Mama Snee is here to poop your party.
Halloween is my second-least favorite holiday, second to Columbus-Brought-Syphillis Day. It’s not that I’m opposed to the cutesly Hallmark crap, or the pumpkin-obsessed suburban candy-apple ladies. I’m not even opposed to the actual ancient holiday or the Pagans doing their Pagan thing. Go on and do it, I won’t stand in your way.
What I don’t like is the interchanging of fear and thrill. Fear as entertainment. Things jumping out to make you scream. Making you feel afraid, just for fun. Fear is at the root of all destructive behavior and thought, and I don’t get why we would want to invite fear– especially for our kiddos– in the name of good times.
I don’t like that scenes of brutal violence have become a symbol for this holiday– mock-gruesome injuries, predators with masks and sharp weapons looming over children to make them afraid. Even in non-Halloween time, I’ve self-imposed a ban in our house on all Law and Order-type shows that sell murder as entertainment, because that shit is toxic to your tiny little soul and the tiny little souls of others. And tonight it’s walking around my neighborhood.
As someone who has fought a non-medicated battle with anxiety for several years (maybe even longer, when I think about myself as a kid), I can list for you so many scenes from movies and television and being pressured into haunted-house tours that have stuck with me for YEARS. I can list for you several situations I’ve been in through my years of mental health casework where looking back, I know my shit was definitely on the line. Where it could have gone another way. Where I may not have left the crack house, may have gotten more than a punch in the eye. I don’t see the benefit of replicating that kind of feeling of absolute vulnerability and to-the-core fear in the name of a holiday. I don’t understand how feeling unsafe is fun. I don’t think running around town with fake blood dripping out of your eyes is funny or cute. I think it’s kind of fucked up.
And on another note, I also don’t like that 5 boys, about 11 years old, just banged on my door in a “bitch-better-have-my-money” kind of way, and held out grocery bags without saying a word, without wearing any kind of costume. That’s just begging. Or demanding. Whichever.
Halloween has missed its mark, become diluted into an Excuse-to-wear-lingere-outside-the-home, Treat-demanding, Fear-scarring day that I will be happy to see pass.
Mama “Those-Damn-Kids” Snee