I will tell you who. Grownups. Halloween is just another holiday that is destined to end in exhaustion, my pocketbook being empty, and the large potential of me yelling at some asshole teenager that doesn't have the common sense to realize that he is just too old to be trick or treating and if he rushes ahead of my kid for the candy bowl ONE MORE DAMN TIME I WILL NOT HESITATE TO CUT A BITCH. There is also the high possibility that my episode of nearly psychotic rage will send me straight to my wine fridge to "calm my nerves".
When did Halloween stop being fun and start being a burden? I like to blame parenthood. (I don't blame my kids. I blame parenthood. There's a difference.) I remember a party that my newly wedded husband and I threw for Halloween. It was a blast. Everyone came in costume. We collected keys at the door because people were going to get trashed. (We were young, and most importantly not parents.) The old guy next door threatened to call in a noise complaint. Good times were had.
Fast forward ten years and I find myself looking at one of my favorite holidays with dread. These days you can't throw a sheet over your kid and say he is a ghost. Toilet paper mummies are a thing of the past. Now it is about who has the best costume. Who spent the most. Was your costume hand made? Did blind nuns make the lace for your daughter's Elsa costume? Does your yard look like a movie set from a horror flick? No. Well, maybe next year you will do better. (Did you see the Johnson's yard this year? It is like they didn't even TRY.)
Halloween has become a contest of the super moms. Last year I was up at midnight the night before Halloween trying to finish up costumes (Because yes I am the mom the makes all my kids' costume, but it is mostly because I can make them better for less than the bullshit ones at the store. I'm crafty but I am also cheap as hell.) and trying to make themed snacks and party favors for Charlotte's kindergarten class's party. (Because OF COURSE I WAS THE STUPID ROOM MOTHER TOO.) By the time we were ready to go trick or treating I was exhausted and absolutely did not want to walk around in the dark. Seriously, the thought of pilfering peanut butter cups didn't even brighten my time. (That's when you know things are just bad.)
This year I am taking a different approach to Halloween. Yes, we decorated the yard. BUT we decorated it as a family because we enjoy it. We did not wait to see what the neighbors put up so we could rush out and get better decorations. What is up, is up. I am not putting anymore effort into that. (Until I have to take it down....even then meh.) Yes, I am making my kids costumes. BUT I am making them because it is something special that I do for my kids every year. Am I going to freak out if the costume isn't exactly like what the character wore in the movie? No. This isn't comic con. My girls aren't going to care if the costume was perfect. They are going to care that their mom made it for them and that they got a shitload of candy.
I have decided to stop making Halloween into a contest with everyone around me. This year I just want to have some fun with my kids. (And steal some peanut butter cups.) This year I am rising above. When I get that inevitable snarky comment from another parent, I am just going to smile and move on. (And be stabbing them in my mind.)
But... that damn teenager better watch it. Some things you just can't rise above. (Better make a trip to the liquor store.)