Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween's Over and I Barely Noticed.

I kind of like it that way.

Last night Mike and I went on a walk, and as we passed some of the neighbors' yards with their Halloween decorations, I realized that they'd all be taken down soon—probably this weekend, if not today. There were a few fun moments this month as people began celebrating the holiday: seeing Effie Trinket and whatever-that-guy's-name-is that Stanley Tucci played in The Hunger Games standing at the circulation desk at work; coming in on Saturday morning to find a crowd of people in costumes getting ready for the 5K we sponsored; standing in the front yard talking to Dan and Candice last night, while trick-or-treaters walked past and we admired some of the costumes and tried to figure out what others were supposed to be. I enjoyed seeing friends post pictures of their costumes on Facebook all day. It was fun. 

But I don't really care for Halloween, and last night it was with relief that I realized it was over almost before I'd even noticed it. Mostly, I feel kind of neutral about this holiday; I don't hate it, but I don't like it either, and there are certain things about it that I do actively dislike.

I don't like that everyone always wants me to watch a scary movie, and I don't like that it means I always have to disappoint someone—either by making them watch a different movie, or by not participating with the group that's watching a scary one. I just don't do scary movies. I don't enjoy watching them, and I don't like them after they're over. It's just not my thing. 

I don't like a lot of the decorations, either, especially food. I don't like zombies or guts or gore. I have really hated Pinterest in the month of October, because pictures of asparagus made to look like a witch's finger make my stomach turn. Bloody intestines, brains, eyeballs, scabs, maggots, and cockroaches absolutely destroy my appetite. The idea of biting into a cupcake that has a giant spider on top makes my skin crawl. I do not find these things amusing. And I don't like how difficult they are to avoid during this month that would otherwise, weather-wise, be one of my very favorites.

But I don't really mind those other things as long as I don't have to participate in them, or can look the other way. The real problem with Halloween is that a lot of people like scaring others. This is also why I don't like April Fools' Day, or practical jokes in general. I don't think it's funny to scare people, and this post by Jana Remy is a really good example of why I feel that way. Each of the three stories she shares made me feel a little knot in my stomach as I read them. It is not funny have a group of people stand around and laugh at your fear. It is not funny seeing that happen to someone you love. It's fine if you like being scared yourself, and if you know—I mean actually specifically know—that someone else enjoys it too. As long as everyone is a willing participant, pranks and practical jokes are fine. But if you don't know that someone is a fan of that kind of humor, I think it's really cruel to spring it on them. I think the only fear it's okay to laugh at is your own.