O’Brien: Halloween is overrated

"Honestly, I think I’ve just grown out of it. When I stopped trick-or-treating, I lost any and all reason to care about this holiday." - Multimedia Editor / Drew Peltzman

I don’t dislike Halloween. I try to participate when I can– I went to a party last weekend, in a surprisingly expensive Peter Griffin costume. But most years I don’t bother. One year I dressed up as Tony Soprano, and just sort of hung out. I went to watch a movie at a friend’s place, and it was just the two of us, sitting in the living room in costume. It was honestly kind of weird. 

We’re all adults here, we know why college students love it so much. Those of us who are 21 and older (and definitely nobody younger) use it as an excuse to get drunk. And, yeah, I guess that’s fun. But I’ve safely enjoyed alcohol many times, I don’t feel particularly compelled to do so on this specific holiday. 

But I don’t want to focus too much energy on disparaging it. Who cares, you know? 

Lots and lots of people, apparently. People go hard for Halloween– probably an extension of people’s general love for autumn, which I also don’t quite get. This time of year is heavily romanticized, with fawning over slight breezes, cinnamon lattes, and pumpkin patches. 

Have you ever been to a pumpkin patch? It’s boring. Usually, those places will have a hay ride or something, but I have never once wanted to do that. Otherwise, it’s just pumpkins. There isn’t a craft or artistry to picking out the best one to carve. 

I can only imagine that people have forgotten what pumpkin carving is actually like. It is intense physical labor that you need to buy a special toolkit for. The cheap plastic tools always break, and jack-o-lanterns rarely look the way you pictured them in your head.

“But you can put the seeds in the oven and eat them after!”

Have you ever eaten a pumpkin seed? Driest thing in the world, I swear to god. You can’t really season or flavor them. I’m not going to be cliche and rag on pumpkin spice, because that’s not even how it tastes. It’s this weird synthetic cinnamon-adjacent flavor. Pumpkins are just terrible, why we decided to put so much cultural stock in this vegetable I’ll never know. 

I guess Halloween is fun if you’re super into cosplay. I salute those who put immense effort into their costumes. When I see people wearing pirate outfits they bought at Spirit Halloween, I just go “…really? You couldn’t have thought of something a bit more clever?” 

Honestly, I think I’ve just grown out of it. When I stopped trick-or-treating, I lost any and all reason to care about this holiday. My friends and I went in 8th grade when most of us were thirteen (way too old), but that was more of an ironic thing. We didn’t get much candy, though we did have some entertaining fights while we were trading it. 

And that’s another thing, I’m an adult with money, I don’t need to ask strangers for candy. I can just go get candy. Actually, I have candy on me right now, I’m unwrapping a 3 Musketeers bar as I’m typing this. 

When you’re a kid, Halloween is one of the best days of the year, but as an adult? It might not even be a top-three holiday. Christmas is the best by default. New Year’s is the real Adult Drinking Holiday. And I’m not a huge Thanksgiving guy but it’s a nice, calm interlude in the middle of what can be a hectic season.  

Maybe I’m just being a downer. This is the time of year when people come closer together, and maybe I have some aversion to that for some reason. In any case, I hope everyone has fun. Just don’t be so corny about it.

For comments/questions about this story, DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email thewhit.opinioneditor@gmail.com.