30 October 2010

Designer's confessional: I don't get Halloween


OK, I'm taking a break from my usually scheduled reruns to make an earth-shattering confession.

 I don't get Halloween.

I liked it well enough when I was a kid but after the age of about 12 I just stopped understanding its appeal. I like who I am and I like the life I lead. So why should I dress up like somebody else for a night?

35 comments:

  1. Then I think you'll appreciate this NYT opinion piece titled "Scariest Sight on Halloween? Grown-Ups":
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/opinion/31stine.html

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  2. Hey, thanks! That's a great piece and I would have missed it completely.

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  3. Those are the two saddest-lookin' pumpkins I've ever seen.

    How about I wish you a Happy Sunday?

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  4. I don't get it either!
    This year it's driving me bonkers because it's three days....Friday for the kids at school, Saturday for the mormons and Sunday for the real holiday.
    I've wondered if I don't like it because I don't have kids. I call myself the Scrooge of Halloween.

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  5. I never really understood it myself...but that's probably due to the fact that I was a strange child who preferred vegetables to tootsie rolls.

    Also, living in the boonies didn't help...trick-or-treating would require not only the effort of a costume, but also a drive in to town to knock on the doors of people I didn't know (scary for me even as an adult!), and all for candy I didn't really want...

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  6. I agree.
    For me, as a kid growing up in canada, hallowe'en was all about the candy. ALL about the candy. Dressing up was just what you had to do to get your hands on a black garbage bag full of the stuff.
    Since I've grown out of my candy obsession hallowe'en has really lost its meaning for me. Now I'm in the UK where they never used to bother with it at all, but it is creeping in, invidiously. It is still only about little kids dressed as witches and harry potter though, adults don't get involved. Thank god!
    Now Paul, quick question. Bulthaup. More money than sense or fabulous if you can afford it?

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  7. I guess I have always enjoyed Halloween because as a kid, I always had Halloween-themed birthday parties(Oct 19). As I got a bit older, Halloween always reminded me of watching scary movies and the transition from summer to winter(we really don't have autumn when you think about it). Halloween at one time was the beginning to the Christmas retail season- now that's sometime in July I think. Ha!

    As far as the dressing up and candy and silliness- I'll pass. Halloween is nostalgic for me- maybe no one else would get it the way I do.

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  8. Oh, Paul, I'm so sorry for you that you've lost your Halloween spirit. As adults, we wear "masks" of our own creation and at the behest of so many others in our lives. Halloween allows us to let down our hair, be goofy, scary, silly, sexy, whatever, and just have some fun. It's great to be someone else once in a while, especially someone of our own choosing. Why the hell not? And since Halloween is my birthday, I've never stopped trick-or-treating and dressing up (even if it's just a cat tail & some ears). And now that I have kids, well the fun just continues. But I guess you'll be one of those dark-don't-go-there-kids-the-porch-light's-not-on kind of houses. Boo :-( That makes me sad.

    I will drink a glass of witch's brew & eat a kit-kat in your honor tonight anyway.

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  9. Raina: Feel free to wish me a Happy Halloween. It's not as if I hate Halloween, it just doesn't feel like its mine somehow. Maybe it's because I'm barren.

    Steph: I live in a downtown neighborhood that's devoid of children. Seriously. There aren't any kids in a several block radius. When Halloween rolls around every year all I can see are middle-aged people behaving badly. I don't get it. But then again, I don't get New Year's Eve hoopla either.

    Chamois: I loved Halloween as a kid, i loved it. But I'm not a kid anymore.

    Melissa: This is an English holiday by the way. At least that's where the US got it. I always thought it was amusing that in England it was always an afterthought but in the US it had always been a big deal. Oh and if you'e considering Balthaup, Godspeed. They are worth every penny.

    Nick: I enjoyed it as a kid but I don't get real nostalgic very easily. I loved fall back then and still do even though I live in a part of the world where we really don't have one of those. I do make it a point to get back tot he northeast every autumn just to see it. I love autumn, but Halloween? Meh.

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  10. Tammy: I don't wear a mask in my day to day life and I feel free enough to let down my hair when ever the mood strikes. I don't hate Halloween and I'd never rain on some child's parade when he or she came knocking on October 31st. I don't understand the fuss about Halloween as an adult, that's all I'm saying. If I had kids I'd be making sure that they grew up with some great memories of their their Halloweens but since I don't have kids, why should I pretend that I do? Or even worse, pretend that I still am one myself?

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  11. Paul, where is your adventure? :)

    Coming from a large family you appreciated Halloween as it meant extra treats, extra goodies ... and using your creativity for a costume. Yep, there were the 'good old days'.
    -Brenda-
    P.S: I hope those Pumpkins had better days.

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  12. OOOps, meant 'THEY were the ......"
    -Brenda-

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  13. I loved Halloween as a kid, I loved it. Probably more than most. But I'm not a kid anymore.

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  14. I suppose I should spend some time thinking about what I love about Halloween, but on the surface? It's just fun. I love that this time of year is reserved for creepy, crawly, scary fun. I love how much the kids look forward to it. I love stealing Kit Kats and Reese's Peanutbutter cups from my daughter's bag. I love the parties, the chill in the air, the haunted houses that the neighbors put up. Those feelings are all interwoven with how much I love the changing of the leaves and the way the air smells, not to mention the relief from the blazing hot sun. I love the pumpkins, carving them and eating the seeds. AND I love my friends who actually hide in the basement and turn out their lights so that they don't have to dole out $70 worth of candy!

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  15. I am not much of a Halloween person myself -- I did not really like it even as a kid, except for the Sweet Tarts candy. I hated having to wear plastic masks.

    That said, I do think some adult costumes are entirely witty, clever, and creative. Nothing wrong with that.

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  16. Honestly, I would never turn off my porch light and hide from trick-or-treaters. Never! I'm glad some people love this holiday. Really.

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  17. I don't think it's wrong or a waste of time or anything bad. It's just not for me.

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  18. I'm not a fan either. When did Hallowe'en become such a huge event? When I was a kid, the only Hallowe'en decorations were jack-o-lanterns. Now, some people really go all-out with the decorations!

    Oh well, we have our bowl of chocolates ready & waiting for the little ghosts & goblins tonight :-)

    Kelly

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  19. Why do so many member of our generation refuse to grow up is a better question.

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  20. Well it is originally a pagan festival of some sort wasn't it? Not sure if english or european or what. Then got sort of semi wrapped up in all souls' day in the christian calendar. And I understand the brits used to carve turnips (new world pumpkins SO much more picturesque though!). Anyway I took my troupe out to do a bit of trick or treating tonight and the few houses with anyone home were very surprised to see us and had to scrabble around to find something to put in the kids bags. 2 houses could only come up with a packet of crisps (chips) each. One woman said "I've lived here for 30 years and nobody has ever trick or treated here before - and I'm american!"

    Paul SO interesting you said that, I thought you'd say bulthaup was insanely overpriced. It sure is beautiful though. Hmmm. They are working on a design for me - I have a bonkers-high figure in my head for what the estimate will be but I'm slightly expecting it to be even more. My plan is to have a VAST larder/pantry/wine store so I need hardly any cabinetry in the kitchen and afford it that way but let's see. I'll keep you posted!

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  21. As I understand it, it's an old Celtic tradition so while not English per se it's pretty close. If I'm wrong, Nim will sweep in to correct me shortly. :)

    I love the idea of a huge larder and minimal cabinetry. I'd love to see where you go with this.

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  22. "Honestly, I would never turn off my porch light and hide from trick-or-treaters'
    Hah! I did! I can't stand the dogs going nuts every time the doorbell rings!

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  23. Oh my Melody, you've become the cranky old woman on the block.

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  24. Hurrah! Glad you like the idea. I will share the bulthaup man's ideas when I get them, probably early next week. The cabinetry is further reduced because of the existence of my Aga, which means I don't need any oven housing or hobs etc. Im thinking of short run of low cabinets around the aga and then a long, lean and elegant B3 island wrapped in stainless steel and containing the sink. This is my inspiration photo... http://style-files.com/images/bulthaup500x392.jpg

    Of course I don't have the tuscan pressing barn to put it in but you get the idea!
    Anyway I've hijacked your hallowe'en post, I apologise!

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  25. Melissa, if we're going to talk about Bulthaup you're welcome to hijack posts any time.

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  26. I'm starting to get the feeling like we can never be friends in real life because I have quite a selection of wigs and costumes. I wear them more to costume parties that aren't even on Halloween! I love dressing up because it's really hard to wear drag queen amounts of glitter and fake eyelashes when I go eat at Chili's on a Tuesday night.

    Sigh... I guess we'll always have our mutual hatred of Apartment Therapy. ; )

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  27. You know, we'd have a better shot at being friends in real life if you did wear drag queen amounts of glitter and fake eyelashes to Chili's on Tuesdays.

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  28. By "glitter and fake eyelashes" I really meant fake mustache and Hawaiian shirt for when I'm in my Magnum P.I. costume mood. ; )

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  29. So long as that Hawaiian shirt is a Tommy Bahama you'll fit right in.

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  30. LOL, I hope you didn't hold your breath waiting for me to weigh in on this one :) I actually don't know a lot about the foundation of the Hallowe'en holiday. (odd, I know!)

    That being said, Hallowe'en is one of my very favourite holidays (and my wedding anniversary to boot). I don't much subscribe to the crappy over-commercialized hot mess that it's become mind you... it's like the people who worked so hard at making Xmas into a big plastic commercial-fest are now turning their sights to Hallowe'en as their next holiday to ruin.

    I am ALWAYS happy for an excuse to dress up in costume though, candy or not candy. (which is likely why I currently play in two different types of historical reenactment groups)

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  31. I'm shocked! Well as I understand it, Halloween is the Christian replacement for the Celtic Samhein.

    And you madam, get points off the charts for dressing up as Medea last week.

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  32. Oh those Christians bastardizing all the holidays.. no wonder that there's so much confusion over what holidays are really supposed to be about. You should see the look I get from people when I talk about making a Yul sacrifice of gingerbread men to Odin. Now THAT'S a holiday :)

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  33. Nim: A friend popped this onto my Facebook page yesterday and you will get a kick out of it. http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-know-has-halloween-become-overcommercialize,14284/

    It's a literal interpretation of what you just said.

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  34. I love Halloween - I love the idea of celebrating (for once in the year) things that are scary and not nice. In a year filled with sticky-sweet celebrations of romance, family (usually with the obligatory dinner that only serves to highlight the various tensions) and high-minded events like the founding of our respective nations, I love the one holiday that still flirts with the dark side of life.

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  35. Which is precisely why we need to dump the Disney Princess costumes and adopt Mexico's Day of the Dead.

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