I’m not sure why I used to love Halloween so much.
I used to enjoy the free candy when I was a little guy – and I guess it was fun to be able to put on costumes and go out at night.
Of course, when I was a kid – our parents would just send us out and we could go door to door by ourselves. We also reached the age where we put m-80s in people’s pumpkins and carried squirt guns filled with lighter fluid…
Explosives and arson – yeah, it was a juvenile delinquent night and thankfully nobody ever blew off their hands or burned down someone’s house. How in the world were 12-year-old kids getting quarter sticks of dynamite to blow up people’s jack-o-lanterns? I don’t even remember but that was the 1970s and 80s so parents weren’t really paying attention – the me generation was still focused firmly on themselves which left us free to run riot and have absolutely crazy childhoods whether it was Halloween or not…
In my 20s Halloween became a great holiday to put on a mask and get fucked up drunk – dancing, drinking, sometimes fighting, and if things went right hooking up with some random costumed girl – all of that stuff lost most of its appeal somewhere in my 30s.
Now in my 40s – it’s fun to carve jack-o-lanterns with my 3-year-old daughter. It’s fun to see her putting on a costume. It’s fun to introduce her to trick-or-treating and see her excitement.
Other than that – I’m not much of one for horror stories or slasher flicks or monsters that fall outside of the Dungeons and Dragons realm – though I do confess a weakness for zombie flicks and the Walking Dead on AMC –
The last adult Halloween before my daughter came along was back in Hawaii in 2007 when around 12 of us dressed as different kinds of Gandolf – we had Rasta Gandolf, homeless Gandolf, etc…that was sort of fun in concept – and then there was the drinking and dancing – fun, but already starting to feel not very fun – like going to bars and clubs –
This year, I was more disturbed by the serial killer macabre in the advertising and decorations of my fellow Americans than feeling festive about it – or maybe it’s that the whole world has become a sort of continuous horror movie combined with hard core year-round holiday marketing that is not only exhausting but unhealthy, expensive, and at the end of the day (or night) not very fun.