Ermergerd, Halloween candy!
Photo by JefferyTurner via Flickr
When I was a kid, I loved Halloween. Being let loose with my friends (we didn’t need to be escorted by adults back then) in the otherwise quiet suburban streets to get pillowcases full of free loot? I mean, who wouldn’t love that?
As a kid, it didn’t really matter what my costume was, or that my friend’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ensemble looked like a giant half-avocado because his mom made it. It didn’t matter what we wore because it was about freedom — we had a free pass to channel our inner ninja turtles and get up to some minor mischief. And at the end of the night, it was all about the candy. I got home, dumped the contents of my coffers all over the floor and rolled around in the glory that was my haul for hours (you did that too, right?).
Halloween even made school and yard work fun. Fueled by the anticipation of the sugar binge to come, we eagerly decorated our classrooms with cotton ball spiderwebs and construction paper spiders from art class, spent hours after school jumping in piles of freshly raked leaves and set up scary scenes in our front yards. I get that Halloween. I’m cool with it.
But there’s another, scarier face of Halloween: the one for adults. I don’t get this Halloween, and I’m definitely not cool with it. Actually, I hate it. Here are my reasons why:
It’s pointless: Considering that I can now buy my own Mars bars and I don’t need my mom to check them for razorblades, I don’t really see a point in participating anymore. There’s no allure; there are no piles of free candy to roll around in. People actually care what other people think of their costumes. Raking leaves is a chore that sucks, and jumping into them hurts. And making your own Halloween decorations is weird. Now Halloween means getting a costume together without your mom’s help and buying way more candy than you need for the trick-or-treaters, only to end up eating it all yourself and feeling guilty that you did.
Costume stress: It’s the night of the big Halloween party and you have no costume. You could go to the drug store and buy some horrible plastic outfit, but you quickly realize that’s the worst idea ever. If you had planned ahead, you could have rented something that 50 other people have sweat in, but that appealing ship has sailed. Your procrastination inevitably results in putting together some lame, unrecognizable piece of shit from whatever material you can find around the house at the last minute. One friend of mine went as Yellow Pages Man, literally taping pages from the jaundiced book of useless information to himself. My staple used to be Kris Kross (just put everything on backwards). These types of costumes usually evoke the classic “What are you supposed to be?” question (translation: “Nice weak-ass costume, loser”), which sets the stage perfectly for a shitty time at the party. We’ve all been there.
It ain’t scary no more: Sure, you get one or two people who really get Halloween. They go to town on the zombie or axe murderer look. Awesome. There are also a select few who have come up with some pretty original, hilarious and overall awesome DIY Halloween costumes. But the vast majority are so unoriginal and un-Halloween it makes my bones hurt. I cringe imagining how many people will go Gangnam style this year. Toga? Weak. Cowboys/cowgirl? Super original. Hot vampires? Naughty nurses? Sexy witches?! Witches are supposed to be gross. Eye of newt, giant warts, big-ass mangled noses – that’s a witch! Not mini-skirts, halter tops and high heels.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like the opportunity to see throngs of university students take the opportunity to skank it up. But it ain’t Halloween.
Office Halloween parties: I used to work in a call centre downtown. The activity board promised the Halloween lunchtime party would be “crazy spooky” and “the most eerie time of the year” (I can’t make this stuff up). The stage was set in the cafeteria, adorned with the un-scariest Halloween paraphernalia possible from the dollar store designed for toddlers (at best). The few who actually dressed up as their favourite Star Wars character or pirate were paraded in front of the whole company to compete (by sporadic applause) for a $25 Boston Pizza gift certificate (shiver me timbers!), while the rest of the crowd shielded their eyes in embarrassment. As if I didn’t hate going to work enough.
Do we really need to celebrate Halloween anymore as adults, especially here? This is Montreal. People dress weird, gross you out and act like freaks all year ‘round! Just ride the metro. Get caught at a red light downtown in your car. Go to Laval. ■