Halloween, I’ve decided, should be an adult-only holiday. As a parent, Halloween is just a giant pain in the ass. Kids stuffed into costumes that are itchy or tight or too hot or too cold, driving to a subdivision and then walking for miles in the freezing cold to get candy that I’m either going to sneakily eat myself or throw away because it’s “bad.”
And I didn’t have it any better as a kid.
In this picture, I had just cried out, “Don’t hurt him, Pop!” But I was talking about the pumpkin, not my little brother who is clearly about to lose a hand.
And here’s me as the saddest black cat you’ve ever seen:
Or maybe I was supposed to be a pumpkin. I’m not really sure what the hell that was.
Then there was the year of the butterfly. As far as I know, no pictures exist of The Butterfly Costume.
That year my mom bought a yard of the most beautiful, shiny fabric for my wings. Then, instead of making me wings, she draped the fabric over my shoulders and sent me on my way. I was a kid in black tights wrapped in a yard of satin, more cocoon than butterfly.
I believe that same year my brother wore, taped to his chest, a piece of yellow paper from a legal pad with an ‘S’ drawn on it.
Then you’ve got pumpkin carving. I always start out with such high hopes. Then I spend an hour pulling gooey strings out of 5 pumpkins and I remember that I hate pumpkin carving. This year my oldest kids didn’t even participate and my youngest spent most of the time crying because we wouldn’t let her use a knife.
Next you try to actually carve the damn things and realize that pumpkins were not meant to be carved. They are hard and dangerous and I don’t even know why this is a thing. When you’re finally done, your pumpkin ends up looking like the jackass no one wants to hang out with and the other pumpkins are giving him the side eye.
Before kids, I used to leave haunted houses laughing and shrieking as the chainsaw-wielding clown chased us out. The last haunted house I went to, I had a kid wrapped all the way around me and I was literally yelling at the actors to “LEAVE US ALONE! WE ARE DONE HERE!” I almost got into a fight.
This week at school my daughter gets to dress up EVERY DAY. The school wants me dead, I just know it. She’s already been to one Fall Festival and has two more left. The boys have parties to attend. And of course Friday we will load up and go trick or treating.
If Halloween were just for adults, I would have exactly one event to attend. I would only worry about my husband’s costume and whether or not it was offensive. I would drink beer by a large fire and not eat any candy. I wouldn’t knock on a single door or attend any Fall Festivals.
I wouldn’t hear my children laugh as they dunk for apples. I wouldn’t take a picture of my daughter smiling proudly by three half-assed jack o’lanterns. I wouldn’t pick my oldest up from a party and listen to him laugh about all the fun he’d had. I wouldn’t hear a sweet little voice say, “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank You!” at every house. I wouldn’t watch them dump their candy bags in the floor for inspection and theft. *sigh*
At least there’ll be candy.
Are you dressing up this year? What was the worst Halloween costume you ever wore?