Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween is Scary

I’m not frightened by the shrieks and eerie moans coming from haunted houses. Nor do I tremble at the sight of Jason and Freddie or a plastic machete slicing the air. To me there are much more scarier things about Halloween. Like snack-sized Butterfingers and my capacity to devour an entire bag. Or Hershey Kisses in their come-hither harvest colors of gold, yellow and red.

Halloween, after all, begins the candy-eating season, which stretches all the way until Easter. When the first autumn leaf falls, it’s as if a starter pistol is fired: Time to gorge on mellowcreme pumpkins, candy corn and gummy worms.

Since Halloween candy begins to appear on the shelves. I’ve found myself trudging to the grocery store several times before Halloween to restock for trick-or-treaters. Truth be told, by the time the little goblins show up at my doorstep, I’m usually forced to hand out less traditional treats like sticks of margarine or packets of Sweet ‘N Low, because somebody (and I won’t name names) has gobbled up every single piece of candy in the house.

If the treats weren’t frightening enough, the chore of selecting a costume is downright chilling. It used to be that Halloween belonged to little kids in superhero and fairy princess costumes. Now every watering hole in town hosts a costume party, and even daytime businesses get into the spirit of things. Mild-manner bank tellers flap their capes and bare their fangs, and the werewolf at the dry-cleaners snarls, “Have a nice day!” These days if you don’t dress up for Halloween you’re considered a party poop.

Unfortunately Halloween is supposed to be a scary holiday and what woman in her right mind wants to look frightening? Wrinkles and cellulite are terrifying enough. And if you’re like me, you get your fill of the heebies jeebies every swimsuit season when you first bare your ghostly-white skin under the fluorescent dressing room lights at the department store.

Most women opt to look comely instead of creepy on Halloween, a strategy that can backfire. There’s nothing scary about a woman dressed as a belly dancer. But there’s something very scary about a belly dancer with an affinity for Jelly Bellies. Ditto for French maids who are overly fond of French fries.

The costume issue also becomes more complicated if you’re part of a couple. People expect twosomes to come to parties dressed as a matched set, and frequently men and women don’t see eye-to-eye on costumes. How many men, after all, are willing to be Raggedy Andy to her Raggedy Ann? How many women are willing to be Princess Leia in a gold bikini to his Jabba the Hut?

But the absolute scariest thing about Halloween is its proximity to Christmas. On Nov.1 the Creeper Peeper candy eyeballs are replaced with candy canes, and the dreaded countdown begins. Suddenly there’s not a parking space left at the mall, the radio station is playing Christmas carols twenty-four hours a day and you’re shopping for a fir tree in flip-flops. Now that’s really scary.

Karin Gillespie has a new blog! Come visit her at


Nicole Seitz said...

Love your new granny panties blog, Karin!

Stay loose,

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nicole!