Halloween scares me. Of course, I’m scared of lots of things—poverty, cancer, rape, gang violence, Satan, etc. I thought I should admit that up front. Make of it what you will.
Let’s talk about my October 31 fears. Last year, I picked up my daughter from middle school and discovered the truth: Halloween is just a widespread excuse for immodesty. Oh! The mini-skirts! The black fishnet stockings! The spaghetti straps! The teenage cleavage! And thighs! I haven’t seen so much skanky clothing since, hmmm, I don’t know, . . . high school in the 1980s. What is it about Halloween that brings out the inner tramp in these girls? While wearing a YW medallion or Armor of God pendant might not be the height of en vogue, neither is it a fashion faux pas with most of my daughters’ friends, so I surprised at the (lack of) costumes.
That was last Halloween, and I never got around to blogging about it, which showcases another fear of mine: unfinished projects. Then I attended our ward’s Halloween party and realized this problem is much, much deeper than I had previously supposed.
Halloween is not just an excuse for young and (this is even more scary) not-so-young girls and guys to expose themselves. Many of us also use it to express our hidden fascination with the gruesome, the grisly, the violent, and the macabre—our inner ax murderer, so to speak. Look, I come from a family of hunters and guns, and we raised our own beef cattle, which we slaughtered, thus I’m no stranger to blood and guts. I really did not enjoy it, but I felt like it would be hypocritical to eat meat and refuse to participate in the process. Halloween costumes take things to a different level of gore and human bloodshed. It seems like a celebration of disgusting inhumanity. How else can I explain the knives sunk to their hilts in the soft neck tissues and all the colorful clotted blood dripping down to one’s fingertips? Just the neighbors I want to sit by at the ward chili cook-off/trunk-or-treat activity. Yummy.
Of course, by now you are saying, “Sister Kylie, you take this all too seriously. Relax. You’re sounding judgmental and squeamish.” And you’re right. There are plenty of princesses, pumpkins, and teddy bears in the costume line-up. No doubt they are expressing their inner regality and loveable-ness, and they will all grow up to be fabulous, contributing members of society.
And it’s certainly possible that Halloween costuming doesn’t express anyone’s inner desires at all. Maybe they just bought that costume because it was cheap, or maybe it was a hand-me-down, or maybe it simply was what their mom or dad made for them. Maybe they are just costumes. See, Kylie, there’s nothing to be scared of.
So I can just end the blog right now and go finish my costume. Because yes, I, myself, enjoy a bit of holiday revelry, though I’m not one who dusts off her Christmas Pageant angel costume a few months early for Halloween double duty. No, no. I recently discovered my prom dress in my mother’s basement. I am happy to say that it still fits, which, as any stylish mother of five knows, is reason enough to wear it. Plus, I am feeling the need to be a 1980s Prom Queen. Because I never was one, you know. Not even a Prom Princess or Attendant or whatever they were called. I’m not bitter, and I’m not upset about that at all. So don’t read anything into it. It’s just a costume, albeit one that needs some alterations on the sleeves to make them completely modest.