My best memories of Halloween were when I was about 6 years old. I lived in a small village, with lots of other kids around, and we would form a huge gang that went trick-or-treating together, basically making the rounds around all of our houses, where our parents stayed in to make sure there was someone to hand out the candy we had been eyeballing in the kitchen cabinet for weeks.
And then, there were our costumes. Because – feel free to disagree with me here, if you dare – costumes are only truly GREAT and FUN and AWESOME when you’re a kid. You can dress up as whatever you want and nobody is going to say: “what are you supposed to be?”. As kids, you just don’t even care. You can be all of the power rangers, or a wizard, or a pumpkin (where you’re actually shaped like a pumpkin), or, heck a teletubby! And you actually enjoy the process of finding old clothes to mutilate, or lathering obnoxious amounts of white and red paint on your face. Those were the days…
Then you hit your teen years and there are versions of costumes, except toned down because it’s no longer cool to wear onesies and mom’s old dresses just for fun. You resort to a wig, pom poms, or maybe some fake fangs and blood, and you’ve “dressed up”. You’re too old now to go trick-or-treating, despite the fact that you secretly think this is the only fun thing about Halloween to begin with. So instead you’re forced to sit through some dumb scary movie with your friends screaming in the background (can you tell I am not a fan of horror films? Shocking, I know.)
And then comes university, when the themed parties are supposed to be amazing, and Halloween the best of them all. But now you only have two choices for costumes: a) the slutty version of whatever you once dressed up as as a kid, or b) the funny/smart/ironic/genius/play-on-words-and-ideas costume that usually involves painting some cardboard and gets everyone at the party raising their glass to you yelling “genius costume dude!”
So that brings me, ta-da, to adult-hood, when all of a sudden you realize that it’s Halloween and you haven’t actually been looking forward to it at all and you’re dreading the thought of dressing up because it is actually an effort now and you’re going to look dumb anyway, so why even bother right? Unless you have an awesome group of friends who are willing to join you in a group theme costume, the lame cat ears just seem, well, pretty lame. How did we grow up so fast? How did the excitement I see in kids’ eyes disappear?
Maybe I am feeling nostalgic for the days when a smaller town and a tight-knit group made Halloween some of my best childhood memories… But even in a city with so much to going on, Halloween will never be as good for me as it was when I was 6. Do you agree? Feel free to dismantle my cynical banter. Please do.