I love candy. I love horror movies. I love half-naked girls roaming the streets. But you know what? Halloween, much like Star Wars, is for children. So can you guys knock it off this year? You’re in your 30s. No less a source than the Holy Bible says, “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Before going any further, I should say that I’m willing to offer an exemption to men who are bringing their children out. Sure, if your wee one wants to dress up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, you have an excuse—nay, an obligation—to don your Poseidon costume and accompany her throughout your fair city in search of candy. This article is directed squarely at all the men putting their Juggalo Joker costume together in hopes of having their pick of the dozen or so women who will doubtless be dressed up as Psychobilly Harley Quinn.
For my part, I’m a drunk and a giant stick in the mud, which gives me two reasons to hate Halloween. First, much like St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Cinco De Mayo, this is one of the days of the year when no force of God or man is going to get me in a bar. Why? Because they’re filled with amateur drinkers using “clever” costumes as an excuse to drink more than they can reasonably handle. The results are predictable: grown men (or at least what passes for it in our age) white-girl wasted at 11 o’clock at night. Congrats, gents. You’re really making grandpa proud as he watches down on you from above.
Believe me when I tell you that you can dress like an asshole and drink to unconsciousness whenever you want. It’s way more fun when you don’t have permission.
Believe me when I tell you that you can dress like an asshole and drink to unconsciousness whenever you want. I do both of these things all the time. It’s way more fun when you don’t have permission.
The other reason is that I just hate the idea of people having fun. Two things separate adults from children: First, we can have beer for breakfast if we want. Second, life sucks. The best among us exercise the first right to deal with second calamity.
As a kid, I always loved Halloween. It was great to dress up as something scary, walk around with my hooligan friends doing hooligan shit and getting free candy. In fact, I did trick-or-treating far beyond what’s probably normal: My last time out on the prowl for sweets and mischievous kicks was when I was 16 and I dressed up as Richard Nixon, possibly my most frightening costume in a career that included the Phantom of the Opera, The Mummy and Dracula. The rest of my crew included two brothers who split a clown costume and pretended they were both Simon Woodstock and a guy who just slapped on a pair of bunny ears and called it a day.
That was fun. Lonely adults cutting loose the one day of the year they feel it’s allowed? Sad!
Adult costumes must be addressed. Like I said above, I’m never going to complain about half-naked women roaming the streets. What bothers me are people dressing up as memes, as puns (if I see you dressed as a “one night stand” I am going to punch you in the throat), or in elaborate costumes that take way more effort than an adult should put into looking like Kylo Ren.
I’m not even sure how I feel about dressing up like Crash Bandicoot for the office party or whatever. Maybe just throw on a nice suit, tell everyone you’re supposed to be Don Draper and stand around silently judging people. That’s what I would do.
Ultimately, the problem with grown men who are into Halloween is that it’s part of a broader crisis of manhood I’ve hinted at above: No one wants to be an adult anymore. Everyone wants to be a teenager with more disposable income and the resulting access to booze and weed. So instead of doing what men are supposed to do on Halloween—helping your kid dress up or handing out candy to the local children—they put on some outfit designed to showcase their cleverness and numb the existential pain accompanying being 36 and single with more booze than they can handle. A “good” night involves cheap sex with an equally empty human.
My suggested alternative: Ask a lady over for a couple cocktails, some candy and whatever horror movies are on Netflix and Hulu. I promise that, unlike the men waking up in a fog of self-loathing on All Saint’s Day next to a woman whose first name they don’t remember, you’ll have no regrets. You’re not missing anything and, as spooky as it sounds, you might actually make a real connection with another human being.
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