Did you know? I certainly did. Because, as you may be aware, I'm in America. And Halloween is something the Americans do. And therefore, something I feel obliged to do.
I always wanted to have a Halloween when I was little (I think I heard about the sweets side of it, and stopped listening there) but, like so many other Kiwi children, was not allowed, because it was an 'American thing'. So this year, I was particularly excited about finally rebelling against my Halloween-stopping mother, in a way that a 26 year old should not be, and doing Halloween.
Only - ha ha - I didn't. In a fit of seriously awesome disregard for that aforementioned sense of obligation, I did not buy a costume, did not dress up, did not try to scare strangers, or even those I love, did not party. Oh wait, scratch the last. I did party, but not for Halloween, just because, you know, a friend was in town.
And that was awesome. It was the night before Halloween, but still lots of people wandered from bar to bar in full costume, ranging from the seriously dedicated (four Ghostbusters who had made what was clearly an obscene amount of effort) to the seriously strange (a woman in a bubble bath, complete with 'bath' and 'bubbles'). It was fun seeing everyone having such a good time. We too were having a good time, of course - just in everyday clothes. Talking about costume ideas struck us as more entertaining than actually costuming up, and of course, we had all the elements needed for a good night - good friends, good bars, and midnight pizza.
So that was Saturday. Sunday was actual Halloween, and again, we went out. Again, uncostumed. Again, mostly everyone else was. But that's really where the similarities ended.
Before I go on, I should explain that I don't like being scared. I don't do scary movies, for example. The type of fear you encounter watching a scary movie, or messing around with a Ouija board, or walking by yourself down a poorly-lit alley at night, is not the type of fear I like in my life (I tend to prefer the fear that comes with rollercoasters, or snowboarding down a hill that's just a little more steep than you would like, or waking up in the middle of the night and realising you're nearly out of coffee). But that fear - the spooky fear, not the coffee fear - is exactly what you come across in the streets of New York City on Halloween.
Admittedly, this is kind of a 'well, duh' scenario, but it just didn't even occur to me that being on crowded streets in the West Village, hemmed in by lots of people dressed as ghouls, or vampires, or zombies, whose faces I couldn't see, would make me uncomfortable, exactly like pretending to do seances when I was in my tween years did. But, unsurprisingly, it did, and so...we left early. Lame, I know. To be fair, we were too crowded in to actually see the parade, so we weren't missing much, and the city cut the budget so it was considerably less spectacular than the (apparent) norm, so again, we weren't missing much, and, well, it was cold...(really not decreasing the lameness at all, am I?)
Regardless of the possible lameness of the situation, I'm really glad we didn't feel the need to stick around. We caught up with a friend, ate some rather delicious sushi, hung out in the West Village, and altogether, did do Halloween - just Kiwi-style. My mother would be proud.