Trick-or-treating is anyone’s favorite Halloween pastime. You just walk around town, disturbing people in their homes, and forcing them to give you candy. It’s completely contradictory to the “Don’t take candy from strangers” rule you’re told all year long. You hurriedly pass your loot on to your mother, who checks for holes in the wrapper, and you’re in child heaven.
Then, you take a few years off from the trick-or-treating scene for college, and come out on the other side. And guess what? The scariest part of Halloween this year isn’t the haunted house you walked through, but the fact that — try as you might to avoid them — children are literally knocking on your door. Best case scenario, you’re sitting home in the dark with a pit in your stomach every time a group of children comes by. It’s like a horror film in the “Please don’t let the bad guy find me in my bad hiding spot” moment. Worst case scenario, you buy four huge bags of candy, make small talk with 9-year-olds all night, then eat nothing but leftover Snickers for a week.
One of the most scandalously fun parts of Halloween as a teenager was dressing up as a badass once night fell. You terrorized the town, TP’ed your neighbors’ houses, threw eggs at their cars, and smashed the pumpkins their snot-nosed kids made. Then you ran away giggling as you heard someone coming, and reveled in the fact that you didn’t get caught. No big deal. It was all in holiday fun.
Well, payback’s a bitch. Waking up early tomorrow, hungover as all hell, to clean off a car that a bunch of high school freshmen made the butt of their juvenile prank, only to come home and remove toilet paper from all of your landscaping doesn’t feel like “holiday fun” at all. Why did you ever do that? Bunch of savages, kids these days.
3. Pumpkin Carving
A typical carving sesh usually went as follows: your dad cut the top off your pumpkin and you joyously played with a little bit of goop for three minutes. You soon tired of the laborious part, had your dad with his giant man-hands clean out the hard-to-get parts, and had your mom carve out the sharp edges, so you didn’t mess it up.
Now, your parents aren’t here to do your dirty work, you have pumpkin guts all over your home, and within three and a half days, you have an over-sized rotten vegetable welcoming people into your home.
4. Halloween Costumes
Dressing up has always been fun. For one night, you get to be whomever, or whatever you please. It’s exciting. It’s magical. And everyone is in on the fun. Before long, your cute costumes become sexy ones, and the costume hype is only amplified when alcohol is involved.
While I will always be obsessed with dressing up for Halloween, as we get older, people are getting progressively more boring. And you know what boring people like to do? Judge you for being fun. Suddenly, you’re outfit isn’t “age appropriate” anymore, and your friends “wouldn’t be caught dead at the bars on Halloween.” Whether suiting up has become “too much of an effort” for you, or your friends have begun laughing at your exceptional Halloween spirit, dressing up just isn’t like it used to be.
Who didn’t love transforming their everyday home into a spooky haunted house as an homage to the season? Morale was up with spiderwebs on the walls, and ghosts in the windows. It was like your own, personal, Halloween-themed Disney land. Your mom always bitched about having to decorate, but she was just being a Halloween Scrooge.
Or maybe she wasn’t. Maybe there was a reason Mom dreaded drudging up to the attic to bring down giant tupperware crates filled with witches, and black cats, and goblins. Maybe she didn’t like making a mockery of her own home for a month, on the off-chance that someone with children would come by and be impressed. Maybe she just really hated cleaning it up. Whatever, Mom.