What are your thoughts on Halloween? Do you love it? Hate it? Feel totally indifferent towards it?
My mother loves Halloween, she is like Claire from Modern Family in this regard. I love the month of October. I respect Halloween for what it is, but to say I love this holiday would be a lie. So in honor of my mother's love for Halloween, my respect for Halloween, and everyone's need for a laugh on this day that should not be taken too seriously - here is a short collection of horror stories from my childhood Halloween experiences. Enjoy!
The Year of the Jump Scare
This is one of my two trick or treat related stories that haunts me still to this day. I used to trick or treat when I was very young in a subdivision in Sunbury, Ohio where several family members lived. I believe the year was 1999, maybe even 1998. All was seemingly well. I had been dressed as a genie this year. I have no recollection of whether this was a choice or something forced upon me, because at a young age I started to reject trick or treat and was then dressed in costume against my will.
Nonetheless, I started the night off by going down the street towards one of our cousin's homes; because why not start strong with someone you know is handing out something other than Smarties this year? When we arrived at the house, it looked like everything was locked up, that no one was home - except for a stuffed... scarecrow? Jason? I am hazy on the details here, it was one of these two things. I am leaning towards Jason. I remember being very uneasy, feeling something was off (it's called intuition, folks) but I was ensured that all was well. So I cautiously walked up to the front door to ring the door bell AND... the "stuffed" Jason comes alive to chase me from the porch.
To describe my feeling as "unwell," feels like an understatement here, because I do believe the experience of it is engrained in my DNA. To feel something is "off," be assured it is okay, and then truly have the living shit scared out of you as a 5 year old child on a holiday you already do not particularly like (for this reason)... I just trailed off realizing I should probably mention this in therapy at this point. But I do hope all of the adults enjoyed their laughs that night, I hold no grudges 25 years later, and my husband does thank you for making it all too easy to give me a good jump scare around the house.
The Year "Baby Got Back"
I honestly just started laughing typing those words. As I stated previously, there came a time when I flat out started rejecting trick or treat. This story comes from the year my mother decided that my costume would be that of a baby. Please... please keep in mind that I am 5'8" tall today and have been this same height since 14 years old. At age 10, I would have been nearly 5'5", maybe taller. This is very tall for a child, as I was endlessly reminded throughout my life by adults and other kids. To dress as me as a baby at this age and height... a recipe for disaster, especially given that I did not want to be trick or treating in the first place.
So I ask you to take in all the information given above and imagine me, 10 years old, dressed as a baby. Hair in pigtails, pacifier in mouth. And if you are wondering where I got the title for this story, wonder no further. Because my mother - my innocent, lovable mother - found me the "perfect" shirt for this theme! A shirt with Maggie from The Simpsons with the saying "Baby Got Back." Yes. This happened. Do you think that I - a 10 year old child - understood this phrase, having heard the song or not? No. Of course not. So I was paraded around the small Village of Utica at age 10, the height of a teenager, wearing a shirt that said "Baby Got Back," to ask for candy from judgmental adults.
If you think that you, as an adult, would never judge a child or teenager like this - remember it was the year 2003 in "rural" Ohio; and if you think a child cannot read a room, think again. But hey, at least my mom was able to snap some pictures on the disposable camera to never do anything with the prints. One of us had a good time that night.
The Year I Got My Free Chipotle
I want to say the year was 2011 for this one, which does not feel terribly long ago but ultimately it was over a decade ago so... oof. Chipotle had just started their free burrito offer on Halloween night, where you wear a themed costume and receive a free burrito right then and there. The theme in Newark, Ohio that year was "Dress Like a Farmer." This feels like it should be something relatively easy to pull off given where we lived - and it was for most people. Most people but me, I guess, who owned literally no article of clothing that could even remotely pass for being on theme. My style, which I am not sure has ever really been a style, was (and is) called "jeans and a hoodie."
That night we all met at my friend's house who live closest to Newark so we could ride together. I grabbed the only things from home that I could find to support my cause and hit the road. When I arrived at my friend's house everyone else was dressed in boots, cowboy hats, and plaid shirts. Not owning a single one of these things, I walked in wearing skinny jeans, a basketball hoodie, knock-off vans, suspenders (???), a floppy straw hat from I don't know where, and toting these dusty, fake vegetables under my arm that I stole from my mom's kitchen decor. They just stared at me, laughing, and said, "What are you wearing?" I said, "What was I supposed to wear?!" This made me anxious, and I spent the drive to Chipotle in my head, wondering if they were going to "buy it" - my attempt at being on theme.
Well, they did buy it - only after I had to endure the judgment of other teenagers dressed as carbon copies of my own friends, and hold up my fake veggies to show employees that I was, in fact, on theme.. How was the floppy hat and suspenders not enough? Did that look like my normal apparel to them? But to be honest, now that I am reflecting on this wildly embarrassing night for me, was I not the most on theme? I mean, farming and ranching are two different things. I feel as though I was actually dressed most like a farmer, and my friends were cowgirls... right?
So I suppose the moral of my stories today is that I WILL NOT dress up for candy on Halloween, but I WILL dress up and endure judgment for Chipotle.
Hopefully these stories either make you laugh, cringe, or even feel sorry for me, I don't know. If it makes you consider unsubscribing though, I will understand. In the meantime...