Nemo Killed Halloween

Alright, this is perhaps going to be a controversial opinion, and it may make me a pariah among American expats but I have to get this off my chest…

“Hi, my name is Heather and I give exactly zero fucks about missing Halloween.”

There. I said it.

Honestly, I’ve never been all that crazy about Halloween. When I was a kid of course I enjoyed trick-or-treating and feasting on all that candy, but that was about it. In college, I reluctantly dressed up and went to parties but I was never really that into it. If it wasn’t a costume I could fashion out of stuff I already had, it wasn’t happening. I was endlessly impressed by some friends and their commitment levels to crazily elaborate costumes (for ex: recreating the entire cast of Anchorman, which was fantastic), but digging through the local Goodwill was never my thing.

Nor was I into buying one of those pre-made costumes that come in a bag and usually (if you’re a lady), should include the word “slutty” right in the description. I think this aversion to cheaply-made costumes comes from my parents, who were always very adamant that we didn’t need them. That meant being slightly jealous of my friends who had shiny new costumes every year, while I wore my two costumes from dance classes until I was far too big for them, or something that came out of our “dress-up” box.

The last time I wore a costume was to work back in 2007. The museum I worked at was having an eventย  for the holiday so I dressed as Tonks from the Harry Potter series mostly because the only thing I had to buy was the spray-on hair color.

tonks costume1Yes, my costume consisted of: my winter coat (very practical, as I had to be outside a lot for the event),ย  one of my sister’s emo kid hoodies, a cat toy stick as a wand, a stuffed owl, and purple spray that 1) barely colored my hair and 2) made it impossible to brush. Fun!

The weekend after this photo was taken, some friends of mine were coming to Milwaukee to go out for a few nights. I remember that we briefly discussed if we should dress up in costumes, but I figured, “hey, we aren’t in college anymore, who’s going to be dressed up in Halloween costumes in downtown Milwaukee?”

The answer? Everyone. We were literally the only four people not in costume and it was on that night that Halloween officially died for me.

We were out in a bar that was stuffed to bursting, including an entire horde of guys dressed as Roman soldiers. You couldn’t order a drink without being whacked by a shield, or having your foot stepped on by some chick in stripper heels, but that wasn’t the worst of them… that honor went to Slutty Nemo.

Yes, Slutty Nemo. How can Nemo be slutty, you might ask?

Answer: black tank top, black underwear, black fishnet tights, black heels, and a stuffed Nemo hat.

That was the last straw, as far as I was concerned.

Now that I live here, I quite enjoy not having to bother with Halloween. Of course, every year there is a round of parties, events, blah blah blah, to cater to the expat community, but I have zero interest in anything that involves a costume or a cover charge. The last two years, BV and I have bought one bag of candy for any possible trick-or-treaters, but there were none to be seen and we then feasted on tiny Snickers bars.

Call me a party pooper if you will, but judging from my FB newsfeed, Halloween is basically a month-long event now in the States. That is absurdly long. Most of my friends have kids now, and most of those kids seem to have been in costume 95% of the month. There are school parties, family events, and trick-or-treating on multiple days in multiple neighborhoods. This is especially perplexing as it seems that most of those kids don’t even get to eat all that candy. So what is the point?? And if they aren’t in a costume, then they’re in festive orange pumpkin sweatshirts to sit in the pumpkin patch for FB photoshoots. (Because if it doesn’t go on FB, what’s the point?)

And while some expats here are bemoaning the fact that the Germans haven’t wholeheartedly adopted the festivity of the season, I’m enjoying their steadfast refusal to care about Halloween. Besides, Carnival starts next month, so they’ll have their chance to put their costumes on then. So there.

I enjoy fall, I do. I like the colors, I like eating squash in various forms, I like getting out my scarves and boots, but Halloween? Meh.

So… anyone else not care about Halloween? Or do you want to pelt me with fun-sized candies? Leave it in the comments…


22 thoughts on “Nemo Killed Halloween

  1. I’m with you. I don’t like the idea of children going to strangers houses and asking for candy. Don’t we tell them “Don’t accept candy from strangers” all the other 364 days of the year? And I’m such a humbug I don’t like being repeatedly interrupted in the evening by the doorbell. In my Wisconsin town (where trick-or-treating always had to be on a Sunday during daylight hours because of the Halloween murder of a young girl in 1973) I swear more people decorate for Halloween than for Christmas. It’s weird. So I will definitely not pelt you with fun-size candies. Unless you ring my doorbell.

    • It does seem very contrary to the whole “stranger-danger” that’s drilled into the kids all those other days. So odd to think about. If I remember correctly, it was almost always during the day in our town as well, but luckily no one had to be murdered for that rule to go into effect (at least, that I know of.) A student told me the other night that they go trick-or-treating with their kids near here in Zirndorf, but only to the American houses. I asked, “how do you know where the Americans live?” The decorations. Graves and bats and goblins oh my!

  2. Half the reason I try to find plans on halloween is so that I don’t have to continually open my door to random children. I still enjoy halloween, but I don’t like the candy giveaway and I don’t like being in hordes of drunken people.

  3. I’m with you… the Halloween virus is slowly infesting Spain, and it’s controversial here… am talking staunch for and against camps.

    Gosh, the last thing the Spanish need is YET ANOTHER HOLIDAY! Seriously. However, if I’m forced to see the positive side, at least it’s one that doesn’t involve virgins or dragging church furniture through the streets.

    • Yes! Support from Spain! Buuuuuut, would you allow them to have the holiday if it didn’t involve the day off? Pretty sure no one in the States gets the 31st off as a rule, but I daresay a fair few plan (or don’t plan) to call in sick on the 1st… Shit happens. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Brb, gotta go prep my pew for Saturday evening…

  4. I was never allowed to go trick or treating as a kid because my mum said was begging.
    I do like dressing up, but prefer to do it cheaply if I can. And not necessarily on Halloween – I’ll wear a costume any day given half a chance ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I like your mom’s style. And most days people should be happy if I’m wearing actual clothing in public… at home it’s all pjs all the time! Oh, and one year for Halloween I had no time/energy to plan a costume for a friend’s party, so I wore my pjs, carried a pillow, and went as “tired.” It was pretty spot-on.

  5. Norwegians are catching on to Halloween so I was invited to two different parties this year. I pretended my flight back from Brazil didn’t land until late Saturday so I wouldn’t have to go to either of them. I was literally just telling T about how I had never liked it and felt like the dread leading up to Halloween always ruined late October for me. Stay strong!

  6. Girl, I’m with you on this. I have never been obsessed with Halloween, it’s always just been “meh” to me. And I’ve never understood why all women’s costumes are usually slutty/sexy versions of something; I’d rather put together my own, non-slutty, costume. Now that we have 2 small children, however, it’s a bit more exciting to see their joy. We will be moving back to Bavaria in the next 6 months(ish?), my husband will be working as a civilian over there. Luckily, we will be living close enough to a military base that we can take the kids trick or treating there if we wanted to. It’s nice to have the option.

    • Thanks for the comment Bailey! I totally get that with kids it’s a whole different ball game… then I can see the appeal of Halloween. But for us childless adults, I just don’t get it. Good to know that you’ll have the option of either celebrating or not, that’s definitely an advantage of living near a bunch of other Amis over here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for reading!

  7. Pingback: And Just Like That, We Were Married | Heather Goes to Deutschland

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