I pledged to stop writing the word “hate” in all of my interactions and am desperately trying to remove it from my spoken conversations. So, let me just say I really, really, really dislike Halloween.
For one thing, I’m not a costume kind of person. The smothering sensation behind masks is not for me, and renting heavy costumes that have been worn by everyone and their brother for the last 30 years doesn’t appeal to me either. If you read our blog last week, you also know I’m not related to Martha Stewart and have never really learned how to make clever decorations from Mason jars and fabric swatches.
If you caught my post on Panic Disorder, you can probably guess this disdain for Halloween isn’t a new thing. Being a fearful kid, the holiday didn’t make me feel happy or safe. I certainly didn’t like seeing the adults in my life all dressed up in a disguise that prevented me from recognizing them. In other words, I was a different kind of small person.
Yet, years later, trying to be a good parent to two small children, I spent many October afternoons shopping for new costumes and cute pumpkin-shaped buckets to hold all the candy they’d collect from people who lived in our neighborhood.
Which brings us to another scary thing about Halloween. As parents, we spend 51 weeks of the year teaching our children not to speak to strangers and never to eat or drink anything a stranger might offer. Then, on October 31, we blithely send them out to ring doorbells, shout “Trick or Treat” and grab whatever candy they can from whoever answers the door.
I realize I’m probably being over dramatic. However, how many of us have spent Halloween night on the living room floor, dumping out our children’s candy haul to check if everything’s wrapped, looking for razor blades or other signs of tampering?
Don’t get me wrong. Two of my dearest friends are Halloween fanatics and I love visiting their homes, where every room is decorated with pumpkins, ghosts are hung in every hallway and skeleton lights are strung over their front doors. It’s not that I don’t want my tribe (or you) to celebrate Halloween. It’s just not my holiday. So, the trick is to wait patiently for November 1 when I can celebrate the Day of the Dead (or All Saints Day).
Wishing you all a Happy Halloween. You’ll have no trouble recognizing me. I’ll be in my customary jeans and black t-shirt handing out candy to children I’ve never met.