination. For my part, though perhaps not inappropriate, I suppose I will spend another year as “the Karate-Kid-as-Trouble-Making-Shower” from the school dance scene in the original Karate Kid movie…“It’s coming around…”
#2 Halloween Parties (Dressing up at work/or school) – The only thing worse than having to dress up around the house for the general appreciation and merriment of your own kids, is having to go anywhere in public (or even semi-public). Whether its just answering your own front door looking like Fred Flintstone, or dressing up like the Witch from Wizard of Oz for an office party, there is simply no escaping the embarrassment that comes from the inevitable photos. So…flash forward: months later, you’re minding your own business in the conference room, and boom-everybody’s laughing at some picture of you in face paint and stockings—tres un-cool people! That said, if you choose to take the right approach, you could turn that around. For my part, I like to use the Halloween costume as a way to silently protest against a poor working environment. It goes something like this: My boss: “haha, remember when you were dressed like a homeless person for Halloween?” Me: “ahh yes, that was the time you wouldn’t give me a raise and my whole family had to move back in with my mother-in-law while I roamed the streets for scraps of food.” Ok, so it’s not subtle—but it works!
#1 Leftover candy – Let’s imagine that Halloween has come and gone. You have either given in to the candy-munching monster, or you have somehow managed to stay strong—normally it’s the latter. Then, everywhere you go, everybody has their leftover candy on offer. It sits on desks, mocking you. It hides around the house, threatening to leap out of freezers. It hides in the car where it simply must be eaten before it melts!
After all, little ol’ you are just human—you must oblige the candy! Yes, the leftover candy monster seems to stretch out the candy threat into a solid and often debilitating second month. Good luck! Defend yourself accordingly. Recommendation? Give it to those around you. Hawaiian Proverb (in spirit if not in principle): two ways to be thin, exercise often, or have fatter friends, so it appears you do!
Consider this dismaying observation: this month’s Love/Hate was a ghoulish production brought to you by a general feeling of foreboding, a spooky amount of subtext and the ever-present ghost of Scott Bakula, I mean Count Dracula. Up next: Love/Hate…getting older.