I don’t like Halloween. I don’t. There, I’ve said it. I don’t like it.
When people ask me what I’m doing for Halloween, the simple answer is that I’ll be staying in, in the dark, with the curtains closed and not making a single noise. I’ve never really understood the love for it and, as I’ve got older, it just seems to be getting more and more commercialised.
When Halloween falls on a Monday, like it has this year, it basically gives people free rein to start Halloween whenever they want over the weekend because it’s a bit more convenient. You know, you don’t want to be painting your children as some sort of zombie or witch and dragging them out onto the streets on a school night, do you? Once, when I lived at my parent’s house, we had some Halloween visitors a week early. A week. Even if I was into the whole Halloween thing, I don’t think I’d have had a collection of cheap and nasty sweets on standby just on the off-chance that some cheeky rapscallions would be turning up a week early.
I started going out with Carole on Halloween. As a romantic first date gesture I bought her a novelty spooky biscuit from Greggs as I walked through Leeds to meet her. Honestly, a whole biscuit. Not flowers or anything like that. I just handed over a slightly crumpled Greggs bag (it had been in my pocket) and said “Here, this is for you.” I know. I am a total catch.
What this means though – having an anniversary at Halloween – is that if you plan anything at home you have to expect countless interuptions. The first year we lived together – a year in which I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into every tradition Carole could think of – I cooked a nice dinner and we spent most of that dinner getting up and going to the door and saying twee things to the kids about how excellent their costumes were and things of that nature. I say “we”, mainly it was Carole. I had to go once and, if I’m honest, I really couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm for any level of costume-based small talk. “What are you dressed as? Here take a sweet from this expensive claw hand that’s also a bag thing. Ok, don’t choke on it. Bye.”
The following year we hid in the darkness barely making a sound, talking via text or Facebook chat so that our presence wouldn’t be discovered. Or we might actually have gone out. I’m not too sure. Either way no children got sweets and no costume-based chit-chat was exchanged. Carole was upset with this but I think it was the right thing to do. I’d been introduced to her way of doing things in previous years, and now it was my turn to show her some of my traditions as well.
And yes, it’s still a tradition even if it involves lying below the level of the window and not moving.