What is your favorite Halloween memory? One of my most favorite Halloweens was when I was a sophomore in high school. It was the first year that I had absolutely no Halloween plans. My whole family left and I sat in the back room working on a geometry project, watching Rosemary’s Baby. I’m not being sarcastic when I say this is one of my favorite memories. I loved geometry, and I had never seen Rosemary’s Baby before! That movie was CRAZY! And it was so peaceful just being alone. Does this make me sound like an anti-social nerd? If it changes your perception of me any, I didn’t get an A on that geometry project; I got a B. Hope that helps.
In truth, I have a lot of fun Halloween memories spanning from childhood to grad school. What’s not to love about costume parades through the elementary school hallways, being too old to go trick-or-treating but going anyway, or giving your friends tarot card readings? But I don’t want to bore you with all that frivolity. I want this Halloween post to be about other things. First item on the agenda: Things we hate about Halloween.
|Brides costumes covered by jean jackets. At least they were stonewashed.|
There were a few years when I liked trick-or-treating, like when it was nice out. But most of the time, I actually hated it. I told myself I liked it, but I usually just wanted it to end as soon as it began. First of all, it was always freezing. Wearing a giant coat that covers up your costume sucks. Second of all, because of the time of year, I was usually sick. I will never forget the Halloween when I was a Dalmatian puppy and my nose was so runny that my puppy gloves became saturated with my snot, or when I went as a Christmas elf my freshman year in high school (too old) and had to go back to my friend’s house with her dad because I was running a fever.
I also hate left over Halloween candy. At first you’re like, YES, so many SNICKERS! But pretty soon, you’re just left with the nasty chewy candies in the black and orange wrappers and bubble gum suckers (I have things against gum). But the candy just sits there, in the bucket, and then in the pantry, for months, or in the case of the Thornes family, years, and it’s just like, “You’re so gross. Get out of my house!” Bad candy just makes you feel violated.
I also hate bad costumes. Remember those little boys in elementary school who would just put fake blood all over their faces? Like that was so great? What about the kids who would pick up the tacky, super cheap, ill-fitting costumes you could get at a gas station? Like, why did those kids even come to school that day? Shouldn’t you CARE about your costume? They should have written “failure” on their foreheads instead.
|Looking too smug in my mommy-made costume.|
Thing #2: Halloween movies
I love Halloween movies a lot. There’s really nothing like the right movie to put you in the spirit. Rosemary’s Baby is good, but the ones from childhood are the best. The earliest for me is the horrible and cheesy The Worst Witch, which is sort of like Harry Potter, except they’re all girls and Lord Voldemort is that lady from Facts of Life. (I recently tried to watch this movie with one of my friends and she felt like she was being tortured. Guess it’s just for me and my sisters.) The part where Tim Curry sings is the best. This deserves to be right up there with "Monster Mash," right?
Double Double Toil and Trouble staring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen definitely ranks up there as well. I remember coming back from a freezing trick-or-treat, sifting through the gross candy, captivated by the moonstone and the evil twin and the good twin and the guy that turned into a crow and the midget. My poor parents. We must have watched that movie every day for two weeks straight. (That same year, one of our writing assignments was, “If you could be anyone, who would you be?” and I wrote, “The Olsen Twins.” Not one of them, mind you, but both. And I was too old to want to be them, but is that so surprising with me?)
I know most of you would say Hocus Pocus is one of your most favorite Halloween movies, and I agree it’s good, but something about it unsettles me. I don’t know what it is. I do remember the summer it came out, my sister and cousin wanted to see it but I wanted to see Jurassic Park. They won, so maybe I’m still just bitter. I also remember it bothering me that Thora Birch’s character wore lipstick through the whole movie, because I thought it made her look ridiculous, as did the name “Dani.” And the guy who played Max was not cute. Case sold.
|I usually like you, Thora, but not this time.|
I remember in college I had this roommate who spent the entire month of October watching the Halloween movies in our dorm room, which I found to be oddly comforting. I don’t know why I liked hearing the Halloween theme while I did my homework, considering the actual story is pretty sick. I remember one part where the little girl almost connects with Mike Myers, saying, “you’re just like me” before he tries to kill her. I thought, “what is the point of this?” Why did I EXPECT there to be a point?
And okay, I can’t talk about scary movies and not mention The Ring. I saw this over Fall break my Freshman year of college right when it came out, before all the buzz, and close enough to Halloween. My friend Stacie and I went to see it because nothing else was playing, and expectations were low. I went from thinking, “God, this is stupid” (girls talking about the video on the bed) to “This makes me uncomfortable” (the infamous video) to “WTF why is she scribbling out the lady’s face while she’s taking notes?! What is the deal with the room in the barn?! How did those X-ray pictures come to existence?! How can the fly from the movie come ALIVE?!” That night, all I could hear were the crickets from Samara’s video, so I actually went downstairs and slept in my parents’ bed with them. It was a long time before I could watch the whole movie without covering my eyes. Too bad the sequel was so stupid.
Ahhh! What's happening?! Ahhh!
Thing #3: Costumes.
Costumes are the best part. Am I right? Aren’t they the best part? I had some great costumes as a kid, but one of my favorite costumes was in grad school when I went as one of our teachers, although I didn’t quite pull it off-- my costume looked nothing like her. It was just really fun explaining it to people and talking in her accent.
|In the blond wig, not quite looking like my teacher.|
I also liked the attention I received from showing up to a Halloween party in High School looking completely normal except I had attached a nylon-head to my neck, making me a two-headed Brigette (this was before the episode of The Office where Michael Scott comes as a two-headed Michael). Everyone was taking my picture, but then another girl came as a “bench warmer”—I won’t explain it, but the costume was really elaborate—and everyone took her picture instead. I became fiercely jealous, which I am publicly admitting for the first time today.
What’s your most half-assed costume? Mine was definitely in 2006 when I decided to dress up as a fairy cat. I put on a crown, ears, and a tail that I had found in a box. I made Halloween sugar cookies, watched The Worst Witch and Double Double Toil and Trouble. I don’t think I brushed my hair that day. Did I mention this was after I graduated college and was back at home, unemployed, without a car? I remember greeting my sister at the door when she came home from school, thinking she’d appreciate my Halloween spirit. She just gave me a look that said she never wanted to become me, ever.
Okay, let’s review. I need to know what you hate the most about Halloween, what your favorite Halloween movies are, and what your most half-assed costume was. Until next time, in the words of Ms. Hardbroom from The Worst Witch, “pleasant nightmares.”