According to the stores, it is now time—maybe past time—that I started stocking up for Halloween. I should be buying lots of candy and preparing to decorate my house in what would be particularly ghoulish fashion if the fake spider-webs weren’t so chintzy compared to the real spiderwebs I find building all over every day anyway.
And costumes. I should apparently be putting a lot of thought into a Halloween costume. Now, being a—as far as you know—grown up, I haven’t put on a Halloween costume in years. Nor do I plan to. I have an Indiana Jones hat I wear most of the year and on Halloween—which is usually a cool day of the year—I might put on my faux leather jacket (made from actual faux cows) and make people think I’m dressing up for the holiday. Most of them won’t know that I will also be dressed that way for many of the following cool days. I just don’t always carry the whip.
The costumes for grown women I find especially troubling. If Halloween costumes are about “letting your alter ego out” then whoever makes the costumes has somehow come to the conclusion that all American women dream of being … what’s the delicate word here for a family paper? Sluts? Whores? Politicians?
Seriously, while some of the men’s costumes come with fake muscled chests, the women’s costumes run long on vamp and short on material. From a purely frugal standpoint, with women’s costumes it doesn’t seem like you’re getting your money’s worth against comparable men’s costumes. Short in the skirt, a deep V in the neck … maybe the expense is in the stainless steel underwire it’s going to take to produce the remarkably uncomfortable-looking cleavage depicted on the package.
And what about real life sexy nurses? How come there aren’t costumes for them to appear as repressed school marms or ancient librarians? I think it’s clear that the women’s costumes were designed by men.
Then, there are the decorations. I remember when I was a child and Halloween decorations consisted of spiderwebs made of shredded cotton adorned with some plastic spiders. Now, we have people going to great trouble and expense to build entire graveyards in their front yards (complete with clever tombstone epitaphs that can’t be repeated here—mainly because I can’t think of any); hyper-realistic corpses hanging from trees by nooses and a trail of bloody gore running from the car to the front door. [Yes, I just made that last one up, but now someone’s going to do it and I won’t get any royalties or credit and that really makes me mad!]
But what really gets me about all this is that here I am, in the middle of September, writing an article about Halloween and it doesn’t seem out of place because not only have you seen the same costumes and candy in the stores already, your next door neighbor has already wrapped that car in his yard up on blocks in black crepe because it’s the only way he can convince the city it’s not a derelict and in violation of the “clean city” ordinances.