Well, it’s halloween again. Yet another year has passed. In some sense, I feel like it’s only been a day; yet, in others, it seems like a lifetime since I last donned a costume and went begging for candy — I can’t even remember what I did on halloween last year, or where I was for that matter.

I feel like I should talk about candy or post a recipe that relates to halloween. Isn’t it funny how, leading up to a holiday, all the colors in the supermarket change to match those associated with the holiday: cookies turn orange, cereal boxes parade ghouls, entire aisles formerly dedicated to essentials transform themselves into holding grounds for candy and other halloween paraphernalia.

The most interesting part about halloween isn’t the candy or the food. (A surprising statement, I know, coming from me.) Despite my normal obsession with all things gustatory, it is the masks of halloween that I find most curious. Originally, individuals would dress up as evil spirits to scare off evil spirits. Today, though, few go to the haunted or scary but tread instead toward the “sexy” or funny.

People complain that Christmas has been commercialized but this change in costume marks an entirely different type of transformation. Now halloween is no longer a time to scare away fears of evil spirits but to embrace them; it’s no longer a time to go to extraordinary measures to protect oneself from the dead but, rather, a time to eat obscene amounts of candy or, in college, drink obscene amounts of alcohol, making one UNABLE to protect oneself.

Think of this tonight as you drink that beer or eat that umpteenth piece of candy: what will you do when the evil spirits come? I, for one, will be sitting here, wearing MY costume. It is perhaps my wishful thinking that, just maybe, if I sit here masquerading as what I hope to be for long enough, I will become that. However, that is an entirely different aspect of halloween.


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