I won’t pretend that I haven’t dwelled on it a bit. I know what’s coming this week. Everyone looks forward to Halloween. The parties, the blackout drinking, the slutty costumes; Halloween was invented strictly for partying. If you think back to your top five nights in college, there’s a likely chance that at least two of them were a Halloween. Being a parent changes how you celebrate all holidays, and Halloween is no exception.
I’ve fielded the questions. I know what I’ll be missing. My plans for the night include not leaving the local ‘burbs. My BAC is likely staying below the legal limit on Saturday. And unless the desperate-to-stay young mom down the street wears the same stretched to the limits cheerleader costume as last year, I won’t be staring at much skin. During my last pre-fatherhood Halloween, I dressed up as Jerry Sandusky, drank more than my fair share of a keg, and hit on a cat, a witch, and sloppy drunk Wonder Woman. This year I’m dressing up as a baby-faced white guy trying to be a passable father as I shepherd my toddler around in his TBD costume for thirty minutes to an hour of trick-or-treating. And you know what?
I’m fine with that.
I’m ready for Dad Halloween.
Enjoy your party or your bar crawl. Let me know how much fun you had boozing in your uncomfortable costume while you hear the line, “So, what are you?” get dropped at least four times a minute. I’ll be pulling around my adorable child in his wagon while enjoying whatever pumpkin brew recommendation I get from Shibs. My little guy and I will make it our personal mission to fill his little plastic pumpkin with as much Hershey’s goodness as his little ass can carry.
As I stroll around in my comfortable attire, I’ll bask in the constant compliments of how adorable my child looks, and dish them out just as fast, with neither adult giving that much of a shit about what the other child looks like anyways. The light trick-or-treat conversation will be a nice peaceful time, as opposed to your attempt to talk to the person next to you also in line to buy a beer at the bar. You’ll wish you were taking a relaxing stroll in the ‘burbs when you have to shout to the person next to you “HOW DO THEY FOLLOW UP ‘MONSTER MASH’ WITH PITBULL?”
You’ll tell me how boring my night seems, and yeah, it’s pretty low-key. Before you even start pre-gaming, I’ll be enjoying some time with my child who’s psyched to be dressed up and walking around even though he has no clue what’s going on. I’ll get to bask in his wonder and amazement as he looks around, experiencing what’s essentially his first Halloween. All the costumes, the lights, the knocking on strangers doors and demanding candy; he’s gonna love that shit. And so will I; getting to feel like a kid again by living vicariously through him.
Remember, Halloween used to be something you look forward to even before you got older. It wasn’t always because you wanted to drink Jager bombs dressed as George Costanza while you tried to land the girl dressed like white Nicki Minaj. There was a time when you just liked walking the neighborhood enjoying the sights, sounds, and diabetes getting thrown in your bag.
It’ll have its downsides. Since my adorable toddler is still a toddler, he’s eventually going to get scared. Maybe it’ll be by a costume, or someone saying boo, or maybe even the neighbor on the next street over who has a fucking fake corpse hanging from the roof of their porch. Regardless, I’ll probably spend at least half a block consoling my child and trying to reassure him that the neighbor isn’t a serial killer.
Now that may sound lame, but it’s better than the alternative you’re facing. I’d rather have my child with his face buried in my shoulder than be trying to comfort the girl you invited to the party who’s dressed as a sexy convict and is now crying her eyes out over something she won’t remember in the morning. Good luck with that, champ.
Regardless, enjoy your party. Hey, if I were childless, I’d be right there with ya. But, while you’re throwing back shots, I’ll be throwing back all of my kid’s candy that he’s too young to eat while watching PAC-12 games. I’ll have plenty of priceless memories with my son, while your Halloween (if anything like mine used to be) won’t have any memories at all besides vomiting on some superhero-dressed asshole’s shoes. Most importantly, while you wake up in a bed covered in glitter thanks to the slutty Tinkerbell you danced with, feeling like absolute death, I’ll wake up feeling…eh, probably pretty terrible from the copious amounts of artificial chocolate I ingested.
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