Gee, for having been weird and kooky goth in high school, I'm not that big of a Halloween maniac.
I know what you think - "For someone who owns as much spiked jewelry, black lipstick and horror comics as you do, Halloween should be your favorite day of the year!" Well, that would seem logical, right? Not so much.
It's not that I don't like Halloween. I do! It's tons of fun. Dressing up is fun. Candy is fun. Scary movies are fun. Parties are fun. Being able to carry (fake) weapons and drool (fake) blood without fear of reprimand is fun. From about Oct. 15 to 30, it's just a non-stop cavalcade of fun stuff to do.
But, I'm not 12 anymore. Fun means effort. Planning. Thinking. Driving. Spending money. That stuff is so much easier when your parents do it for you. I don't think my mom is going to want to cart me around to parties and wait outside until 2:30 a.m. for a bunch of makeup-slathered maniacs to come bursting out when I need a ride home. She's retired.
In terms of holidays, I like them to be as stress-free as possible. Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Why? Zero effort. Sit, eat, look at the sky. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy. But Halloween requires a certain amount of mental gymnastics. Once you are of coffee-drinking age, the effects of sugar highs aren't as severe, and your Halloween vigor starts to wane long before it's time to start applying spirit gum to your face.
Thinking of a costume is an arduous undertaking. Depending on your schedule of Halloween events, you may need to prepare two, three or even four separate ensembles. I myself am doing three costume changes over the span of this spooktacular season. I had a party last weekend (Atreyu from "The Neverending Story"), a show Friday night (skeleton) and Saturday and tonight's festivities (will pull something out of thin air). Wearing the same costume twice works only if you are partying with entirely different sets of friends, but not within the same social constructs. And when local establishments are offering big prizes for costumes, the pressure is even more intense. Intense!
Some years, I come up with a brilliant costume idea months ahead of time, and am excited to begin the preparations. Two years ago, my stint as the rip-heart-out-of-chest-guy from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" was the stuff of legend. I had a lot of fun with that. My futuristic go-go cosmonaut ensemble back in 2006 both delighted and irritated everyone (mainly because of my loud and brightly flashing raygun). My Maude Lebowski getup - complete with Viking hat and bowling balls - was a hit. I am not completely without imagination, see?
This year, I waited until the last minute to start my Halloween shopping. Not that I didn't think about it for minutes, but no really great ideas jumped out at me. Atreyu is a remnant from last year. My house remains undecorated (the cobwebs are real, however). Pumpkins remain uncarved (and still in the pumpkin patch across from my parents' house). The stack of scary movies remains unwatched. Candy - well, candy was purchased. But it's not like I get any trick-or-treaters, unless some frat boys decide to get cute.
In search for inspiration, I thought about some of my childhood costumes. Popple. Rainbow Brite. Something involving a tutu and purple feathers. Costumes were easier when you were a kid; your mom just took you to Hills (Hills!) and you pointed at whatever plastic-face-with-rubber-band was your obsession at the moment, and the box containing the matching plastic smock was yours. My brother was a Ninja Turtle for, like, three years. No mental debate there, obviously.
I'm sure I won't do too bad this year. I have black makeup. I have white makeup. I have blood. I have hairspray. I have fake fangs (don't ask). I have chains (don't ask). I have a vague concept. I have tons of hideous clothing. I think I'll be OK. Maybe I'll watch "The Monster Squad" to get in the mood. Wolfman!