Scared to Be Silly

I may very well be the Scrooge of Halloween. The idea of “dressing up” on this day (ugh!) gives me a combined feeling of annoyance and anxiety. Those who cheer in their delight to be a mermaid, Frankenstein, dominatrix, rock star, or whoever, Lady Gaga even, sometimes get under my skin. What makes you so excited? I mean, you are excited to become something you’re not . . . right? OK, I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page. ‘Cause that IS what you’re doing.

The only excitement I get towards Halloween is seeing the little kids dress up and come to my parents’ house, ringing the doorbell, exclaiming “Happy Halloween!” with their bags wide open before the door opens! I especially find it hilarious when they are greeted with a big handful of peanuts and boxes of raisins—mixed in with a few pieces of candy—and then watch their faces drop when they feel they’ve been duped by my super health-conscious mother. (But that’s another story in itself . . .)

Now I’m not saying that I’ve never been to a Halloween party as an ‘80s chick or never wore an outrageous wig when celebrating with my friends. I just don’t enjoy it the way the majority of Americans do. I have never scheduled an afternoon around my hunt for the perfect Halloween costume. Just hasn’t happened. It just won’t happen! In analyzing my reason, I believe it’s because I’m a calculated individual. Everything I wear serves a purpose, be it the color, fabric, cut, etc. And it’s all a reflection of my personality. I definitely wouldn’t say I’m boring and don’t know how to fun! But the force that is holding me back from really getting into the Halloween spooky spirit is pretty strong. It is so strong that it makes me, in a sense, scared to be silly. I don’t want others to laugh at how I look, or ask what I’m supposed to be? Wait a sec—maybe my issue goes deeper than me just not liking the idea of dressing up for Halloween.  ‘Cause I used to be laughed at with certain things I wore . . . and I still get asked WHAT I am (in terms of nationality). So twisting my identity even more with a costume . . . I dunno . . . It can all feel quite draining, to be honest. In addition, I have never followed a crowd or gone along for the ride ‘cause everyone else is. It is why I never wear red or pink on Valentine’s Day, or green on St. Patrick’s Day (but then there is that whole pinching thing. OK, sometimes I do wear a hint of green). The pressure of having to fit in through fashion, in one way or another, takes me out of my comfort zone. I’m just not cool with it.

I’m sure there are those of you who may be thinking, “Wow, she is taking this dressing up thing waaay too seriously!” However, there may be those of you who are interested in my reasoning and can relate somehow.  When I was explaining some of this to a coworker today, she said “But didn’t you like to play dress-up as a kid?” My response was, “Yes, of course. But I was wearing high heels and necklaces . . . wearing what I eventually wanted to when I grew up. I never dressed up to look like a monster!” She laughed and walked away, while I sat and thought:  Am I alone on this? It all seems logical to me. One of my friends said she doesn’t have a major problem with dressing up; she would just have to choose a costume that wouldn’t make her cover her face. In my friend’s case, though, she blames that on her “vanity.” But I get where her discomfort lies. She wants her beautiful face to be shown on all occasions.

Because I am an observer, I enjoy watching others have a blast being their idol, a superhero, or their alter-ego. If this is the case, then maybe I’m not a Scrooge. I love seeing others enjoying a moment in time, doing or wearing something they love.

It’s just, for me, I’ll remain Elana. I mean that alone can be scary enough (depending on whom you ask.)


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