In honor of Fright Night, please enjoy my top 10 list of THINGS THAT ARE REALLY SCARY:
10) Your Cash Goes Into a Crypt: From $40 costumes to a small fortune for Halloween decorations and “the good candy,” sky-high tickets costs for Halloween fairs, pumpkin patches, and amusement parks’ fright fests, this ain’t yo’ mama’s cut-a-hole-in-a-sheet-and-run-with-it deal anymore.
9) Pooch Pressure: My bitch’s costume is cuter than mine. And there’s a better assortment for her, too.
8) Sluts ’R Us: A holiday that was once for kids has now been co-opted by adults. And the emphasis is on its pagan roots, judging from the fact that almost every costume I look at for my daughter is some form of ’ho, from slutty fairy to naughty nurse, sexy sailor, and pimp’in princess.
7) Evil Old Witch is All I Got: As much as I love playing dress-up, the best costumes are inappropriate for me, too. (See #8, above.)
6) Frankenmommy: In recent months, I’ve begun to fall apart, and only a mad scientist can put me back together again. I have an extra bone in my ankle, a twisted crick in my neck, a herniated belly button, and migraines with auras. The diagnosis of the latter entailed an EEG and an MRI, which was beyond terrifying.
5) Freaks Come Out at Night: Every four years, Halloween coincides with the presidential election. Each morning I wake up to find my inbox stuffed with threats of doom & gloom if I don’t donate more cash to the cause. What scares me most is that nearly $6 billion will be spent between the two main candidates on this election — the most ever, despite the fact that our nation is still grappling with the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Just imagine if the SuperPAC ghouls behind the vast majority of the funds treated those who need it most instead of blowing it all on negative campaign ads and other dirty tricks.
4) Vampires Suck: Popular culture has thrown so many zombies, vampires, werewolves, witches, and other things that go bump in the night at us year-round that Halloween tends to arrive with a whimper, not a fang. And Sarah Palin is writing a fitness book, so all the scary creatures of the season have truly gone mainstream.
3) Death by Chocolate: My annual mantra, “if nobody sees me eating it, there are no calories” is already a multiple-times daily chant. And the introduction of Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups was the death knell of my once-girlish figure.
2) Spirit of Christmas: This year retail has been so desperate for sales that Halloween kicked off in July, and the winter holidays blanketed stores by September. Forget last minute Halloween shopping: you’ll have to navigate your way through endless banks of ornaments and other holiday decorations to find a lousy bag of candy corn hidden in a dark corner.
1) The Last of the Great Pumpkins: Somehow there’s nothing that embodies childhood more than Halloween. In fact, when we moved to LA, the biggest selling point for the home we bought was that this holiday is by far the biggest and best on our block. This year, my youngest makes her final appearance in her school’s Halloween parade, and my oldest is making plans to hang with his friends on Halloween night. Recently I flipped through some old photos, and the ones that truly made me weep were the baby pumpkins, mini-super heroes, sweet little Tinkerbells, and most touching, the tiny hands clutching their big daddy’s while they trick or treated. So while my kids aren’t totally done with Halloween yet, the phantom writing is on the wall.
So if a weepy witch answers the door on October 31st, just ignore the trail of tissues and Reese’s dark chocolate wrappers, and grab an extra fun-size bar or two. After all, candy makes everything better.