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 event 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.
Yes, my costume consisted of: my winter coat (very practical, as I had to be outside a lot for the event), 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…