Thursday, October 31, 2013

5 Reasons I Hate Halloween


Several years ago, when the hubs and I were struggling to have kids, one of my biggest dreams was to someday be able to take my own kids to the pumpkin patch just before Halloween.  I yearned for it so badly that I found it hard to look at other peoples’ pictures of their own kids, smiling from the middle of a huge mound of pumpkins.

I like to keep that memory at the forefront of my mind around this time of each year, when it suddenly strikes me once again how much I actually hate Halloween.  The memory provides a little perspective when I’m suffering through what has become one of my least favorite holidays. 

Oh, I’ve got the kids now, and they’re freaking awesome.  And I still tear up a little bit every year when we visit the pumpkin patch and I get my own pictures of my sweet kids jumping around in fields of pumpkins.  It always occurs to me how long I waited for those moments and how blessed I am to have them.

But the rest of Halloween?  It can suck my phantom balls.

I’m not a complainer, folks.  I am known in my group of friends as the one who can find the silver lining in any situation.  In college, my friends would come to me for validation after they’d done something they felt bad about, and I’d dispense shit like this:  “Oh, you had a one-night stand?  With a nerd?  Well, at least that lessens the possibility of catching an STD since you were probably the first person he’d ever had sex with…and see, you did your good deed for the day for that little guy.  So really, you should feel good about yourself.  Go in peace to love and serve the world, my friend.”

None of my friends were Catholic or even religious, so I could pull lines from Mass out like that and it never failed that they’d look at me in awe.  I probably shouldn’t have exploited that by making up random sins that they’d supposedly committed and then absolving them only after they shared their beer with me, right?

Anyway, this week, as I found myself complaining about Halloween to friends, family members, co-workers, my priest, the cashier at Wal-Mart, and that guy in the gray hoodie that was getting into the car next to me at Panera Bread, I realized that I was…well, I was being a complainer.

This was confirmed when I was bitching, once again, to one of my sweet co-workers, and I stopped and said, “I don’t mean to be all bah-humbuggy about Halloween—"

“—But  you are,” she interrupted.

“Right,” I agreed.

So I decided I might as well grab a little silver lining out of it all with a blog post…that will not make me any money, but will quite certainly make me look like a huge asshole.

Whatevs.

Silver lining, bitches.

And so, I’d like to present to you on this special Thursday-morning post (drum roll, please):

 

5 Reasons I Hate Halloween

by Trashyblog.com

 
1.        Adult costumes

No, I will not dress up with you.  You looked shocked. 

Why won’t I?  Because I’m fcking 36 years old and past my Raggedy Ann prime.  And so are you.

Oh, you’re throwing a party and nobody gets in unless they’re in costume?  Have fun, dickwad.  I’ll be at the bar down the road with the rest of the adults.

Listen, peeps, it’s not like I haven’t tried.  As if I needed any help being unattractive in college, the one time in my adult life that I decided to dress up, I went as Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.  It was a misguided Halloween costume effort by a dorky horseface who’d been raised by her dad.

And it might have been funny, I guess, but the problem was, nobody had told me that in a college town, the most hailed and appreciated costumes were the sluttiest ones.  Hell, some people didn’t even wear costumes…they just glued sparkly pasties to their boobs and called themselves hookers.  (I never figured out if they were legitimate hookers or not…or how well they were paid.  Not that it would have made any difference in my career choice, of course…) 

Needless to say, after about 5 (okay, dammit, 10) people looked right at me and laughed into my blue eyeshadowed-face, cutting me off with an eyeroll and an “Oh, we know” as I tried to explain who I was, I finally got sick of it.

I found a dark corner of the bar, a dedicated waitress who pitied me and served me pitcher after pitcher of beer on the house, and a bucket so I wouldn’t even have to get up to piss.

Never again.

 
2.        Decorations

Holy shit, I didn’t hang up my flannel shirts and start wearing makeup until I graduated college.  People thought I was a lesbian until I was 23 years old.  And now I’m supposed to have somehow found the grace and knowledge to decorate my house for Halloween?

I don’t think so.

Luckily we found some of those handpainted wooden pumpkins and ghosts on stakes for $5 a pop at the local Farmers’ Market.  The hubs and I pound those fckers into the ground, throw an arm over each other’s shoulders as we stand back and look at the yard with its two decorations, then nod our heads in satisfaction before going into the house and grabbing a pumpkin beer.

Fortunately our neighbors go all out, so we’ve decided that if our kids ever start complaining about our lack of decorations, we’ll just tell them to look to the left a little bit.

We may not be parents of the year, but we sure are squeaking by, my peeps.

 
3.        The aforementioned pumpkin patch that truly does make me realize once again how blessed I am, but still…

Oh, dear God, the amount of pumpkin patch visits that are required when you have kids.  Pumpkin patch with our own little family, pumpkin patch with the grandparents, pumpkin patch with the best friends, pumpkin patch with the preschool…

Holy shit, just give me the obligatory pumpkin patch picture for the year, and I’ll be fine.  And you know what?  We don’t even have to pay the admission and enter the pumpkin patch for that.  We can just do a drive-by.

Here, kids, get out for a second, but stand on the other side of the car so that we can see the pumpkins in the background…

The last time we went to the pumpkin patch, we had the added bonus of realizing (about 3 hours later) that my youngest son must be allergic to the airborne stuff that was flying around in the huge corn kernel pit he was jumping in.

But when I said that to my mother-in-law, she responded by glaring at me and saying, “It doesn’t look like a corn allergy.  I’m sure it’s something you’re doing wrong.”

Yes, mother-in-law.  It normally is, isn’t it?

Oh, and let’s not forget what happens as soon as you purchase a larger SUV:  Your boys’ preschool finds out about it.

“Oh, Shay, we need drivers to the pumpkin patch again this year.  You don’t mind, do you?  You’ll only be responsible for 8 children—not including your own.”

Oh, and I get to install all of the carseats into my car all by myself?  And 2-3 of the kids aren’t fully potty trained?

Well, fck me.

 
4.       Kids’ costumes

I spent no less than $40 on my older son’s costumes this year.  Yes, that is plural. I said “costumes.” 

That’s because the child had been asking to be a zombie for no fewer than 6 months, but then one day at Wal-Mart, he jumped the gun and begged me for the Captain America costume.  He swore up and down that that’s who he wanted to be—even after I reminded him that he’d been wanting to be a zombie for months.

So we bought em-effing Captain American and his godforsaken shield.  And then 2 weeks later, at Wal-Mart?  A zombie costume magically appeared where no zombie costume had been before.

Hey, folks.  We’ve all had moments of buyer’s remorse, so who was I to fault my little guy for it when I’d done it plenty of times myself?  Especially when I, as his mother, should have known better in the first place.  So I bought him the zombie costume.

A week later?  He wanted to be Captain America again.  The zombie might scare the old people who are out walking while we’re trick-or-treating.

Holy shit.

And don’t even get me started on my younger son.  I knew he would throw a fit if I tried to put him into a costume—he’s just that type of kid—so I googled “easy costumes for kids” and found something that he’d hardly notice he was wearing:  an apron.  I would pair it with his little plastic pizza set from his little plastic kitchen and call him a pizza parlor owner.  I wasn’t even going to make him wear a mustache.

And even though my child ADORES his little plastic pizza set and his little plastic kitchen…even though I literally have to TEAR HIM AWAY from it all, kicking and screaming when we have to be somewhere on time…when it became a “Halloween costume,” he was.not.having.it.  He ripped off the apron, threw down the pieces of pizza, and shouted, “NO pizza!  NO pizza!”

Then he started in on the art of compromise, something that makes me proud that he’s learned  at the ripe age of two, but also the teensiest bit annoyed because he employs it on a minutely basis with me.  This time, he said, “Pizza shirt.  Pizza shirt” as he pointed toward his room.

He has a t-shirt with a pizza on it, picked up at the local pizza parlor one day while we were eating lunch there.  He wanted to wear that as his pizza man costume.

And you know what?  I can’t say I blame him.  You wanna slap on a goddamned pizza t-shirt and call it a day, buddy?  Good idea.  Let me go find my Wonder Woman t-shirt.

 
5.        Carving pumpkins

It’s not the actual carving of the pumpkins that’s bad.  We kind of love that part, really.  The hubs has sort of made it his thing with the kids, and we’ll all sit on the back deck and help carve, then we’ll stick our fingers in the goop and take silly pictures.

The problem arises when, inevitably, my 5-year-old asks if I will bake the pumpkin seeds.  And, inevitably, I will respond with an excited, “Of course!” because the ones at the store are so fcking delicious and seriously, how hard could they be to duplicate?

And then, every year, my boys and husband will watch in breathless fascination as I pull the pan of baked seeds from the oven.  We’ll all pop them into our mouths at the same time.  And so we’ll all realize at the same moment that, once again, they’re chewy and soggy and gross.  And I’ll look around at my family as I plaster a satisfied look on my face and try to choke the damned seeds back, and they’ll all be shooting me dirty looks.

I swear I can look into my 2-year-old’s eyes and see what he’s thinking:  First the corn, and now this.  You skank.

 
In all seriousness—and after all this—I must admit that Halloween isn’t my favorite,  but dammit if I’m not going to get out there and make the most of it with my adorable Captain America and kid wearing a pizza t-shirt.  I hope you do the same, and I hope to see you back here next Friday!

26 comments:

  1. Totally not a fan either. I hate trying on clothes, why would I enjoy wearing a costume?

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    1. Kate, just wait until you have kids. It gets even worse. :)

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  2. I didn't have Halloween as a kid (no such thing in Asia!), so I LOVE Halloween! I don't, however, love the fact that my 2 y/o had a temper tantrum at my in-laws last night, and that we didn't even get to go trick-or-treating, leaving me with NO candy to devour tonight. HA!

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    1. I have a ton of candy leftover. We have to buy in major bulk because we get tons of trick-or-treaters, which I actually do love. I overestimated, though, and bought WAY too much. It's all chocolate, though, so I'm sure it'll get eaten around here. :)

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  3. Preach! I don't even bother with the pumpkin carving and I'm glad my 3-yr-old doesn't realize it's even possible. The only thing scarier than my 3-yr-old with a knife is her mother. And costume drama. Same deal as your son. Figured Cinderella would be easiest, basically a pretty dress. Didn't want to wear it. Instead pulls out a T-shirt with Cinderella on it, then says, "I want to be a dinosaur." Obviously I could go on but I'll stop. Just, yes, agree.

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    1. "Pulls out a t-shirt with Cinderella on it and says 'I want to be a dinosaur.'" OMG, I'm laughing out loud!!

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  4. Shay - my son had the BEST costume this year. We taped packs of Smarties all over his black sweatpants and he went as Smartypants. Easy, cheap, and I ate the costume when trick or treating was over. It made Halloween much more pleasant!

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  5. HAHAHAHA! I love all the holidays, because I'm annoying like that. I have to admit you made great points and it's really better in my head than in reality...

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    1. I love every other holiday, I promise! And I love fall, so that's one great thing about Halloween, right? So I'm not a total beeyatch about it all. Haha

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  6. ha ah ha, this post was one of my faves! it made my morning or whatever the fuck it is with this daylight savings bullcuss

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    1. Erin, you ALWAYS crack me up, even in your comments! Thanks!

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  7. Yo Skankster. Love love love this, and you. First, yeah. We bought 2 costumes this year too. After realizing that the 4-6 small Superman costume totally made my son's penis a costume in itself because EW to the fabric and it was too small, even though he's FOUR, hubs took him to "exchange" the costume for a bigger size. Came home with the same too-small costume AND a gigantic way too big Spider man one. Ach. I actually love Halloween, but totally get why you don't. I'm not sure I could do it, with more than one kid!! Also our preschool banned us from coming. That may have something to do with the love.
    Also I'm jealous that your Halloween waitress gave you a bucket so you could pee at the table. That's some thoughtful shit, right there...

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    1. KRISTI!! You have me roaring over here. You are hilarious.

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  8. I love Halloween but for different reasons. I did enjoy reading your accounting of why you hate it though. Very entertaining! Visiting from I Don't Like Mondays Link up.

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    1. Morgan, thank you so much for stopping by, and I promise I will return the favor as soon as I can get to my weekly blog-hopping session this week. Some weeks it takes longer than others, but I always get there!

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  9. HA! Don't forget the BUYING of the candy end! I spent $20 on 2 bags of candy, one with 100 pieces of good candy and one with 200 kid kinda candy. And I answered the door a total of 3 times. Next year just the good candy and leave the lights off.....

    I am so happy to have found you. I seriously enjoy your humor!
    Anonymous J

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    1. I'm glad you found me and that you come back to read, Anonymous J! Thank you so much!

      My dad said the same thing after he read this post: "Don't forget how much money you have to spend on the damned candy--and it's so expensive! I had 5 kids and found myself at the grocery store, spending $100 on candy to feed all the neighbors!" Made me laugh oud loud--so true! I think I'll do another "5 Reasons I Hate Halloween" post next year, because as I lived the day this year, I kept coming up with more and more things I hated about it...and isn't that how you're SUPPOSED to live your days? Haha!!

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    2. OMG. The neverendinglistofreasonsihate-(fill in the blank). I remember sorting out my candy and putting all the shitty candy into the bowl for giving out. Get that crap outta here! And oh so yes to "feeding the neighborhood" holy cow. I am old. heh heh heh.

      Anonymous J

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  10. I turn into my grumpy old man at times like this. They never bought me a store-bought costume, we picked from gross, moldy old costume box or made our own, so I tell my kids they have to do the same UNLESS they can find something at the resale shops/Goodwill for under $10. For decades my brother & I were "hobos" because that is what all of our old costumes looked like after our older siblings were finished with them.
    One tip: I learned early that my sister's neighborhood gave out better candy AND that my son could walk with his cousins, meaning I didn't have to go with him, so every year we went to my sisters and at home? I got a big bowl from the Dollar Store, I would put it out (empty) with a note that said "Take ONE Please, happy Halloween" and let the kids think the first one took it all. Which is what would have happened. Most years, I came home to find the bowl missing. Oh well, it was $1.

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    1. Joy, I swear I thought about doing that with an empty bowl!! Haha!

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  11. I love Halloween, but I can totally see your argument. Loved: "I’ll be at the bar down the road with the rest of the adults." And why don't you combine all the pumpkin trips into 1 so family, best friend & preschool all go together - that way the school will have extra drivers. See? Just solved 2 problems w/ 1 solution. Your Welcome.

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    1. I should do that, but everyone lives in different places, so we have to hit all the pumpkin patches in the tri-state area. :)

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  12. Don't you just love it when the kids do the old costume bait and switch to the tune of more than twenty five bucks? Back in THE DAY...when we went to the dime store instead of the dollar store, we got one of those one piece jobs made out of whatever that synthetic material was that tied up the back like a bad hospital gown and was accompanied by the mask that also served as some kind of hot steam facial. Good times.

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  13. I loved loved LOVED Halloween when it was all about me. But dealing with the kids? That's bullshit right there. We went through the switching of costumes, the pumpkin carving (they gave up halfway through), the pumpkin seeds (which were said to be "woodsy"?), and that damn pumpkin patch where the hay made me continuously sneeze, thereby causing me to piss my pants. So yeah, I feel ya.

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  14. I have yet to carve a pumpkin out of my 21 years on earth. Definitely doing it next year, although it looks like a mess.

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