Let’s be honest — in your late twenties, Halloween starts to lose a bit of its charm. Not only have you lost the childhood joy of eating candy until you barf, but the idea of going out and dressing up the way you did in your early twenties starts to feel exhausting, expensive, and a bit undignified (e.g., my “sexy bacon” costume of 2009). Now, choosing an original Halloween costume takes weeks of forethought, finding the right party puts you under considerable pressure, paying exorbitant cover charges and ride-service fees makes you question all your life choices, and, whether you’re at a haunted house or a pumpkin patch, you’ll face the nightmare of waiting in line.
It truly is the scariest holiday.
This year, I challenged myself to have a better Halloween. To eat candy corn like no one is watching. To dress up without fear of wearing the same Lemonade-pun ensemble as 50% of my Facebook friends. To say yes to going home early without fear of looking like a grandma.
And I'd get there by celebrating Halloween early.
Unlike most years when I obsess over finding the cleverest costume, this year the pressure was off. Zero competition meant that even if dressed as a garbage bag, I'd still have the best costume in the office.
With that in mind, I decided to go as something I liked, even if it wasn't for everyone. I gave in to my inner Greek mythology nerd and dressed as “Medusa on her day off” (note the sunglasses, so she can avoid accidentally turning people into stone).
The downside of this choice was the hair, which was crazy daunting. Artfully attaching 50 rubber snakes to your head is no joke (I can barely even use a curling iron), but luckily, even if I set my head on fire, IT WOULD STILL BE THE BEST MEDUSA COSTUME AROUND. So, I got over myself and committed to it.
After throwing on some serpent-friendly makeup and a sheet, my look was complete. Feeling gorgontually proud of myself, I decided to head to the office.
I was pretty nervous about going to work in a full-on costume this far before Halloween, but as soon as I stepped into the office, I was greeted with a legit standing ovation. I don’t think my wedding dress got this big of a reaction. I got compliments all day from friends and strangers alike, and when I entered a department-wide meeting, I stopped it dead in its tracks. On Halloween, this costume would probably be, like, a 5. But today? A 10.
To get further into the spirit of Falseoween, I tried making small talk about my co-workers' costumes too...
ME: Eric, looking good! What are you?
ERIC: Umm, what?
ME: Maybe...a Creepy Content Creator? A Vampwriter? A...Haircut-Needing…Listicle Maker?
ERIC: [insert expletives]
...but it turns out some people just can’t take a compliment.
So that I didn't feel too lonely being the only one in costume, I dressed up an office dog, Mudge, in a throwback Left Shark ensemble.
To round out the morning, I put together a monster-killing kit — including a mirror, wooden stakes, garlic, silver, matches, and holy water — juuuuust in case anything demonic decided to get out and about early this year too.
After lunching exclusively on candy corn and caramel apple pops, I felt invigorated (i.e., was tweaking out on sugar) and ready to tackle more Halloween adventure.
Fake Halloween had been going pretty well so far, but not every part of the day would be a success. And the in-office haunted hayride was definitely not my finest hour.
After an impossible struggle to find hay in LA (it made me pretty baleful, TBH), I finally tracked down a few pathetic handfuls, which I then sprinkled sadly over my very tolerant boss. This light dusting of hay combined with Halloween tunes, a plate of candy, and a clumsy push around the office in his rolling chair didn’t exactly measure up to a real haunted hayride.
On the bright side, there were no lines to wait in, and the ride was free (aside from the cost of a potentially bruised kneecap). Cheap-horrible is better than expensive-horrible, right?
Even after this embarrassing display, I somehow convinced a few dauntless co-workers, Marjorie and Eileen, to visit some of the city’s finest murder houses (or at least suspected murder houses) and its trendiest graveyard.
I’m pleased to report that none of us saw any spirits or were possessed at any point during the tour — which definitely would've happened on real Halloween.
The best part? No lines. No crowds. No Halloween hassle. 10/10.
After getting back from our creepy tour, it was time for me to throw the best Halloween party in the city — in other words, the only Halloween party going on RN whatsoever.
To level up my Halloween party decor (and to get my co-workers in the spooky spirit), I set up a pumpkin-carving station:
We then posed the pumpkins on a table and added Halloween props (like countless plastic spiders), and I laid out regular-size candy bars like I was tres commas 4 dayz.
To finish off the party, I got my co-workers to join me in a mummy-wrapping contest where teams competed to wrap their designated corpse as expertly as possible with two minutes on the clock.
This was not my calling, and I have never regretted buying single-ply so much in my life. Our competition was *stiff*, but luckily my partner, Chloe, was a toilet-papering master (she should quit her day job). When time was called, the judge carefully inspected both partially wrapped bodies and declared the winner:
OUR TEAM WON! It was a Halloween miracle.
Early Halloween might be fun, but it's 1,305,834 times more physically exhausting than regular Halloween. Being the sole person responsible for all the festivities takes a LOT out of you, and I was pretty much ready to die by the time I commuted home.
Fortunately, there were no other Halloween parties to go to, so I lost the snakes and the toga, broke out the remaining Halloween treats, curled up next to my husband, and terrified myself with a horror movie.
Since zero kids came knocking at the door for candy, we watched the whole thing uninterrupted, and I never had to get my lazy self off the couch. It was perfect.
There were obvious perks to doing Halloween early, and overall, I loved having a more fun-filled and economical Halloween completely on my terms. I also felt like I helped make the season feel more real to people around me, and getting to share that with them was one of my favorite parts.
Pseudoween was fun, but there were some downsides: I missed some of the camaraderie that comes with everyone dressing up, and it was a lot of pressure to prepare everything all day long. But what holiday doesn’t come with its own little bit of hell?
The best part, though, is that I get to go all out for *real* Halloween too.