Halloween’s not really a huge thing in Singapore, so this entire concept of a whole day dedicated to dressing up in costume and hoarding candy wasn’t really an integral part of my childhood or anything. I mean, we know what it is, we know how Americans celebrate it, and some nightclubs in Singapore use it as an excuse to host some event or other. But it’s not a part of life like it is here.
I came to dressing up in costume as an adult, which means that in my mind, the thought associations of dressing up in costume are usually something less than innocent. Plus, dressing up (not just in costume, but also formal dressing up) has always made me a little uncomfortable. It smacks of wanting or pretending to be someone you’re not. Which is fine for most people, but I often feel that I’ve fought so long and hard to be who I am, to understand myself, and to like who I am, that pretending to be someone I’m not is just anathema.
But candy – that’s a Halloween tradition I can get solidly behind. Candy is wonderful.
When I was a kid I dreamt of the day when I would be able to go into a store and spend as much as I wanted on candy. On November 1, 2004, that day finally arrived. Target was having a 50% off all candy sale, as was Rite Aid and Duane Reade. I left work at 5 PM, and proceeded to spend the next three hours shopping for candy.
I ended up buying a ridiculous amount of candy, mostly chocolate. Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Butterfingers, Dove chocolates, Snickers, Riesen’s, Mounds, Almond Joys, I can’t even remember what else I bought. Half of it went into the candy drawer at work (we all take turns filling it) and half of it stayed home with me. The candy that stayed at home filled a box that was 12 inches by 18 inches by 4 inches. It was simultaneously very exciting, and not as exciting as my 8-year-old self would’ve expected. Weird how many grown-up things are like that.
Less than two weeks later, my friends have managed to pretty much finish 90% of the box