Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo humbug

Here's a confession - I'm not the biggest fan of Halloween. I think it's a great holiday for kids, but now that I'm an adult, I don't feel the need to dress up and go crazy.

As a kid, I loved wearing a costume and wandering our neighborhood, with dad in tow, after dark and after bedtime. It was a huge treat to be out late, and I always had so much fun. But I outgrew the whole thing at about 12. Now, the thought of having to come up with and construct a costume makes me tired. And buying one is out of the question. I took Lily to one of the Halloween superstores last week to buy her a new princess dress, which she now refuses to wear, and I was appalled at the "adult" costumes available. My options were slutty nurse, slutty nun, slutty cheerleader, slutty waitress, slutty witch, and slutty vampiress.

But I have adult friends who go all out for the day, and I just don't get it. This morning I dropped by my old office, where I worked pre-Lily, to see their Halloween doings. My former boss, who is without a doubt the most brilliant person I've ever met, is the ringleader for the celebration. Each year, with ETB at the helm, they transform the whole division. One year it was a laboratory of horrors, another it was pirate themed. This year it is "E-T-B Here, everything's worse." Readers who live in Texas will recognize this as a play on our biggest grocery chain H-E-B, whose motto is "Here, everything's better." And ETB are the director's initials. All the staff were dressed up as ghoulish grocery clerks. The common area was filled with rotting produce and disgusting bottled water. They started decorating Monday evening. To their credit, they turned the whole thing into a food drive for the Capital Area Foodbank. All the food decorating the department will be donated to the Foodbank when the decorations come down, and there's a whole lot of food there. I was amazed at how much they rounded up.

I worked in that division for almost five years, and I never really participated in the looniness, other than bringing in baked goods for the party. I didn't dress up or hang cobwebs. I was the stick in the mud of the division. Co-workers just didn't understand how I could be so unaffected by the Halloween spirit.

These days, my observance of the holiday is limited to enjoying my daughters' excitement over the day. Ella and Lily have been counting down the days on their calendar. I got them to go to sleep last night by telling them that any girl who wasn't quiet in bed wouldn't get to go trick or treating. It worked like a charm.

Tonight we're hosting an early pot-luck dinner with a bunch of neighbors, and then the kids will trick or treat on the block. I'll take lots of pictures and oh and ah over the costumes, but I'll be glad when it's all over tomorrow.


Family Adventure said...

I know what you mean!! I am absolutely fine with the kids going all out, but the adults -- to me it seems too forced and awkward. Some people are naturals, and they *are* funny, but most us, nah!

I just hand out the candy and oooh and aaah. I am fine with that role :)


Suburban Correspondent said...

I wonder if it is mostly adults without kids who go all out. We're already enjoying "kid stuff" daily, so it's not so novel for us.

Myself, I love Halloween, but as a kids' holiday only, and for one day only. Trick-or-treating as a kid is just so much fun!