As a kid I loved Halloween. With pillowcases in hand, my friends and I roamed the town for hours and collected pounds of candy, sometimes being invited inside a home to bob for apples. My costumes were homemade, courtesy of mom, an excellent seamstress.
As a kid I loved Halloween, but grownups have co-opted it.
These days, I don’t like it so much, now that adults seem overly involved. The grownups have co-opted Halloween. One reason might be that, for a number of years now, it hasn’t been judged safe for kids to go trick-or-treating on their own, so the adults have accompanied them. However, that doesn’t explain the full blown extravaganzas that now seem required.
Halloween parties for adults also make me grumpy. While I admire some creative costumes, it’s difficult to interact with people in masks, especially if you don’t know them.
For several weeks now, houses have been decorated with store-bought, expensive items. Last week I went on a neighborhood walk, viewing huge spiders and their webs, bats, ghosts, and goblins. A woman walking her golden retriever came up near me, and we passed a home with black silhouette cutouts of witches and cats across a garage door. The poor dog took one look and yelped in terror. This week, the family next door put up an enormous (at least 8 feet high) zombie-like inflatable skeleton holding court over a graveyard. It scared the crap out of me the first time I saw it in my peripheral vision.
Before COVID, on Halloween our block turned into one huge party with people of all ages crowding the sidewalks and spilling onto the streets. The first couple of hours were fun, especially seeing the tiny tots with their earnest faces at my door. But by about 8 PM, the teenagers and adults predominated, and we turned off the porch light. This year, who knows what the block might be like, but we decided to pass up the entire evening.
So, I will be the grinch, and look back on more homey, less materialistic Halloweens, which were a lot more fun.
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.