I Never Trick-or-Treated

Bayleigh Weber, Opinion Editor

I do not like Halloween. My dearest apologies to those I likely just offended. 

I want to be into Halloween like all the cool alt girls in Hot Topic are, but try as I may, I just do not care for the 31st. 

Year after year, I try to gaslight myself into liking Halloween by decorating my room and watching movies that give me nightmares, but my efforts always fall in vain. 

So, this year, I’ve decided to break the cycle. I will not give up on trying to love Halloween because I will not give up on the cool alt girls in Hot Topic, however I’ve decided to change my methods. Instead of forcing myself into loving all things scary, I will figure out why I don’t love anything scary. 

(Once I figure out why I can’t handle Halloween, I can resolve whatever issue is causing it, and then I’ll finally reach the Holy Land that is alt girls in Hot Topic). 

The only way to unearth my Halloween hesitancy is to delve deep into my past.

When I think about little me, I realize I’ve always had a cloud of dread hanging over me come October. 

Maybe it’s because my mom was obsessed with terrifying her children. It’s true, she was a phenomenal scarer. She spared no expense and followed no moral code. Screw your cute pumpkin soap dispensers, severed hands and feet were our Halloween decorations. (Funny enough, I’m actually typing this opposite a 7-foot animatronic clown settled in the living room corner). 

My theory of a too-scary mom doesn’t hold though, because Halloween is supposed to be scary. If anything, my mom’s affinity for anything spooky should make me love the spookiest holiday, right? Monkey see monkey do? 

What’s the missing link? What is the roadblock on my path to Halloween happiness? 

I asked my Halloween-loving friends what exactly they liked about the holiday, and the general consensus I got was simply that Halloween was just a fun time of year. Often, my friends would recount trick-or-treating with family and friends, dressing up in fun costumes, maybe watching scary movies. 

That’s when it hit me. I don’t like Halloween because I never made any of those fun childhood memories. 

I never went trick-or-treating. 

I asked my mom why trick-or-treating wasn’t included in our holiday traditions, and she said her being a single mom played a significant role. 

Apparently, I actually have been trick-or-treating, only it was when I was a baby and she and my dad were still married. Post-divorce raising of kids makes things a little tricky. 

Plus, my sisters aged out of the socially accepted age to trick-or-treat before pretty early in my life, so it would have just been my mom and I hitting a random neighborhood street. We didn’t even live in a neighborhood. 

Nevertheless, I now know the root cause of my distaste for Halloween. 

While I could perhaps make up for the absence of trick-or-treating in my youth by finally doing it, I might also be able to reshape how I think of my Halloween experiences. 

I mean, sure, annual free candy sounds like a sweet deal (pun intended), but my mom’s family-renowned scaring abilities made more than enough Halloween memories. 

I realize now that I didn’t miss out on anything by not going trick-or-treating. Not when I had the scariest, coolest, and most loving mom to give me my very own unique Halloween memories. 

Thanks, Mom.