I should have avoided the store. Instead, I let the nostalgic memories from childhood celebrations lure me in, and I found myself dumbstruck in the local Spirit Halloween store. What has become of October 31st?
I won't even attempt to detail the origin of Halloween, but can we all agree that it was never a Satanic ritual, and in fact stemmed from a celebration of the fall harvest? Are you with me? Are we still on the same page? Good; let's continue.
When I was young we decorated our house with a scarecrow my dad made from PVC pipes and old clothes. Black cat pictures hung in our front window and Jack O'Lanterns were carefully crafted and carved by each member of the family. One year I used orange halves as ears on a Garfield-inspired pumpkin. My favorite, most comfortable costume consisted of long "footie" pajamas and a teddy bear and voila I was a middle-school 'baby'.
But now? Have you seen the offerings? Unless you are that awesome (i.e. crazy) mom who decides to painstakingly create your kids' costumes from scratch, they will need to choose a store-bought abomination. Admittedly, these are more realistic than in years past, but I can't understand what sellers are thinking. Why do they make child-sized hooker clothes? Or little boy axe-murderer outfits? And why are we, as parents, tolerating this shift to the extremes? Personally, I love The Walking Dead. But kids should not want to dress up as Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, or the pajama zombie girl... because they shouldn't get that pop culture reference!
Let's pretend that our entire civilization collapsed (think Mayans) and future anthropologists only had access to Halloween stores to learn about our culture. I said pretend. I know that's not gonna happen but I'm making a point here. They would theorize that people died off after becoming zombies (some people still say it could happen, whatever). Unfortunately our armed forces, police units, firefighters, medical professionals, and even super heroes were unable to help anyone because they could not run in their platform hooker shoes and fishnet stockings, with their super-tight corsets pushing their bosoms up so far they couldn't breathe. They were then easy targets for the lunatic clowns and serial killers that finished everyone off. The babies apparently turned rabid and ate each other (seriously, what is up with all the creepy baby decorations???). Only furry hoodies and leg warmers remained.
Do I miss the days of the plastic costumes that tied in the back and made you sweat profusely, and the plastic masks with miniscule eye holes and mouth cutouts? Yeah, I kinda do. I was C3PO and Wonder Woman in those getups. Good times. That scene in ET where the kids go out trick-or-treating in the early evening represented an ideal Halloween - maybe one that only briefly existed. I'd love to see a return to that innocent time.
Man, if any kid shows up with a simple sheet-ghost, or better yet: a Charlie Brown sheet with multiple holes cut in it, I'm going to dump my entire bowl of candy in his or her little plastic pumpkin. Make that their king-sized pillowcase. I guess some things have to change.
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