A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that a Halloween decoration I'd been eyeing called 'Scary Peeper Creeper' was banned in Canada after a mom complained that it "makes light of a very serious crime. Voyeurism is a crime in Canada.” This story didn't really surprise me, given that every year, there's a somewhat frightening number of parents with Halloween-related complaints who make their voices heard. Whether they're messaging news stations, knocking on neighbors' doors, texting their kids' teachers, hassling local business owners, or simply posting on Facebook, the contingent of parents who wish to alter, judge, or personally control some element of how Halloween gets celebrated grows each year. What used to be a holiday centered on children running around in homemade costumes and shoving candy in their mouths unsupervised has turned into a holiday that represents the most irritating aspects of modern parenting. Halloween is now the holiday equivalent of participation trophies in children's sports. Parents have zeroed in on what they DO and DON'T like about Halloween, and the list keeps growing year over year.
Every parent who is in some small way turning Halloween into an annual Complainer's Ball chooses his or her area of discipline. Some parents want more vegan snacks. Others want their kids to avoid harsh dyes. Peanut allergies must be considered. So should children with any number of disabilities -- some of which we haven't even come up with diagnoses for yet -- because promoting inclusivity is trendy, and making assumptions makes an ASS out of U and ME. Be accepting. Be nice. Be patient. It's everyone's Halloween.
I don't know about you guys, but when I was a kid the only thing my mother was concerned with was how she would newly scare all the neighborhood children. In her eyes, kids shouldn't be rewarded with candy just for wandering over to our house. They had to greet my mother, wearing lan outlandish witch costume, usually sitting in a rocking chair pretending not to be real until the last second when the child reached out for a piece of candy. Her number one priority was buying cheap chocolate in bulk and decorating the house with an excessive amount of synthetic spider webs. Our house didn't have any mangled baby dolls dangling from the trees, but getting spooked and overeating candy were very clearly the hallmarks of Halloween. Sure, I knew one kid whose sugar-phobic dad took the majority of her candy away the minute she got home from trick-or-treating, but uptight parents were rare. If anything, Halloween was exciting because it felt kind of "acceptably lawless." Now, parents set out special teal pumpkins, bring their kids to health-conscious "trunk or treat" gatherings, gripe about gory displays at stores, and drive their kids door-to-door like chauffeurs if it's even the tiniest bit cold, dark, or "scary" outside.
I'm sorry, unless you live in a rural area where the houses are *really* far apart, I'm not sure why you're driving your kid around before s/he eats their weight in chocolate. Halloween candy hand-outs are designed to be earned. Plus, the entire point is for kids to roam around and freak each other out and delight each other with their costumes. Hasn't everybody watched the Halloween scene in E.T.? The holiday shouldn't be taken so seriously, and parents should pull the sticks out of their asses for a night (unless, of course, they're dressing up as a 'Helicopter Parent,' which I could see involving a stick prop of some kind). Not to mention, if Halloween is supposed to be about "inclusivity," why have so many parents taken to putting up signs like this?
Honestly, I can't keep up with the rules anymore, nor can I decide who the bigger asshole is in this scenario. Is it the snobbish and rude parent who takes the time to put out this sign, or is it the parents who "truck their children" into other neighborhoods because they're better for trick-or-treating? (I'd be remiss if I didn't mention last year's video featuring a mom stealing a bucket of candy.) At this point, it's hard to decipher just how varied and complex the rules of Halloween have gotten due to parents being paranoid and/or flagrantly entitled, but one thing is for sure: Nothing scares me more than a generation of parents who sap the fun out of arguably the year's best holiday. Let's check out some examples of parents who might want to loosen up and throw on a pair of devil horns, if only for a day.
Okay, okay, parents -- we get it. Once kids enter the picture, it can be hard to muster the energy or enthusiasm to dress up on Halloween, especially if you're the parent of four kids. But here's the thing: This joke is stale, and it's kind of sad in that "woe is me, how will I ever manage to pull a mask over my face or throw on a wig?" tone that parents should seriously consider retiring. I've even written an entire post on this subject since so many parents make this joke around Halloween. Some are a little more matter-of-fact, like the mom above, but others use Halloween as an opportunity to shun their friends, too.
Oh, SNAP, Adam! While I like the sexy beekeeper jab, how about not equating dressing up on Halloween with "ignoring kids"? Just because some parents dress up doesn't mean they're bad at parenting. Stop being so bitter and go eat a Mr. Goodbar or something. Down a few Pixy Stix. Live a little.
I just think it's funny that Lyssa made a special orange and black sign to both commemorate Halloween AND tell people not to ring her doorbell in a fun, festive, seasonal way. I'm imagining a bunch of parents gently knocking on the door just before their kids start shrieking "TRICK OR TREAT!!!" as Lyssa frantically shushes and shoos them away. Perhaps the most aggravating thing about the sign is that it actually would've made for a GREAT costume if it was a sinister trick. Can't you picture Lyssa opening the door with a giant cleaver in her hand and a pile of fake corpses lying on the floor behind her as she pointed to the doorbell sign? Now that sounds like a fright-filled night. Unfortunately, that's not the case here and Lyssa is being 100% sincere. I hope she bought some good treats to make up for this lame example of "adulting."
I can't be totally sure, but I *think* the list of stores that have offended parents with their Halloween displays exceeds the number of "Friday the 13th," "Nightmare On Elm Street," and "Leprechaun" movies combined. Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, every grocery store chain in existence... I agree some Halloween decor is scary, but that's part of the fun of Halloween. Isn't it?
Is anyone else thinking that severed limb candy sounds delicious? Sorry, gals, but Halloween isn't about "cutesy cartoony stuff." It's not a Disney cruise, unless the cruise was staffed by Disney characters who were zombified and performed the 'Thriller' dance on a loop. There's no accounting for taste, and some of us happen to like darkness, death, excessive creepiness, and all the other "evil" things associated with Halloween. I'm guessing these ladies are the ones who always dress up as cheerleaders, princesses, and fairies for Halloween (and not the good, bloody, dead kind with ripped-up costumes). Yawn.
No need to be whorey slutbags, sisters! Put that sexy beekeeper or sexy cat or sexy astronaut costume away and acknowledge your WORTH. Do not fall victim to the sinister side of Halloween, what with the boozing and fishnet thigh-highs and making out with random strangers in dark bars and stuff. You are better than that! You could even work toward achieving the highest calling there is which is called being a MOM, and then you'll really have a lot to say about slutty whores and trollops who dress "sexy" for Halloween! Hahaha. Those slut-monsters. They shouldn't dress like such dirty, drunk prostitutes disguised as witches and pirates. Any MOM can see through that act! Halloween is about family hay rides, carving Frozen characters into pumpkins, and avoiding big parties.
I'm not saying Elizabeth is lying here, but I *am* saying that she has an incredibly anomalous number of stories involving "people doing crazy shit" with candy. I respect her decision to "warn" her friends about The Case of the Torn Snickers Peanut Butter Bar, and yet I can't help but recall the best Mom's Gold Star example regarding poisoned-candy paranoia EVER from last year. If only more parents had a sense of humor about such things.
Aaaaand here comes Samantha with the mic drop. I love everything about her reply to Kim's sanctimonious horn-tooting. She's basically like, "Oh really? You donate your kids' extra candy to mission in Mexico? 'Cuz what we like to do is pilfer all the good shit from our child, fill an empty jumbo coffee can with candy, and just work our way through it piece-by-piece while watching 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' in bed. But um, cool, yeah, your way works, too, if you're the type who thinks it's a noble act to donate $6 worth of drugstore candy to a homeless shelter. Good on you, lol."
Thanks for the laugh, Samantha. I prefer your method.