Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Musings

Let's take a look at a topic that I thought was safe on all levels, a topic that I always found to be fun and amusing in every regard:  Halloween.  From cute costumes for little ones, to copious amounts of candy, to stories from past trick-or-treating years, I've always been able to find a water cooler conversation starter amongst the Halloween topic.

Up until this year.

Apparently, every crotchety man and woman came out of the woodwork to voice their hatred for all things pleasant and harmless on October 31, 2013.  I have three points to prove this case.

(Point A.)  I have an incredibly long commute to and from work and, since I'm sick of updating my iTunes and iPhone whenever someone at Apple sneezes a crappy idea out, I've been forced to listen to an unhealthy amount of radio.  (Side note:  there was a very dark period of my life quite recently where I was sure I was going to go on a kitten punching spree if I had to listen to "Blurred Lines" or anything by Taylor Swift one more time.)  Throughout the course of the past two weeks, many DJ's have thrown out into the air waves "Call in and tell us the worst Halloween candy to get in your bag!"  I can't even begin to tell you how many people would call in and say "Honestly, I just don't get Halloween anymore.  It's a dated, pointless holiday that we really have no business celebrating.  I mean, isn't it a pagan holiday?"

Clearly, people take this crap too seriously.  Kids are cute.  Kids want candy.  Kids use their cuteness to get candy.  They're not out burning idols and sacrificing sheep to who-knows-what while they're dressed up like Dora the Explorer or Indiana Jones.  Chill out and eat a Kit-Kat.

(Point B.)  There's a news story that I think just about everyone under the sun has heard within a 100 mile radius of my home.  Apparently, some creature from the depths of Hell (or some woman, however you prefer to think of her) decided which kids were worthy of candy and which ones weren't based on their body type.  The kids that were healthy in her eyes (skinny kids, even though kids can be skinny and 100% unhealthy) got Skittles and other delicious nom-noms, while kids that were unhealthy (obese kids) got a letter saying that they should watch their eating habits and they shouldn't be celebrating Halloween.

Ok.  Really?

Let me lay out four persuasive arguments in as short of terms possible that may convince my readers to go out and buy a dozen of the nastiest eggs they can find and pummel her house:  (1) She has successfully traumatized a group of children who may have health or family problems that are none of her business, (2) She perpetuated the stereotype that skinny equates healthiness, (3) She took time out of her day(s) to plot out being a royal you-know-what, and (4) She just plain sucks.

(Point C.)  I was able to shake off all of the Grinches that Stole Halloween and enjoy the evening by dressing up my baby girl as a chicken and passing out candy to little ones.  Towards the tail end of the evening, we had a family come to our door - a mom and three of her kids.  Her youngest was the only one dressed up, but all of the children had a bag and expected sweets.  Oh well.  I don't want to be that person that denies kids candy because they don't have a costume (but please don't spread that around the internet - I really like seeing the costumes every year, so I need everyone to think I'm high-maintenance).  So I gave candy to each munchkin, but then the mom opened up a bag and gruffily said "Hey.  Can I have some, too?"

I was so taken aback that I plopped a Snickers bar into her bag before I knew what was going on.  But as she was walking away, I truly had half a mind to say "Wait.  Come back and give me that Snickers, you filthy human being!"

You're an adult.  Go ahead and dress up any day of the week and then walk on in to Meijers and buy yourself a freakin' candy bar.  Feel free to even say "TRICK OR TREAT!" to the friendly voice behind the U-Scan if it makes you feel more festive.  But for the love of God, don't go trick-or-treating as an adult.  Now you're ruining it for everyone.

This year was the most negative, hostile year I have ever witnessed in regards to Halloween, and I truly have no idea why.  To me, Halloween is one of the few holidays that hasn't become overly complicated.  Costumes and candy - that's it.  I don't have to truck around town to every family member's home within a two-hour radius.  I don't have to clean my house, spend copious amounts of money, or make myself appear Martha Steweart-ish to a whole crowd of people.  The whole holiday is...fun.  Just fun.  Nothing more.  Sometimes, it doesn't have to be deeper than that.  There are so few moments in life where we can keep things simple and clean. 

Please, humanity.  Please don't screw this up. 

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