Thursday, November 01, 2012

Bah humbug, Halloween edition

I am meh about Halloween and I feel guilty about it. Here's a holiday that (for secular adults without kids at least) doesn't have religious connotions or family obligations, doesn't have an expectation of gift-giving, is just about candy and revelry. It's easy to complain about Christmas/winter holiday commercialism or to complain about Valentine's Day; it feels too cranky to not like Halloween.

I like candy. I like pumpkins (real ones, and pumpkin-flavored-things, which a friend points out are really pumpkin pie spice flavored). I don't like most spooky things, but cemeteries and the occasional ghost story are cool. And oh I like dressing up. Every year I think my impressive collection of vintage clothes and uniforms and such should go to good use--I should wear something I can't get away with at other times, I should lend or rent items as costumes for others. Or sell a lot of it. I just don't get invited to Halloween parties, or go to the ones I know about, or want to do bar events (since Halloween has become nearly as bad for massive public drunkenness as St. Patrick's or New Year's Eve). I don't want to feel I have to wear a sexy costume. Or actually I'd like to wear one, but it's generally near-winter weather in Chicago at Halloween, even if other days in October have been warm. I live on a floor where I don't have to worry about trick-or-treaters coming to my door. (And don't miss it, as I grew up in a house set back from the street enough that we didn't get many trick-or-treaters. Or we got a few. It's Girl Scout cookie salesgirls we never got...) The Halloween costume pop-up stores in empty big-box and mall stores (especially empty Borders, RIP) depress me. And so this year, where a Wednesday Halloween somehow turned the season into two full Halloween weekends and the day itself...nothing.

The only two things I do are buy discounted candy, and watch morning TV news/talk shows for the hosts' costumes. This year the national shows didn't do their Halloween festivities because of Sandy storm aftermath, so I was left with just the Chicago shows. (Edited to add: oh, and always like the bit on Letterman's show, too--weird costumes for kids--which did happen. The image is of a girl as a restaurant cup of coleslaw.) They did all right dressing up on set or in bits at the big costume store. (Both WGN and ABC7 had LMFAO outfits, and I realized I'm so out of it I wouldn't recognize an LMFAO costume. I know the songs--I do attend a lot of minor league sporting events, after all--but haven't seen the videos enough.)

I am happy to have gotten the photo at the top of the post while walking in Bridgeport during a Forgotten Chicago tour. A nice mix of friendly and unfriendly. AMERICA.

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