Much like a pumpkin that has been left out on a porch to freeze, Halloween refuses to be ignored.
Let me clear up any confusion you might have. This is not a holiday I’m thrilled about experiencing.
The fact that you’re reading a Halloween column a good week and a half before the candy corn apocalypse hits is just further proof I want to hurry up and get it over with. If only October was as efficient as February and ended three days earlier, so I could just skip the entire debacle.
At least Thanksgiving has delicious food and families that pretend to get along for a meal. Christmas follows a similar formula, only with more gifts and a fat home invader who demands baked goods in return for trespassing. Even St. Patrick’s Day, the only other holiday that demands specific attire, compensates participants by providing green beer and fake gold.
Halloween, however, represents everything wrong with holidays in my book. Instead of gathering family, friends and familiar faces around a table, Halloween takes all the people you like most and renders them completely unrecognizable. As someone who struggles remembering names to begin with — I call all of my instructors “Professor,” less out of respect and more out of a lack of name recognition — having to guess which of my friends decided to cut two holes in a bed sheet is nothing short of a chore.
Maybe I’m the crazy one here, but of the three major holidays in the month of October — Columbus Day, Halloween and the underappreciated International Sloth Day — I just don’t happen to be partial to the one that involves hours of doorbell ringing.
On that note, if I were to roam from door-to-door demanding high fructose corn syrup in costume on any other day of the year I would be arrested and forced to undergo psychological evaluation. I see no reason an arbitrary calendar date should suddenly reverse all the social norms I’ve been trying to keep track of.
Besides, as much as I enjoy scary movies and a properly haunted attic, setting aside a specific day for fear just eliminates the element of surprise. To be honest, most aspects of Halloween aren’t really that scary anyway.
Vampires are overplayed, haunted houses are generally run by bored teenagers and skulls are only mildly frightening until you remember they basically function as an Otterbox for your brain.
Part of my problem with this holiday is that I’m just not great at participating in it. I’ve “dressed” as a hobo for the last three years — not out of some sick desire to mock the homeless, but because I generally forget to buy a costume in time or shave on a regular basis.
Even on the years I make a genuine effort to prepare for the “Day of Diabetes” I still end up shorthanded. My closet is filled with half-finished costumes I started building before I got sidetracked by Netflix or something equally shiny. In fact, I think the most effort I’ve put into a costume in recent memory was when I slapped the letter “F” on a thrift store sweater and claimed to be Fred Weasley.
Don’t even get me started on pumpkin carving either. Imagine going to a poverty stricken region and dismembering a food source, throwing away all the edible parts and then proudly displaying your scary food carcass for all to see. The entire practice is just completely bizarre when you actually think about it. If I went out and carved a scary face into a rotisserie chicken and left it outside to rot, I’d be considered weird and possibly insane — but the second I use a giant orange vegetable it suddenly becomes acceptable.
So enjoy tromping from door to door, begging for fun-size Snickers while looking like all your fashion advice comes from Macklemore. Enjoy creating an expensive costume you’ll only use once, only to find six others just like it at any given party.
I, however, will be disconnecting my doorbell, placing a bowl of tiny Tootsie Rolls on my porch to ward off the trick-or-treaters, and kicking off a pumpkin pie-fueled “Parks and Recreation” marathon. Maybe if things get really wild, I’ll make spooky ghost noises to scare the people upstairs.
Because no Halloween is complete without a bored college student haunting the vents of the apartment building.