So I’m at Target last night scanning the aisles for last-minute Halloween supplies. Of course they are all picked over as I knew they would be. I don’t shop much anymore and never immersed myself in this year’s spooky retail haven. Although thank you The Surfing Pizza for letting me live that voyeuristically through your kick-ass blog.
Sure there was a decent stock of Halloween-themed baking supplies on the shelves– skeleton cookie mix, monster cupcake kits, pumpkin-shaped molds for people who have the time and desire to make their own chocolate. I stood there for five minutes contemplating whether or not to bake a fun Halloween treat for the party I’m attending tonight. Then I decided I’d just make a cheese plate with the expensive block of Havarti in the fridge that my kid won’t eat. We began to head toward the produce section for grapes. Yes, don’t you love that Target (or Super Target as it is also known) has its own grocery store? A one-stop shop without the outrageously and questionably dressed patrons of Wal-Mart (I can’t believe spell check just told me I misspelled Wal-Mart. And that spell check knows Wal-Mart).
But on the way to produce my son and I had to do a quick peek at the left-over decorations and costumes. Good thing is they were all on sale. Bad thing is they looked pitiful. The shelves were half-stocked with glittery, painted pumpkins and white, plastic spiders just hoping to be taken home. And half of the costumes were either on the floor or falling off the hanger. I did find one killer hat I had to purchase, even if I don’t wear it for the party or trick-r-treating. It was seriously the only one left and was on sale. And it makes me look like a chick Victorian vampire-lady. Whatever the hell that is. It doesn’t matter. It’s Halloween. You can make a hat and a t-shirt into any character you want.
As we neared the back of the store there was a grocery cart overflowing with Halloween decor and supplies I knew were facing their ultimate demise– the dusty warehouse or cheap Dollar Store. I felt sorry for them, knowing they didn’t even cut it for the season’s last-minute Halloween shoppers. And right behind them stacked in neat rows and standing full and proud and new were holiday lights and plastic Christmas wreaths. They were kind of laughing at the cart of forgotten fright. They were slowly creeping, those creepy Christmas thingies, towards the fun aisle that would be a plastic winter wonderland in days.
I love you Halloween, in all your kooky spookiness. You don’t prance around for months, steam-rolling over Thanksgiving and guilting us into buying presents we can’t really afford. You provide us a reason to dress up like Batman, a princess, a warrior, or a dude with a mullet. For one night (or many, depending on how many parties attended) we get to be someone else. And the kids, they get CANDY. No questions asked. Oh yeah, except for “Trick or treat?” And we get to steal from their bags. Or scare the shit out of them as they near the front porch. You make it OK to watch ridiculous horror flicks, dress in orange and black, and TP someone’s yard with Charmin.
The only thing I don’t like about you Halloween is that you don’t stay very long. You slink away into the morning after with your half-eaten Tootsie Rolls while we have to pick up the worn vampire ensemble off the floor and long for you until next year. And you leave your moans, screams, and howls echoing in the fog as irritating holiday music blasts on a short rotation out of every department store or gas station way way way too early.