Let me preface this by saying that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? It’s an excuse to eat candy from which you ordinarily abstain (heck yeah I want some bite-sized Snickers wrapped in sour strawberry belts! Get in my mouth!), watch terrible scary movies from the seventies and love every minute of it, dress up as a witch/clown-if-you’re-a-sick-freak/nurse/princess/serving wench in order to live out your repressed Freudian dreams, and absorb all things atmospherically spooky.
I love spooky.
Plus, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is pretty much my favorite television special of all time.
For reasons I cannot fathom, Mike doesn’t like Halloween. My husband, my beloved, the one I have chosen to share the rest of my days with and raise children with and generally be around twenty-four-seven does. Not. Like. Halloween.
I don’t even know what to say about it.
Because I love him and want what’s best for him, with a bit of conditioning over the past ten years I have been able to warm him to this glorious holiday celebrating mayhem and dead things. Sometimes he’ll even dress up, if properly coaxed. When I produced my twelve-year-old Princess Leia costume for a party we were attending a few years back, he rallied and purchased the accompanying Han Solo getup.
A man has never been more attractive to me than he was at that moment.
The year we were camping for Halloween, we sat around the campfire and I read to him from my tome of Edgar Allen Poe’s collected works. Nothing puts you in the Halloween mood like “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” read by firelight in a deserted campground whose only other occupant is probably a scraggly-bearded serial killer – and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.
Last year, we went to a Halloween party where dressing up was mandatory – like I’ve ever needed an excuse – but we had just gotten married and returned from a honeymoon so the palace coffers were a bit drained. Costume purchases were just not high on the priority list. Also, Mike didn’t want to dress up that year. I can’t blame him too much – after a long day at work, a dude just doesn’t feel like sporting a unitard and superhero cape or even a sweaty rubber Nixon mask. So I got creative and hightailed it to one of those pop-up Halloween superstores and bought fake blood, white greasepaint, and a prosthetic flesh-wound, all supplies necessary for my transformation into a vampire and his into my frat-boy victim. All he needed were the puncture wounds and a trickle of fake blood on his neck.
I am a genius.
Maybe it wasn’t the best costume ever. Okay! So it sucked terribly! You try coming up with two ground-breaking costumes for under ten bucks.
My point here is that one does not overcome a lifetime-aversion to a holiday overnight. It must be a gradual process. Like being boiled alive.
All part of my plan to
brainwash him gently persuade him to my way of seeing things.
This year, we will carve a pumpkin, watch scary movies – I’m thinking the original The Omen? Or maybe It? – and hand out candy to stray trick-or-treaters (our neighborhood isn’t exactly a hotbed of Halloween activity).
Next year, I’m aiming for a modest allowance of cotton-fiber spiderwebs strewn around the house and maybe a ghoul hanging from our tree in front.
Probably in ten years he will help me set up a graveyard on the front lawn, complete with fog machine, and life-size wax statues of Michael Myers and Pinhead to grace our front porch. Wielding knives. And a chainsaw. Also a mummy that jumps out at unsuspecting kids holding a still-beating heart.
My enthusiasm can be contagious.