For the first time in the history of Kelly, I'm putting on my big girl pants and skipping Halloween. This is monumental. Halloween is my Christmas - I look forward to it all year long, I plan ahead for the perfect costume, and I would have a mix tape of spooky sounds like chains, howling wolves, and maniacal laughs on repeat if I knew where to find one of those (besides 1985). After soul searching and gnashing of teeth, I've made the mature decision not to go out and mingle with the ghouls and slutty pirates/Care Bears/cats/etc. but to stay at home and prepare for the oral defense portion of my exams.
But what if something happens between now and next year, and I'm suddenly too mature to go out for Halloween? What if I'm overcome with adulthood and can't manage to put on my costume and party face to celebrate? That would be like finding out that Santa isn't real all over again. Then all I'd have to hope for is being the mom (or creepy childless lady on the street) who peels grapes to pass off as eyeballs.
Back in the day, I used to be ready at 4:00 on Halloween in my yellow crayon suit, eyeliner cat whiskers, or Olympic ice skater outfit just waiting to go out with the hundreds of other kids in the neighborhood to be the first to hit the house where the guy who owned the Shell station gave out king-size candy bars. His contribution was balanced out on the parent scale because the orthodontist a few houses down always gave out toothbrushes and those tablets that turned the gunk on your teeth pink. Then, after a long night of trekking around our neighborhood, my favorite part of Halloween happened - candy sorting. I've always been one who appreciates a sense of order. Making micro piles of candy brands, then macro piles of types, then super macro piles for "yuck" and "yum" entertained me until bedtime. I had a childlike sense of benevolence too, since I would gather up the yuck pile of Charleston Chews, Mary Janes, and Peanut Clusters and be all, "Here, Daddy, I saved these just for you because I love you."
More recently, I exercised my Halloween spirit by forcing my best friend in college to go out for Halloween with me dressed as Playboy Bunnies without any irony, despite it being Parents' Weekend. That turned out unfortunately, because for some reason, all Halloween parties were put on hold for that weekend and we didn't get the memo. So, there we were, inappropriately bunnied, Elle Woods style, walking around in the freezing cold. Even that didn't break my Hallo-will to party in costume.
I feel like I should be proud of myself for making a mature decision this year, but it's hard. This will be yet another year where Eric and I can't be a monkey and organ grinder pair. Though, logistically speaking, an adult would say that being a monkey on roller skates while drinking would be a bad idea anyway. Speaking of viewing Halloween through adult eyes, today Eric ruined my fond memories of the king-size candy house by realistically stating that the guy gave those out because he bought them in bulk for the gas station and got a deal. So, he wasn't that cool after all. Engineer logic ruins all of my good memories.
So what should I do this year when I'm at home by myself studying, with Eric at a trade show and all of my friends being normal people and going out? I'm thinking of sharing my bitterness with all of the little children and only giving out Charleston Chews, Peanut Clusters, and Mary Janes. I would obviously reserve some of these for Dad because I love him. Or, maybe I'll just turn out all the lights and tell kids to get off my lawn.