Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween, Like It or Not

Well, it's Halloween, a day I loathed and dreaded as a child. This is weird because many people will tell you that I have spent my life in a fantasy world and I'm pretty darned theatrical to boot. But all that dressing up on Halloween never appealed to me.


Well, you get to put on the costume, but you don't really get to live the part. You don't get to spend days or weeks or months as a pirate or vampire or Hermione Granger. Just that one night. So there just wasn't sufficient time to really enjoy the charade.

Second, and this is undoubtedly the most crucial reason, when I was a kid, we all had to wear those cheesy plastic costumes from K-Mart or the local drugstore. I had wild curly hair (still do) - which always got horribly tangled in the elastic band. This meant my mom had to cut the band later to get it off, which usually meant getting a chunk of my hair cut out too. As if that weren' bad enough, they had those stiff masks with the elastic band to hold it on to your face. Those eyeholes on the mask never lined up right so I was always tripping over my Cinderella gown. Plus the plastic was so non-breathable, it made my face sweat. I felt like Richard Nixon in those Kennedy-Nixon debates when I wore one of those masks.

Last of all, I was a very serious and (in my mind, anyway) a very dignified child. I was way above having to go up to strangers and beg for candy from them. Plus I didn't have much of a sweet tooth. And I was almost as neurotic as my son is now, so I was convinced the candy had been spiked with razor blades or LSD. Maybe both. My mother, saintly woman, didn't really try too hard to disabuse me of this notion. I think that was because she wanted my candy. In fact, I probably would've gotten to stop trick or treating even sooner than I did, except that she had such a sweet tooth. I wonder how many kids will be forced to dress up this weekend in order to satisfy some parental craving for Hershey's Kisses? Maybe Congress could investigate and see whether this violates child labor laws.

Anyway, I'm glad I don't have to dress up anymore, and even gladder (???) that my son isn't interested in trick or treating, now that he's 13. He is, however, very theatrical, so he'll be donning not one, but two costumes this weekend. His friends want him to come to a party as Harry Potter, but he's just so over Harry this year. He wants to be Michael Jackson. Which if you think about it, is way more appropriate to the traditional Scare-tastic approach to Halloween. He's supposed to be Michael for the first half of the evening, and Harry later on. Although he is threatening to combine the two costumes and become Michael Potter, an orphaned wizard who moonwalks and wears one white glove and has a predilection for plastic surgery. Now that's scary.

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