I have mixed feelings about Halloween. Obviously, I love all over fancy dress, so logic dictates that I should absolutely love Halloween. But I don’t. In fact, my approach to Halloween is probably mostly indifference, bordering on grumpiness. And I’m not quite sure why.
I’m sure there’s an element of bad memories about it; Halloween when I was 18 was spent overnight in hospital in Bristol with a horrible kidney infection, and I had to wait about a decade to be seen because there were so many fancy dress revelers in there confusing the staff as to what was real blood, and what was fake. That experience was enough to make me hate the west country for a good six years, so it must’ve had some impact on my thoughts of Halloween. But I’ve got over bad experiences before; it almost makes me more determined to have even more fun than usual just to prove the stupid day wrong. So no, it’s not the kidney.
But what it probably is is the fact that I hate being told when to have fun and in what manner to have it. If I want to get dressed up and look like a fool, I shall do it because I want to, not because my calendar tells me to. Besides, if you’re one of an entire crowd who are all dressed up, then your efforts don’t stand out. You just look normal. And that’s a waste of a decent costume.
Then there’s the fact that Halloween inevitably involves people, who I am not a fan of at the best of times. But when they’re all crowded into bars and clubs in outfits that take up more space than usual, I’m really not keen at all. And when they’re knocking on my door demanding that I give them sweets, I definitely hate them in the face. If I am buying sweets, it is so I can eat them all and then hate myself for it. I will not be giving them to strange children just because they’ve had the audacity to ask.
But really, I think my Halloween apathy is about the pumpkins. As a ginger, I’m generally not keen on anything orange, but for once, this isn’t about a colour clash. No, it’s about the fact that I am spectacularly clumsy and not be trusted with sharp objects. If I were to try and carve myself a pumpkin, I’d probably end up just carving a giant hole in my hand. And then I’d just end up back in hospital again, thus giving credence to the idea of a Halloween curse.
And so every year, I look at the pictures of everyone else’s pumpkins, and I feel instantly inferior. And I can’t even put on a winning fancy dress outfit to make myself feel better, because even that’ll probably be upstaged. So instead, I just sit in my house with the lights off and ignore the doorbell. Because Halloween can sod right off.