Some say Halloween is the most exciting part of fall. It ushers in “white girl” treasure Pumpkin Spice Lattes, thrilling and hilarious haunted houses, cornfield mazes, and jack-o-lanterns. As much as I enjoy all the above (even haunted cornmazes — I accidentally punched a male actor who cornered me in a faux slaughterhouse during Halloween 2009), October 31 stopped being fun ten years ago, when I officially became too old to trick-or-treat and everyone my age began partying the “holiday” away. Call me Peter Pan, but I miss my free carmel apple pops and Kit-Kat bars. Many people enjoy upgrading to booze and sexy outfits from candy bags and Disney princess costumes, but I liked All Hallows Eve a lot more when there were no expectations of getting wasted, making out with someone who’s just going to end up blowing me off in a week, and toughing out the windy weather in itty bitty clothing.
I spent last Halloween weekend bar hopping in NYC, and by 1:15 a.m., I was ready for bed. None of my buddies wanted to leave, so I stuck around until a random friend-of-a-friend dumped an entire glass of Stella Artois on my lap. The glass shattered around us, and because I was tired, irritated, and soaked, I told my roommate it was time for me to head home. Of course, the rest of New York was wrapping up Halloween festivities as well, so we spent another hour trying to hail taxis downtown, shivering in our damp costumes as we begged reluctant cabbies to haul us to the Upper East Side. Needless to say, it wasn’t the kind of Halloween I’d like to repeat.
Depending on where you’re living, there always seems to be pressure to “go all out” for Halloween: buy an incredible costume you’ll never wear again, imbibe heavily, find arm candy for the night and talk all about it at hangover brunch the following morning, and don’t forget to Instagram and SnapChat the whole experience or it didn’t happen! While it can be creative and exciting to dress up, costume prices add up, and if you’re anything like the 20-somethings I know, you don’t have money to throw around frivolously, certainly not for clothes you’ll only wear once.
Even if you find decent bargains or make something unique and fantastic, you still have cold weather to worry about. NYC is expected to have scattered storms on October 31, and as inconvenient as that seems, a little rain is nothing compared to Hurricane Sandy, which forced Mayor Bloomberg to cancel the parade last year and everyone else to celebrate before the end of the month.
With all this in mind, and the fact that Halloween falls on a week night this year, the benefits of a chill Halloween are pretty obvious. I’m in LA right now, and though I’m going to a friend’s party on Halloween, I’m also going to distribute candy earlier in the day, because I’m also at the point in life where I’d rather watch young children have fun than snag an “all you can drink until midnight” Groupon. I can appreciate Halloween without having to freeze and shout into people’s ears at overcrowded, suffocating bars. Running all over the city sounds like a great idea for some folks, but I’m happy to take it easy with a couple of friends and use an old work dress to be Joan from Mad Men. My hair is still sort of red, but like most of the female population, I lack Christina Hendricks’ curves. If I were going all out for Halloween, I’d fix myself up and try to emulate her enviable body type with padding and toilet paper, but I’m fine to just take the easy route on this. After all, it’s just one night.
What are your thoughts on Halloween? Do you go all out or prefer a quieter night? Share your two cents in the comments.
Featured image via ShutterStock.