I Love the Night Life?
"One bag of Snickers…One bag of Butterfingers…One bag of Kit Kat bars…and, what the heck, a tub of candy corn," I mumble to myself as I chuck bag after bag of candy into my shopping cart.
I love Halloween. It's the one time of year a gal can walk into a store and buy a barrel full of candy without getting any judgmental stares from the cashiers. The candy is clearly for trick-or-treaters. The fact that I live in a basement apartment without direct access to the outside world is irrelevant. I could get a trick-or-treater, if the kid had the skills of a Mission Impossible operative, and could either tunnel in or crack the locks on several layers of doors to get to me.
As I arrive home, I pour all the candy into a huge bowl and settle on the couch for my Halloween ritual. Every year, on October 31st, I watch the original Halloween as I stuff miniature candy bars into my face until I am sure I'll have nightmares and a stomach ache. It's really fun.
As always happens on a holiday, I also start to get a little wistful. Holidays always make me very aware of my single status…and I mean any holiday makes me feel pathetically alone. (I once cried my way through an entire Flag Day, because I had no one to wave a flag with.) This Halloween is no different. As I open another fun sized candy bar, I start to notice that Michael Meyers doesn't exactly look bad in that jumpsuit.
As a matter of fact, he looks pretty good. I never noticed what muscular arms he has…and his broad chest…and…"Ok, Jen, you have GOT to get out of the house," I say to myself. When you begin wondering what a serial killer looks like under his creepy white mask, it is time to change things up.
My friend, Carla, has been trying to get me to attend her annual Halloween party for the past few years. Carla is fun and knows lots of people, and her parties are pretty renowned for being the meeting place of singles who eventually become couples. She is constantly trying to get me to agree to various set-ups with one of the many men she knows. This is the year I am finally going to suck it up and go to one of her parties. I'm going to put social anxiety about rooms full of people I don't know aside, and wear something stupid as I walk through a gauntlet of single men. It could be fun…right?
I carry my bowl of candy to the bedroom and start looking around for something to wear. My mind rolls over the possible costume ideas...ghost, mummy, Cleopatra, werewolf. I don't exactly have a section dedicated to costumes in my closet, but I suddenly spot a bright pink bit of fabric and I know my costume has arrived.
"Kelly was right. I will wear this again," I say out loud to the pink and poofy mass of bridesmaid dress I pull from the closet. Bless her heart, Kelly was married in 2010, but the dresses she made us wear came straight out of the 1980s. I put some curlers in my hair and start to give myself the sort-of overly made up face that was popular back in the day. I cut up a pillow case to make a sash that says "Prom Queen 1985." My hair gets teased and sprayed with enough hairspray to shock Vidal Sassoon, and before you can say "Beat It," I am a 1980s prom queen.
Confident that my costume will help me fit in, I head to the party.
Carla's house is buzzing. There are dozens of people mingling. The music is loud. The drinks are flowing, and there is enough food to feed an army of soldiers…and there happen to be at least three people dressed as soldiers. Perfect.
I'm barely ten feet through the door when Carla, dressed as a naughty nurse, screams and rushes towards me.
"I cannot believe you actually came! You look amazing!" She hugs me and grabs my hand as she drags me through the crowd.
She is saying something, but I cannot quite hear it over the sound of "Monster Mash" blasting through the speakers of her stereo. I swear I hear her say something about "someone you have to meet," but she might have also said "onions you have to eat"…with Carla, either option seems possible.
I continue to ponder the situation when I'm brought face to fang with a tall drink of vampire.
"Jen, this is Blake. Blake, this is my friend I was telling you about," Carla says with a wink, and I die a little inside. I don't like the idea of being "told" about. Knowing Carla, she built me up to some degree of awesomeness that I cannot possibly live up to. To top it off, with one look, I can tell that Blake is not my type. There is something in his eyes that tells me he knows exactly how handsome he is.
I don't like handsome guys that know they are handsome. I like guys who have no idea how handsome they are…and Vampire Blake is not that guy. As he speaks to me, I can tell that he feels he is doing me a favor by even looking my way.
Maybe I can make it home before Nightmare on Elm Street comes on, I think to myself as I look around for the nearest exit. Those candy bars won't get any younger, so I need to eat a few more tonight.
Vampire Blake is still talking about himself. I wait for him to pause, and I tell him that I need to get a drink. He doesn't seem very upset to see me go, as evidenced by the way he immediately turns to start talking to a gal dressed as a naughty kitty.
I make my way through the crowd of other naughty people…naughty nuns, naughty witches, and naughty astronauts. Am I the only person that wore a non-naughty costume?
Then I see him. His back is to me, but there is no mistaking that blue jumpsuit…the shock of brown hair…the glimpse of frighteningly pale plastic face. He turns toward me. It is Michael Meyers. I am nine parts terrified (I mean, he has to be one of the creepiest creeps of all time), but I am one part intrigued. I'm a believer in signs. Seeing the embodiment of the character, who actually got me to leave my house tonight, has to be a sign.
Could this masked man be the answer to my Halloween blues? I continue to stare, willing this mysterious man to look my way. He does. He turns slowly to face me…those vacant eye holes are clearly fixed on my face. Little by little, he starts to cross the room toward me. Step, step, step, he is coming closer.
My breath begins to quicken… I can feel my heart pounding, and I…RUN!
Watching Michael Meyers, the most terrifying villain of all time, slowly walk towards me, will go down as one of the scariest moments of my entire life. I was clearly in a spinster-induced sugar shock to ever think of this man as anything other than a monster.
Racing out of Carla's house, I stuff my pink puffy self into my car and head for home. I repeatedly look into my rearview mirror, half expecting Michael Meyers to rise up from my backseat. It is ridiculous that I would ever let myself fall into some sort of cliché single-girl situation, where I start to find (literally) any man attractive.
"I am never watching scary movies ever again," I chant out loud over and over.
Halloween is no longer my favorite holiday. Desperate and cloudy decision making has forever changed my view of this day. I know I will never enjoy it again. I also know that I am never going to a party at Carla's house ever again. However, there is part of me that thinks I might do this teased curly hair again…the 80's just might be my look!
When I'm only a few blocks from my house, I notice that my gas is on empty. I find myself in this situation all the time. Usually, I just wait until morning to fill up…but then morning comes and I'm always running late, and having to stop and get gasoline makes me even later to work. Deciding to act like a responsible adult, I pull into the gas station.
As the gas pumps into my car, I hear some whistles. I think they are aimed in my direction. Glancing around the parking lot, I see the source of the catcalls. There is a car full of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles waving and hollering at me. I smile and wave back. Leonardo winks at me, and I start to laugh.
Halloween is kind of fun, I guess…maybe I won't give up on it just yet.
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