Friday, October 16, 2009

Fright Night

I love Halloween. It has pretty colors, you can dress up, it has great movies, and unlike other holidays, there’s no awkward moments with relatives, or plastering on a present face after the cousin you gave a KitchenAid Mixer to gifts you a Chia Pet shaped like the president’s head. And there’s no turkey to cook! After last year’s incident in which I was forced to transfer the turkey to a Macy’s bag at 3 a.m. on Christmas morning when I realized I hadn’t removed the plastic giblet bag from its frozen carcass, I’m pretty sure I won’t be placed on poultry duty this year…

But people are lazy, so you never know.

Still, Halloween has its drawbacks. Finding a costume can be a real pain. For those of you who haven’t had your laugh for the day, Google “modest adult female Halloween costume” and see what pops up. Apparently modest means choosing between mid drift clothing or a nun’s habit. Then there’s the logistics of it all. Thus I’ll give people a few tips on how to approach Halloween.

1. Go easy on the vampires, okay?
Yes, we get it. You’re enthralled with vampires. They’re mysterious…just like the contents of that Tupperware container in my vegetable bin. I, too, like vampires, hence the Lynsay Sands and Sherrilyn Kenyon novels in my personal collection. However, living forever on a disintegrating planet doesn’t appeal to many of us non-Twilight mania people. Plus, as a children’s librarian, when I hear about a 100 year-old man obsessed with a 17 year-old girl, I don’t think, “How romantic!” I think, “Pedophile!” So enough with the vampires already. We realize adding plastic teeth to your already black wardrobe makes for a cheap costume, but you might want to check with your friends first. No one needs to see 20 Edward wannabes at a single party.

2. Remember, it’s cold outside.
The average women’s Halloween costume is skimpier than my college cheerleading outfit. I’m not bringing up college cheerleading because a class reunion is staring me in the face and I realize I need to lose 10 (or 20) pounds, get my teeth whitened, and make $50,000 more per year within the next few months in order to compete with my former teammate (or with their Facebook profiles). I’m saying this because we were freakin’ cold! At least in high school they allowed us to be fully “clothed” i.e., an outfit with a real sweater. Should you mistakenly purchase the scrap of clothing retailers call a costume, add some leggings. And a turtleneck. Maybe a scarf…

3. You may play some Michael Jackson music.
Sometimes I forget Michael Jackson has passed away. Then I hear the Billy Jean ring tone on someone’s cell phone and I’m reminded all over again. Usually, when musicians you’ve never met pass away and you start listening to music you hadn’t played in x number of years, I would give you four weeks before screaming, “Enough!” But there’s the Thriller album to consider, a perennial favorite come October, so I’ll let it slide if you throw in a few songs. That being said, unless you want your iPod docking station thrown into the bond fire, don’t scroll to his name and hit play. It’s Halloween, not an MJ tribute.

We’ll save that for the American Music Awards.

4. Don’t go completely disgusting.
Have you seen Extreme Halloween? It’s really cool. The projects are akin to taking the kitty litter cake to the nth degree of grossness. There are a few things in there that are doable. However, if you make food which is too gross, no one is going to eat it. You’d be better off setting out a platter of wheat germ. Everyone’s going to stare at the dish you spent $25 and six hours of your time creating and pass it right by. If you make the house too scary, no one’s going to knock on your door and you’ll have a bucket of candy to eat all by yourself. This may seem great (“Mine! Mine! All mine!”) until mid-November hits and you realize you have 10 pounds of Halloween candy left, and since it’s covered in pumpkins and ghosts, you can’t foist it off on others.

5. Come to the library for ideas and programs.
We’re free. Which means a lot in this economy. Central Library is hosting Trick or Treat @ Your Library on Sunday, October 25th at 1 pm. Families, children and teens are invited to put on a costume, park their cars on the street (it’s free on Sundays), and join us for stories, crafts, trick or treating, Rock Band and snacks. I promise not to make anything gross---when it comes to baking, I’m more Martha Stewart than I am mad scientist. (Plus I’m not willing to put one of my nice baking pans at risk.) For those with itty-bitty-teeny-tiny babies, we have the Baby Boos and Ghouls Lapsit Storytime on Saturday, October 31st at 10 am. Costumes are optional, and parking is free at the 10th and I Street and 10th and L Street city parking garages.

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