Let's get one thing straight here: I am a total pansy. I am freaked out by the dark, by ventilation systems (I blame The X-Files for that one, rightly so), by the idea that a pair of hands are going to lunge out from behind the shower curtain and strangle innocents who just want to brush their teeth, by dogs with a certain look in their eyes, and by reports of global warming.
There's also the existential fears that make for 4:30 AM heart palpitations: the perfect storm of horror movie images, convincing myself that there's something under the bed, and oh, by the way, everyone you love will someday die.
So October, what with its drugstore tarantulas and cobwebby home decor, is not really my scene: I'm pretty much horrified 24/7. I don't need, like, a special day to make me feel freaked out.
In college, Halloween was one of the Drunk Girl's Trifecta (the others being New Years Eve and Saint Patrick's Day): any excuse to get absolutely gob-smacked on Malibu and get yer tits out. Halloween offered the added incentive to dress up as a "sexy [insert profession here]." Sexy nurse! Sexy fire-fighter! Sexy Jesus (I've seen two sexy Jesus costumes in the last few years)! Sexy coal miner. I've got the black lung....and it makes me want to drink Jagermeister!
I'm not sure how to celebrate Halloween as an adult. Do I dress up? If so, as what? My friend Rachel had, for years, a long black wig that she would base her costume on. Frida Khalo, sexy witch, Cleopatra, etc. I always struggle to find the balance of not trying too hard and still looking like I cared a little. For years I just dressed all in black, an extremely lazy take on "goth" that was more "bad mood personified." But you can't wear mesh to the office (seriously: YOU CAN'T. DON'T).
This year, my boyfriend is doing 31 Nights of Horror, a daily infusion of cinematic gore lasting the entire month of October. I plan on spending a lot of time in the bedroom, maybe getting caught up on some reading or looking at ways to beef up my resume (real talk: I will be playing on Pinterest and drinking whiskey). We celebrate the month in different ways; he, by embracing the blood-and-guts side of it; me, by ignoring that in favour of looking at pictures of children dressed up adorably for Halloween. Oh, and I also bake zombie cupcakes.
There are October things I genuinely like: I like the seasonal change, obviously, as does everyone who is marooned on a heat island. I like the shift to tights, sweaters, and scarves. I like the treetop colours and the turkey dinner, eating fun-sized O Henry bars by the fistful, picking out the season's knitting projects, and great sleeps. I enjoy the shrieking...from the living room.