On Halloween

Yesterday was a weird one. I was this roiling mixture of depression, anxiety, awkwardness, fear, hope, annoyance…hell, I’m running out of descriptors. Part of the reason for this was that it was the Friday nearest Halloween, which means celebratory shenanigans at the office. As a rough estimate, I’d say about 30% of people dress in costume. But in the part of the building I’m in, the percentage has to be encroaching 80. It’s annoying and awkward for me, because the exhibitionists and attention-seekers descend on each office one-by-one, seeking oohs and ahhs. And some of them get particularly and vociferously miffed with those of us who don’t participate.


My reader is filled with Halloween-lovers, and I’m glad to see so many of you happily enjoying yourselves. I mean that with no sarcasm or malice. But I just can’t get into it. And I don’t get the fervor (of course, I don’t get the fervor surrounding most fervor-inducing things). I have various reasons for skipping out.

Hypocrisy at the Office: Most of those people are not my friends. Hell, I don’t have any full on friends there, but most of them aren’t anything more than “hello good morning how are you happy Friday” kind of coworkers. We have nothing in common and don’t associate with each other aside from those times we pass in the halls or at the water cooler. So why would I want to party down with them (even at a work version of a party) and pretend we’re best buds simply because it’s a certain day in October? You put on a costume, and you suddenly remember my name? You’re dressed in a cutesy outfit and wanna show off, so I’m supposed to pose with you for office photos and stand around listening to your plans for costume parties and grown-up trick-or-treating? I just heard you talking about me yesterday. You didn’t know that, did you? Fuck you and the broom you flew in on. (Bitter much? Nah………) I’m not one of those people who rains on everyone’s parade. I was smiley and told the ones who really did have badass costumes how awesome they looked. I played along with the two guys who kept trying to scare me all day. That kinda thing is fun. But the aforementioned issues drive me batshit.

Weird Childhood Associations: Growing up, Halloween wasn’t celebrated. I remember dressing and trick-or-treating twice. The first costume involved a giant black garbage bag and my mother’s slippers. The second one was a borrowed uniform. And one year being dragged to a church to bob for apples and watch people dressed as mummies and vampires talking about how evil and devil-worshippy Halloween is. And those religious tracts that showed kids doing nothing more than trick-or-treating, and next thing you know somebody’s giving the devil a blowie. It was fucking weird, even to me as a child. And it left a bad taste in my mouth for Halloween, with or without church involvement. Not only that, but because of little exposure, dressing in costume is so far outside my comfort zone that it will never come close to something I could do. I don’t think. Mostly because of the attention it would garner…fuck that noise.

Lame-Ass Costumes: I will say I do find the history fascinating. And I wish parents let their kids dress as uber scary shit like they’re supposed to. Instead of ten zillion princesses and spidermen roaming the street, hustling people for candy and hating on those that turn their lights out. If I’m lazy for shutting my lights off, you’re lazy for copping out on the costume!

It’s NOT a Law. And if it were, I’d break it like Judas Priest: You know what pisses me off? People calling out those of us who don’t participate. Why should you give a shit? Seriously? There are assloads of options to satisfy your trick-or-treating itch. I don’t begrudge your right to participate in a national pastime. Why do you begrudge my own freedom? I don’t not buy candy because I’m cheap – that shit is fucking expensive. Unwillingness to go broke to supply candy to the literal van-loads of kids hauled through here every year is not the same thing as being cheap. I can’t justify the expense right now. But..I shouldn’t even have to explain this. I don’t owe it to anyone to participate. And I’m not traumatizing your kids by sitting it out. That argument really sticks in my craw.

My Halloween Costume (what I wear every day under my human costume)
My Halloween Costume (what I wear every day under my human costume)

Like I can handle OPENING A DOOR: Furthermore, my anxiety has gotten to the point where I can’t handle opening the door to strangers all night. The very idea puts me in a tailspin…I can’t even seem to open the door when my neighbor knocks. I actually hide. True story, bro. So I’ll let you do Halloween your way. You let me do it mine….which is to shut out all the lights and hide in my bedroom all night, nervous and worrying over the noise from the crowded street outside. Hell, it’s only 3:15 in the afternoon, and I’m already getting nervous. I do love the extremely discounted candy that I plan on hitting up at the store tomorrow!

That One Time, at Band Camp: I did used to buy heaps of candy, but no one ever came by in the neighborhoods I lived in at the time. And that one year when I dumped an entire bucket of candy into a little girl’s bag was the last time I did it. It was nearly 9:00 PM, and I had given up. When the knock came, I was startled and so pleased. She was so cute, just a little witch. And her single father had just gotten off work and was scrambling to keep his promise to take her trick-or-treating. So I gave her everything I had. I think it kinda weirded him out…but she was ecstatic. That was also the last time he let me spend money on candy. I didn’t argue. I just cried and obeyed. Anyway, I’ll confess that was at a happier time in my life, and I am far more isolated and depressed now. So I’m sure that has something to do with my aversion to things like this…people happily gathering together, sharing time and stories. It’s hard for a depressed and lonely person to deal with. So I try to shut it out as best I can.


Happy Halloween to those of you who are loving it and having fun. And peace and solidarity to those of us who will have a weird and anxious night. No judgment. Just candy. Damn, I can’t have any ’til tomorrow. When that shit is cheap. My dentist should love that.


39 thoughts on “On Halloween

  1. I totally agree with you on the million of princesses and Spider-Man.. If I have to pass by another kid dressed as Elsa while screaming “Frozen”on top of her voice… I’ll… I’ll.. Probably do nothing cos I love kids.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha! I love the way you ended that…I can’t help but agree with you, though. As aggravated as I get, I still melted when a tiny little Yoda ran down the hall at work yesterday (a grandkid of a supervisor). Kids are awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “When I was younger, just a bad little kid, my momma noticed funny thing I did…” sooooooo love that musical. Loved the broomstick line, I laughed aloud obnoxiously. High 5 girl! I loathed working in an office and find it extremely difficult to deal with the, “Let’s get happy hours, or be friends…” with folks I work with as well. You’re not alone. Keep doing you, I feel ya. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. High 5 back at ya! I worried I sounded a bit too curmudgeonly in this one – I’m not mean about it at work, but in my head I’ve devised all sorts of ways to punish their transgressions. Ha! πŸ™‚

      Thank you, Rachel Ann!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I feel you! We all have those, “Amelie,” moments when we act it out in our heads, and then blog about it later!!! I have many, “Blogs I wrote and never posted,” on my computer, haha ha. I got it. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah! Sometimes I think – gah anyone reading me must thing I’m purely negative all the time. But this is just where I come to get it out because I keep it bottled up everywhere else! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nothing wrong with curmudgeonliness (Is that a word? It is now). I hate Halloween too. Last year I taped off my driveway to keep the little creeps (get it?) away. No-one called this year. Yay!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. HAHAHA! I love the new word. It sounds like a cross between a grumpy miser and a lion. And who wouldn’t like THAT?

        Ohmygosh, I totally taped off my porch last year so no one would climb up the steps. This is the first time I’ve admitted it “out loud.” πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Then you definitely shouldn’t be trusted with any sharp objects on Halloween! I’ve just been informed that the new unwritten rule is that if you place a pumpkin outside you welcome callers. That’ll be why I didn’t get any this year. And I won’t be putting pumpkins outside any time soon!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Hmph. Here’s a thought. Put dozens, nay hundreds, of those tiny fuckers out there. And then you can use them as ammo. Yeah yeah! Instead of a potato gun, you could have a pumpkin gun. Oh man…you’ve got me goin’ now!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Poo. Now I feel all bad suggesting you come over for Halloween.

    I get the no-go for the office shit. And for the trick or treaters; I do the same. I DO like to go out and be the cause of hubbub, though. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah, don’t feel bad. You actually made it sound fun. If I actually had any friends here, it would probably do me good to be pushed outside my comfort zone. But such as it is, there’s no way I’m doing something like that on my own.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You have no reason to feel bad or anxious about not wanting to dress up. Personally, I love it but I got really anxious about having my house perfect for our Halloween guests. We were the only ones dressed up and it doesn’t matter. I recently wrote an article for a magazine about the real roots of Halloween both from the Celts and Aztecs because commercialism often takes over spiritual events. We can live and let live. Let’s face it, work colleagues are just that – not real friends unless you are lucky. That said, the normal pleasantries help squeak the wheels of cooperation in the workplace. This is the link to my blog about the real roots of Halloween.
    https://chattykerry.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/samhain-and-day-of-the-dead/ and speaking of curmudgeony days you should see my other post “What annoyed me today..”
    Well, it is all over now and is All Saints Day. Now you just have to brace yourself for Thanksgiving with the family or friends…:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally get you on the office thing. I think I was crossed out of many lists when I said hell no tothe Halloween party. I don’t need to see my female co-workers dressed as sexy nurses,witches, elsas, annas…..Well just insert any word after Sexy. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’ve definitely been crossed off lists because of things like that. I don’t think anyone thinks I’m mean – I’m not actually mean to them (that stays in my head heh) – but it does confuse and sometimes anger them that I don’t participate in things like that.

      It’s funny that you mention sexy costumes – this one chick has tried to dress as Mariah Carey like three years in a row, just so she can have an excuse to wear a dress with a low-cut top and mini skirt and prance around to each office one by one. NASTAAAAY. Hmph.

      Whew, you got me going. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Weird and anxious sums up wonderfully the emotions for a day spent focusing on the bizarre and scary. You are most certainly not alone there. In other parts of the world, all Hallows Eve is a time to gather with family and remember the dead or offer thanks to ancestors. More reflective and less about the candy raids.

    Liked by 1 person

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