As children, teenagers and even grownups across North America (and Ireland) excitedly plan out their “unique” costumes for Halloween, I have a confession to make: I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween growing up. In fact the first time I put on a costume and went trick-or-treating was in 6th grade, and funny enough, in Saudi Arabia. Even at that point I felt conflicted partaking in a holiday that had been consistently presented to me as the “devil’s day.”
Yes, I was told that. (To find out why, check out this article.)
In the Bible Belt of the southern United States – which stretches from the shores of Virginia to midland Texas – Halloween is largely replaced with “fall festivals” where kids go with their parents to PG-rated hay rides on Charlie’s Farm.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that this conception of Halloween isn’t widely known outside of religious circles, and the fact that I didn’t celebrate Halloween as a child often evokes sympathetic cries and aggressive questions from those hit with this shocking news. Trying to explain why is always a bit awkward, but not as awkward as trying to explain one of the worst phenomenon my country has ever belched – Trumpmania.
Last year I did dress up for Halloween because I wanted to make a point – and be funny. I was “A Desperate American” pleading to Canadians to let me stay in their country if the unthinkable was to happen.
Little did I know that he-who-cannot-be-named would actually become the Republican nominee and would actually have a chance at being President of the United States. (Yes, he still has a chance. Just listen to Politico’s Matthew Goodwin, a Brit shocked by the referendum that shook the world earlier this summer.)
I’m still not very keen on the holiday, but not necessarily for the reasons presented to me as a child. Although, it is pretty hard to eradicate the deeply rooted idea that Halloween is an unnatural holiday celebrating evil. History throws some shade on that idea, however.
It’s actually pretty stressful trying to find a decent and inexpensive costume. It’s even more stressful trying to find a party to go to that lives up to the hype. We’ve all been burned many times by “promising” parties that turn out to be complete duds.
But this year, you can bet I’ll be wearing that costume – for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until this nightmare is over.
The costume of a still desperate American.
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