Trying to be festive at Halloween

Published 12:32 am Saturday, October 24, 2009

I am supposed to attend a Halloween party Saturday evening. I’m sure that is not unusual for many this time of year. But for me, it will be a first.

At 27 years old, I have never attended a Halloween party. Come to think of it, I haven’t worn a Halloween costume since the second grade. And I haven’t gone trick-or-treating since I was about 5. I vaguely remember that. I dressed as a pirate. I think.

Over the past two decades, my Halloween commemoration has been limited to rejoicing at the volumes of discount candy that stores are anxious to move on Nov. 1. That, my friends, is a good time.

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I’ve never been opposed to Halloween. I mean, it’s fine I suppose. Dress up as someone or something else. Eat candy. Do the whole haunted house, hayride, scary movie thing. It has just never been my thing.

This year, I will attempt to make it my thing. I don’t do it necessarily because I want to. But the party is hosted by some very close friends who have been nothing short of tremendous any time I have needed assistance. So when they hand me an invitation to a party that says “costume required,” I figure the absolute least I can do is attempt to be festive.

So that begged the question; what does a 27-year-old who has not worn a Halloween costume since early in his grade school days wear? An immediate inventory of my wardrobe was necessary. Nope. Nada. There is not one thing I own that I could wear that would make me look like anyone but myself.

Now, many of my friends are creative and can fashion a Halloween costume out of everyday clothing items.

My friend Beth is turning a cocktail dress into a ladybug costume. Cute. Creative. Problem solved. For her.

For me? Who knows?

So, only three days before the party, I begin Google searching Halloween costumes.

Popular items among many in the late 20s male demographic include a spectrum of things that either don’t suit my personality or represent things contradictory to my belief system.

On a sidenote, popular items among many in the late 20s female demographic run the risk of making one re-evaluate his belief system. Dangerous. Thankfully, I’ll not be attending that kind of party.

So, still, no costume. I searched for a good three hours that night. Everything I came across was either unappealing or too expensive. Bummer. So the thought of bailing out popped up.

It’s a funny thing when you’ve reached a point in your life that you know who you are. It’s a potentially annoying thing when you realize that person will be attending a Halloween party. In costume.

The search resumes. Pirates of the Caribbean? No. Batman? Over done. Superman? I don’t like the whole “underwear outside of pants” situation. Iron Man? Fabric costume cannot look like metal suit. Optical impossibility. Star Trek? Not unless I plan on moving my parents into a house with a basement so that I can live in it and have online debates in Klingon. Harry Potter? I’m a straight. I’m male. I’m grown. No dice. Police officer? That costume carries an entirely different connotation nowadays no matter what time of year it is. Fireman? See “police officer.” This 15-minute costume purchase quickly became a three-hour long societal reflection.

Finally, I was tired. It was time to go home. The traditional ghost costume seemed to bland. The Ghostbusters costume seemed on point, with the exception of the inflatable gun and poor customer reviews. So what did I ultimately go with?

I had to go for a throwback. A 1970s superhero who made a resurgence in popularity in the late 90s as an animated talk show host. Yep. Space Ghost.

So that ended that saga. Maybe I should have just stuck with going as someone who dislikes Halloween parties.

Jeremy D. Smith is the sports editor of the Demopolis Times