Look, I know it only happens once a year, and I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but here's a confession: I hate Halloween.
Halloween Keep Out
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I hate Halloween. I dislike dressing up. Seriously dislike it. Hated it even as a kid. It makes me itchy, just sitting here thinking about putting together a costume.

Additionally, I'm a gigantic scaredy cat, so any of the more "grown-up" Halloween things to do like haunted houses or corn mazes or horror films–all a big no-no for me. Forget about a quiet stroll; there will be costumed children or worse, drunken adults, everywhere.

So, in the spirit of Halloween haters everywhere, I've come up with a list of things that have nothing to do with costumes, fighting with fake cobwebs, or horror double-features.

  1. Take yourself to a nice restaurant. Like, a really nice one that's usually hard to get into. Seriously. Nice places to eat are always, well, dead, on holidays-that-aren't-holidays, like Halloween or St. Patrick's Day. Call up, make a reservation, and dine on something delicious that has nothing to do with candy corn.
  2. Spend some time on the internet. Calculate the cost of what you would have spent on dressing up as whatever-you-would-have-gone-as. Take that amount of money, and spend it on something completely frivolous but fun. Need a new pair of shoes? A night at the movies with an extra-large popcorn? Consider these treats your reward for not having a thing to do with Halloween.
  3. Don't answer the door. Don't feel like you have to cower in your house, listening to little hands press insistently on your doorbell, on their zombie-like quest for processed sugar. If, however, you don't want to seem like a Scrooge, do the diplomatic thing and put a bowl of candy on your front porch. Then feel free to cower in your home, but know that you've done your (patriotic? neighborly?) duty. Rent a movie. Binge-watch Gilmore Girls. Enjoy some quality time with your TV.
  4. Run errands. This is especially key if you live in a big city. Hate waiting in line at Costco? Does Target at full-tilt freak you out? Do you need to do laundry at a laundromat? Do all of these things on Halloween, because all of the people who are normally doing them will be either dressing up their children, handing out candy, or, in the case of a certain kind of adult, dressing up and drinking.
  5. Treat yourself. Wait until the day of Halloween. Hop on Priceline. Book a super-posh hotel at a cut rate. Check in. Order room service (preferably a club sandwich, the only thing, for some reason, that room service can ever make that's any good). Jump up and down on the bed. Feel joy.
  6. Prepare to do some shopping. While I hate Halloween, there is one redeeming feature: candy prices are slashed on November 1. Take a break from your Day of the Dead festivities to stock up on mini-candy bars. Put them in the freezer. Eat them when you feel sad; the chocolate will make you feel better, sure, but, as my mama taught me to bargain shop from a young age, I always get a little kick out of knowing I got a bargain.