It’s Halloween (month)

Stacey Gross Times Observer Reporter

Happy first weekend of Halloween, y’all!

You start talking about Christmas before this month is over I will knock that gingerbread latte right outta your hand, Valerie.

You know I’ll do it.

This is our time. The weirdos and wackos, the delinquents and devils and droogs. The first day of October is like that moment when Zeus yells “release the Kraken” and Perseus has to freeze ray that sucker with Medusa’s ugly, severed mug. I’ve been quietly gathering all of my autumn regalia in preparation for this season. I do it every year. The sweaters and coffee mugs and packets of hot cocoa and bags of tiny marshmallows. The extra fuzzy socks and the little chunks of old sweater sleeves that I tuck into the tops of my boots to make them look extra cozy.

I’m like Humpty Dumpty every year at this time.

I’m about to have a great fall, kids.

But it all culminates in the ultimate autumn crescendo of awesomeness: Halloween. The one day of the year when we encourage our kids to stay out late and run the roads well past dark. To dress inappropriately for the weather in order to preserve the intent – nay, the very integrity – of the overall outfit. To knock on the doors of multiple people they don’t know, and not just to take candy from strangers but to explicitly demand it, and to threaten a vicious de-pantsing, should the poor fools fail to fulfill the request.

Halloween is about turning everything on its head. The rules of order and decorum. The bonds of good behavior. It’s an homage to the trickster gods and demons of lore. Those jerks just waiting off in the wings to trip a player entering the stage or to cause some unexpected and potentially destructive distraction. If we give them their one or two nights a year, they seem to slake their thirst on the public display of deference and keep their distance.

We hope.

And I love everything about it.

My kids have been some epic things, over the years, for Halloween. Harper was Scooby Doo for, like, two or three years in a row. June’s been a poodle. They’ve been ladybugs and monkeys and bumble bees and all manner of animalia. Last year, they fell as hard for the Hamilton soundtrack as I did, and decided to go as Hamilton and Burr, once I explained to them how the musical ends.

Hint: somebody gets shot.

It was perfect.

They fight like Hamilton and Burr, after all.

This year, though, I’m having to give up most of my creative control and allow them to be characters from their current favorite movie: Descendants 2.

I don’t even get it. It’s probably like Saved By the Bell was for my parents when I was their age.

Kids have absolutely crap taste in acting and plot craft, is all I’m saying.

I dress up every year too. I’m that mom. And I’m incapable of feeling shame in regards to my costume compulsion.

I’ve been a trashy Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I’ve been Michael Myers (I’m feeling a favorite fictional serial killers column coming on…) Last year I was that crazy mom from Stranger Things. I had the twitchy, stressed out, tweaker-from-beyond-the-grave look all nailed down anyhow. It seemed only fitting.

This year I’m going full Offred from A Handmaid’s Tale.

Which I loved when it was a novel, just so everyone knows that I was cool before it was cool to be cool.

Full disclosure.

There are lots of things I’ve considered going as, but I recognize that most people don’t put as much thought into either their Halloween costumes or their social commentary as I do, and most of my ideas would probably just gather confused looks.

Making Halloween the same as every other day, if that’s the case.

And we can’t have that, now can we?

Certainly not.

But I’ve got a list of ideas for those who wish to use this sacred day of death and tomfoolery to reflect back to the world what they see in it, which is actually an effort the Halloween gods would smile warmly upon. I know because I totally am one of them. Feel free to adopt the following satirical costume ideas PRN:

Things you could pretend to be on Halloween:

¯A responsible adult

¯ The person you pretend to be on social media

¯ The person you let your parents believe you are for the sake of preserving the family peace

¯ A serial killer who’s trying to blend in and look like a normal suburban middle-aged dad – but is failing

¯ Your ideal image of the opposite gender (just go as yourself with the wrong gender clothing…easy peasy)

¯ Your boss as you see him or her (helpful hint: probably don’t wear this one to work though)

¯ Just glue a thousand googly eyes from the craft department to your face…and do nothing else different with your look, demeanor, personality, mannerisms, or voice at all.

¯ I have yet to see someone pull off an impressive Kraken outfit. But I remain hopeful. Hint hint.

¯ Get all your friends together and everyone brings their individual D&D character to life. If you do this one though you have to bring the dice and play a live-action campaign through a heavily populated trick-or-treat neighborhood, end to end, without breaking character. Even when the public try to interact with you. And they will. Trust me on this. If you’re one of those people who’s too cool to play D&D…lose my number, please. Immediately. We can’t be friends.

¯ For a bunch of guys: Rod Serling costume competition. Whoever looks most like Serling…better stay the heck away from me because I’m probably going to get charged for something, like, criminally, if I come across you. I adore that beast of a man and writer just way, way too much.

¯ Make your child come up with their own costume, and then make them create it themselves. Then, make a mockery of it in your own size and follow them around the whole night doing and saying everything exactly as they do, but in a mocking tone. Warning: you’re going to traumatize them, so you need to decide ahead of time if you can afford to undertake that karmic debt. It’s all you, homie. Only you know what’s best.

If you take any of my ideas and actually do them, please be aware that I will not charge or try to collect, like, royalties or anything, but I am going to remind you that photos or it didn’t happen.

I’m also going to have to require that you inbox me all of your evidence.

I gots ta see it.

And I promise — scout’s honor, guys — I will not, I would never ever, save the digital images for later use pursuant to reasons of future blackmail. Just make sure they’re big enough to be blown up to…I don’t know, like a 20×36 inch canvas? Vertical, please. And color is best.

Okie dokie, then.

Love ya kiddos! Now get out there and get your trick-or-treat games in order. There are only 25 days left until Deviant Christmas!


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