It’s a strange thing to find yourself horribly tired of something you once loved. You start to question yourself more, whether or not it’s a genuine disdain or just a short phase. After months of festering negativity towards this hallowed holiday, my distaste has finally reached a crescendo. The cause and blame doesn’t reside in just one single issue, rather a few issues that my grumpy demeanor just couldn’t stomach any longer.
Let’s start with July, the month I began seeing an abundance of people celebrating their countdown to Halloween. There were people posting images on social media of jack-o’-lanterns with countdowns reading “Only 122 days left!” with comments circling below from people sharing the same sense of celebration. To my surprise this wasn’t just a quirky trend destined to expire later that week. It was a movement that seemed to be gaining strength despite it’s own absurdity.
The days started melting away, and more people continued to share everything Halloween related. Decoration ideas, images of Fall foliage, and many other pieces of media that confused me into feeling like Fall was here before Summer had even concluded. Certainly an odd feeling to try and spend time at the beach while images of pumpkins and leaves danced around my subconscious.
Fast forward a few weeks later and we abruptly enter pumpkin spice territory. Which means everyone is in for a massive bombardment of product photos on social media. Pumpkin spice cookies, coffees, and urinal cakes. Everything drenched in pumpkin. It’s absolute insanity. People are running through the streets beating each other over the head with paint cans of pumpkin and cinnamon sticks the size of baseball bats. Alright, maybe not to that extent, but it certainly felt like a possibility.
At this point we’re in the middle of August, and as I enter the grocery store for weekly shopping duties, I notice something strange. It almost appears as if cobwebs have overtaken one of the aisles. It must have been my imagination playing tricks on me. That, or the cleaning crew are just terrible at their jobs. Unfortunately it was neither, and the middle aisles of the store were now bathed in full Halloween regalia. Mind you once again, it’s the middle of August.
So here we are approaching September, and I’ve already been berated by Halloween memes, pumpkin spice toilet paper, and cheap Dracula fangs hanging next to the detergent aisle. I started to think this might be a bit much, but convinced myself it was a good thing. How bad could this really be since I was so in love with Halloween my entire life? I could even use this early celebration to fuel my work with Autumns Eyes, and write some new music under the veiled influence of what seemed like a genuine time to create.
While I did create some great music in this time, something about the entire process seemed disingenuous. Typically I write music during the Fall season to absorb it’s massive influence on my creativity. I go for walks outside in-between sessions and soak in all the scenery of leaves changing color. The cold air infuses my sense of surroundings, and the overall mood is one that compliments my creative brain. However, while the public continued to make everything seem like Fall and Halloween were approaching quickly, nature told a different story.
The air wasn’t cold, it was hot, very hot. The leaves were not the rust ridden colors of orange and red that Fall paints so brilliantly. They were dull and lifeless from the intense sunlight that blasted everything in it’s path with blistering heat. All of this while I desperately tried to force down a pumpkin spice coffee just piled on to my existing frustration. While the days dragged their feet through the mud, my assumptions turned to truth, and my fears were now legitimized. The time spent building up to Halloween had lingered long enough and October was over a month away.
By the time Fall had arrived I was a bit relieved, but it was a fleeting relief at most, as if Fall had already come and gone. Back in social media land, the Halloween fever had reached a boiling point. All the horror movie t-shirt companies I loved following were now drunk on Michael Myers merchandise. From socks to sweatshirts, it seemed like Michael Myers was plastered on everything more than ever before. There was such a lack of diversity that I felt as if I was drowning in some sort of Michael Myers induced madness.
Further down the rabbit hole found me lost inside a movie theater watching yet another sequel to the Halloween franchise. What turned out to be more shocking than the fact that I was watching another downtrodden version of Michael Myers stabbing people, was that people were eating it up. The general horror loving public adored it, and seemingly wanted more. Which will most likely result in a string of rebooted horror franchises to satisfy this cultures lustful urge for nostalgia.
Once the thirty first day of the month came, I couldn’t help but feel defeated. Getting pummeled with everything Halloween for months on end had taken its final toll on me. After zero trick-or-treaters showed up at the door, I shut off the lights, went to bed, and woke up refreshed. The dirge of November in all its gloomy glory was here, and I could not have been any happier. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that almost nobody celebrates and promotes this time of year. So I certainly didn’t have to worry about people jamming everything turkey related down my throat for months on end.
What surprised me was how after walking into a local shop the first week of November and hearing Christmas music had zero effect on my sanity. What typically would drive me insane almost brought a smile to my face. This could be either because I’m truly looking forward to the holidays, or that I’ve truly gone bat-shit crazy. I suppose time will decide in the next coming weeks. As for my current relationship with Halloween, I’d say a welcomed break is necessary. Perhaps next year things will be different, given I distance myself from social media come July. Coupled with the always egregious task of trying not to be such a grumpy stubborn asshole, this dismal outlook could turn a new leaf next year. Hopefully a leaf that turns at the start of Fall, and not the cusp of Summer.