Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!...

This has never really been my favorite holiday. As a kid, I loved the free candy, and for a while, the costumes. But now, 15 years after I last donned a costume without first having been bullied into it, I just don't see the point. My friends are all more than happy to tell me what they are being for Halloween (mind you, we are closer to 30 than 20 at this point), but I just don't get it.

I'm sure I will be inundated on Facebook with photos of my friends' children (or pets) all dressed up. That I'm totally fine with. I LOVE seeing what kids are each year. Their unbridled joy at the heaps of candy they're allowed to have one time a year is precious, and sometimes you even get really creative costumes. What I'm not such a fan of is the pedophiliac's-dream that most teenage girls' "costumes" are. I personally think teen girls are out of control in everyday wear, but for them "Halloween as excuse for obscene amounts of candy" seems to have morphed into "Halloween as excuse for dressing like a streetwalker." This is why I had to include the following story on Taylor Swift from In it, Swift gushes about her 2008 costume - Chewbacca. Hopefully someone with as much sway over teenage girls as Swift can start convincing them Halloween is about spooky, not skin.

While out patrolling for candy dressed as a French maid or Michael Jackson, Britain's children have been reminded to be polite about it. The Boston Globe reported yesterday Debrett's, the English authority on etiquette, has published a handbook on Halloween behavior best practices. The holiday is fairly new to the Continent, so Debrett's felt compelled to put out some rules.

Those kids are still one-up on the children of Puyallup School District in the state of Washington. This week a letter sent home to parents explained there will be no Halloween parties in school this year, giving three reasons. The first two make sense. It's the third that has some people shaking their heads. I suppose this isn't exactly good news, but the story from ABC News gave me a chuckle (perhaps not the reaction the school district was going for).

Joe Peyronnin's blog today on The Huffington Post sets the (Halloween) world to rights. His column on the celebrations and decorations in his neighborhood reads straight out of a city version of Norman Rockwell. Peyronnin even manages to work in some Halloween history and facts among the sweet description of the trick-or-treating activities in his Upper East Side 'hood.

After all the candy-begging is over, most parents' nightmares are just beginning. In addition to worrying about razor blades, the old standby "All that sugar will give you cavities," and the transmission of swine flu between all those little Tinker Bells and alien bikers roaming the streets, the New York Times article published on Oct. 27 might just send parents over the edge. Titled "Living for Candy, and Sugar-Coated Goblins" it profiles playwright Paul Rudnick and his new book "I Shudder." Rudnick, at 5-10 and 150 pounds, is living proof that is apparently possible to live off candy. For as long as anyone in his family can remember, he has had an aversion to healthy foods; allegedly the man has not had a square meal (or many vegetables) in nearly 50 years.

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