I Hate Hallowe’en

12 Oct

I have a confession to make. It’s not a super-secret-feelings confession, or a oh-my-god-politics-feminism-whatever confession, or anything cool like that. It’s this: I hate Hallowe’en.

Everyone I know loves Hallowe’en. They start planning their costumes weeks, even months in advance. They have parties and events lined up for October 31st, and often begin celebrating several days before. They glory in the chance to be someone else, to go out and see friends, to gorge on candy, and above all to have fun.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m sitting alone, uncostumed and super jealous.

I can’t remember the last time I had fun on Hallowe’en. Maybe it was sometime in university? Maybe high school? Maybe kindergarten? Who can say, really. I haven’t even bothered dressing up for the last few years. When someone starts to tell me about their awesome costume ideas, I just glower at them. When they tell me about all the fun parties they’ll be attending, I pointedly say that I have plans to stay home and do my nails. I am the Hallowe’en equivalent of a grinch, whatever that might be.

Part of the problem is that I’m not sure how to do Hallowe’en as an adult. I guess I’m just not sure what the point of the holiday is? I mean, yeah, you get the chance to be someone you’re not, which sounds great, in theory, but never seems to work well for me in practice. My costumes always end up being half-assed, uncomfortable and too obscure, so that I spend the whole day adjusting my hair/dress/tights/whatever and explaining over and over who or what I’m supposed to be. Parties always end up being too big and filled with people I barely know or don’t know at all, which is kind of a social nightmare for me.

On top of all that, I have some kind of Hallowe’en curse that means that something shitty always happens on Hallowe’en. The most memorable one was the year my ex-boyfriend kissed me on the dance floor at a bar and, when I asked for an explanation, promptly fled. Being the rational person I am, I followed him. This resulted in me running around Halifax’s North End at midnight dressed as Jackie O., yelling that he would have to talk to me eventually so he might as well just turn around and get it over with.

I hate Hallowe’en.

This year, Matt and I have been talking about doing costumes again, but really, what’s the point? We’re not doing anything on the 31st other than taking Theo out trick-or-treating and then stealing all his candy afterwards. Matt will dress up for work because they have some kind of contest, but I will probably just bundle my grinchy self up in a giant sweater and when people ask me who I’m supposed to be, I’ll yell that I’m dressed as an exhausted yoga teacher/mother/writer who can’t get her shit together.

All joking aside, I feel like this is something that I can (and should) overcome, possibly with copious amounts of booze and candy corn. I’m hopeful that having a kid will remind me of why I used to love Hallowe’en so much – I really want to start enjoying it again, I swear. I want to be out there having just as much fun as the rest of you, but I think I need help.

For those of you who love Hallowe’en (so, basically all of you) – what do you get out of it? Why do you dress up? Any tips on how to stop being such a killjoy and start getting into the spirit of things? Most importantly: what the hell should I dress up as?

Dressed up as Frida Kahlo in 2006, which is the last time I bothered thinking up a Hallowe’en costume

7 Responses to “I Hate Hallowe’en”

  1. annie October 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    i don’t have much to say in the way of advice, because i feel similarly dispassionate (occasionally even resentful) about halloween, in the face of everyone else’s enthusiasm. however: that photo of you as frida kahlo rocks; you may hate the holiday, but that costume is nothing but a resounding success.

  2. Sarah D. October 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Enh – for me it’s just silly fun, especially with kids now. But you know what isn’t fun? Forcing it. We’re all allowed to not like stuff it seems like the whole rest of the world does. I HATE roller coasters with the heat of a thousand fiery suns – every few years I’ll get cajoled on to one, just to confirm it. I feel like a killjoy, a coward … but no, I just truly honestly don’t like ’em. And at 30 you know what? I’m allowed to not like it. If you WANT to like it, find a way in that works for you – scary stories or movies you might enjoy? Piles of sugar from Theos candies? But if it doesn’t do it, it’s not some personal deficiency. It’s OK. 🙂

    • eden October 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm #


      I also hate bowling.

  3. greenstockings October 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    If you want obscure, I once went to a Halloween party as Allen Ginsberg’s America (yes, I did dress up as a poem. Yes, I was in university. No, not even the English majors got it).

    I think my major source of Halloween enjoyment is the kids factor – my friends and I started actively handing out candy at about age 14, and we did it as a group, and so we had an experience of awesome Halloween fun that wasn’t about getting shitfaced, and also wasn’t about trick or treating – it was about putting on a costume for its own sake (which we made ourselves, since the crafting of the costumes was definitely part of the fun).

    We now have gotten to go trick or treating with my step son, and the past 2 years, since he’s been with his mum since Halloween’s been on a week day, my hubby and I have handed out candy at my parents’ place (they have the PERFECT Halloween yard). Next year we’ll have a wee one to parade around in a silly costume…

    I’ve never bothered with adult costume parties, with a small number of exceptions, but I’m curious, you say that Halloween parties are always full of people you don’t know… do the friends you know well enough to enjoy partying with not do Halloween? are basically all parties uncomfortable for you in the same way? If that’s the case, I can definitely understand about being apprehensive about Halloween as an adult, since it basically seems to be all about going to drinking-intense parties.

    Do things like the Rocky Horror Picture Show or other non-party Halloween things appeal to you?

  4. Meaghan October 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    I flat out love halloween. Actually, I’m giddy over it but I imagine the reason is Because my cousin & I always made a big deal of it. Dressed up, walked the neighborhood, watched the movies, were silly girls. As an adult, well any excuse to dress up even in a cow girl outfit is enough for me. I love to be silly.
    As for you, you probably harbor icky halloween vibes by now and just need to enjoy it through Theo’s eyes and that will change. I may be wrong but that’s my theory.
    Also, my worst Halloween was dressing as mother earth and having no one get it. Efff off 😦

  5. empressnasigoreng October 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Come to Australia. We don’t really celebrate Halloween – although it has caught on a bit in recent years (just with kids). Not really the same atmosphere though, ie, already daylight savings by late October. I hate when things turn into “compulsory fun”.

  6. no shrinking viola October 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    We were in a Halloween rut for a while, but now we have friends over, and while the guys take the kids out trick-or-treating, the women-folk sit on the porch and drink wine. Once things slow down a bit we do a walk-about with our wine glasses and visit all the neighbours. A couple of years ago, we got 3 refills and came home with wine coolers stuffed in our pockets.

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