Don’t worry, this is not a rant about the plague of tarty costumes out there (although I’d like to throw Sexy Tapeworm and Sexy Rototiller into the list of options). It’s not a culinary review of trends in candy, or a cautionary tale about finding razor blades in apples.
This is an ode to Halloween, my very favourite holiday. It has the communal feel of Thanksgiving, the pageantry of Christmas, and the sugar highs of Easter. It’s easy-going and fun, just one evening of merriment and chocolate. All good things, but that’s not why I like it.
I think that on Halloween, we are at our most honest. Okay, that sounds a little weird, seeing as we run around in masks and capes, striving to look like anything but ourselves. Nonetheless, you can tell a lot about a person from their choice of theatrical garb. On Halloween, more than any other day, we dress to tell the world who we really are, or at least who we’d like to be. Over the course of my childhood, I temporarily disguised myself as a rabbit, a gypsy, a punk, a ghoul…all welcome changes from the shy, nervous little critter I was most days. When I got older, I was a glittering, winged fairy, cupid, a Star Trek officer, a cave woman, Queen of the Ocean, and Cleopatra. I think I may have once been half of Milli Vanilli, but we won’t speak of that. On each occasion, I was powerful, mystical, and unique, everything that I knew I could be the rest of the year, if only figuratively. I’m far too big to beg for candy now, but I still dress up, hoping to manifest some wonderful, but forgotten part of myself.
As for all the decorations, the spooky soundtracks, the ghost stories, the horror movies, that’s part of the honesty of Halloween too. Human beings, despite all of our good points, are just a little creepy. Most of us wear our weirdness in an innocent way. Call us amusingly quirky or eccentric. For most of the year, we strive to be “normal”, but at Halloween, we embrace our weirdness and praise others for embracing their own. For one night, we accept and celebrate that our species is far from perfect, and we dress accordingly. For me, this is what the fuss is all about.
The fun-size candy bars don’t hurt either.
Happy Halloween, everyone!