Actually, this is Halloween

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Illustration by Niusha Derakhshan.

Illustration by Niusha Derakhshan.

Someone, who for purposes of anonymity shall be referred to herewith as Old Misery Guts, has declared war on Halloween. Old Misery Guts hates this holiday, and everything related to it. O.M. Guts has been personally victimized by Halloween. Well, buddy, get ready to be properly victimized by me, because I love Halloween, and I’m going to prove it’s worth all the hype.

Halloween is glorious. For one night out of every 365, you can be whoever you want to be, regardless of what you are the other 364. Hello, middle-aged cat lady, you’re going to the office party dressed as Freddie Mercury? You are the champion, madam. That’s a flippant example, but consider seriously  those kids growing up: how awesome is it to see all those little girls running around as Batman chasing the little boys dressed as Elsa? Fuck your gender expectations, this is Halloween and we’re going to be anything we want, and you’re gonna give us candy for it! Actually, fuck your racial normativity, too, and forget religious connotations, ‘cause this holiday is secular (apologies to the Wiccans). Candy for everyone, in every outfit! (Unless, of course, that outfit is racist or insensitive in which case you’re going to get egged. As you should.)

Which brings me to point the second: candy. We’re not talking about the girl next door with the stripper name; we’re talking honest-to-goodness, sugar-loaded, edible trash! Enough to last through Christmas, if you keep them away from your Dad. Halloween is the one night it’s ok to take candy from strangers; hell, you get to extort those suckers from the general populace. And if they won’t give you any, they’re the dicks! And so the values of sharing and generosity are imparted upon new generations, as is neighbourliness. What better time to feel community spirit than at Halloween? With all the kids roaming the streets in snow-suited packs, parents taking shifts to walk in front and cruise that one minivan behind: that’s some prime bonding time right there. Think about how much your parents must have loved you to volunteer for that shit when they could have been at a party.

Ah, point the third: halloween parties. From those tween gatherings loaded with green Kool-Aid laced with gummy worms, to those grown-up ones with new and interesting ways to make alcohol glow, who doesn’t love a Halloween party? It’s the chance to earn the appreciation of your fellow peers with a killer outfit (literally or figuratively), to flail around to “Thriller” like you could summon M.J. from the dead with your moves, and to step outside your comfort zone in a relatively safe space. Weird shit happens on Halloween, my friends. Embrace it! Lean into the crazy for a night!

My point, if there’s a final one to be made, is that Halloween is so much more than just a day to look ridiculous. Halloween is a time of human fellowship and understanding disguised as greed and trickery. Welcome to Canada, Old Misery Guts. We’re rarely what anyone expects.

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