I hate Halloween. I need to get over it and learn to enjoy the holiday, but I don’t think I’ve been able to overcome the traumatic experience as a child that makes me despise the day. I’m so excited this year that I won’t be working on Halloween and don’t have any reason to fret about dressing up.
I don’t remember how old I was; probably nine or ten. Halloween always seemed to sneak up on me and catch me unprepared. I would certainly dream about an extravagant costume in early October, and then forget about it. By the time October 31st rolled around I always had to settle by picking out a costume from the recycled costume box my mom kept downstairs. Most of them were plastic blow-up extra-terrestrial Martian heads that were worn with a little face paint. Inevitably, if you wore it, you would be answering the most disappointing question for the rest of the night. “Oh how cute. What are you?”
For some reason that particular Halloween I was exceptionally distraught. My younger sisters and brother were all getting ready to go trick-or-treating. There was certainly excitement in the air as the pillowcases were emptied of their usual content and bets were being made on who could collect the most lucre. I still had no idea what I wanted to be. It was stressful. Mom would just encourage me by saying, “Go downstairs and pick out a costume from the Halloween box...and hurry. We are leaving in a half-hour.”
I looked through the box thee times. It was similar to when I open the refrigerator and hope that something looks more appealing than from the last time I opened it five minutes earlier. The martin heads lay there deflated. There was no way I was going to wear that again this year. I finally gave up and went to my room to lie on my bed. I defiantly decided I wasn’t going this year. My mom came in the room. “We are leaving.”
“I’m not going.” I cried. I then fell asleep in my tears.
You would think that I would be able to get over it. I’m convinced the experience makes me cringe every time Halloween approaches. Every year I prepare myself to make it a better experience, but history seems to repeat itself. I dream of extravagant costumes in early October, get busy, and before I know it the day has snuck up on me. This year is no different. I usually am driving around the night before Halloween looking at costume shops that have already been pilfered and cleansed of anything worth buying. So I’m left looking at the proverbial blow-up Martian head as my option.So this year I’m just not going to worry about it. I’m going to forgo any Halloween parties that require a costume, curl-up by the fireplace, read a book, and give out candy to little kids. And you will never hear me say the phrase that will traumatize a child for life. “Oh how cute. What are you?”