Normally, I love holidays. I start celebrating Christmas weeks before it’s socially acceptable, put together a literal menu for Thanksgiving dinner, and still make my friends do Easter egg hunts in our 20s. But as a 23-year-old, Halloween is one holiday I can’t get behind.
As a kid, Oct. 31 is one of the best days of the year. You get to dress up as your favorite character, you barely have to go to class, and you can collect more candy than you should be eating all month. As an adult with kids, I’d expect it’s more stressful, but at least you still have an excuse to be out trick-or-treating. Spike that cider in your thermos, throw on a witch’s hat, and you’ve got yourself one successful Halloween night. The best part? You don’t have to pretend to enjoy dressing in minimal clothing and spending the night in a crowded, sticky bar.
It’s not that I hate dressing up or even going out; I’m nothing if not committed to a good theme. But as an unmarried, childless 20-something, the holiday somehow comes with even more stress and expectations. There’s the drama of trying to put together a group costume with your squad that inevitably comes to a head when nobody wants to suck it up and be “Dopey” the dwarf. Or there’s the pressure of finding a couples costume that is appropriately committal for your stage of the relationship. And, of course, there’s the price of the bar crawl ticket that inevitably goes to waste when one dwarf has to be taken home early (not again, Bashful!).
I don’t want to spend the entire month of October searching for the perfect outfit-completing hat that also costs less than $10 and comes in seven colors. I don’t want to coordinate our elaborate, apartment-hopping pregaming schedule knowing it will all be ruined when one friend takes too long to get ready. And I definitely don’t want to do it not once but three times when Halloween falls on a Tuesday.
So if anyone needs me on Oct. 31, I’ll be watching Hocus Pocus with a glass of red and counting down the years until I can dress my baby up in a koala costume. Wake me up when October ends.