|Guess which one isn't a sailor.|
The pagans were kooky, sun-worshiping assholes, and we have them to thank for the only night of the calendar year in which we can dress up as Wheelchair Spiderman, drink a litre of Buckfast, and proceed to categorically upset everyone in the room with our excessive howling and slobbering pleas for help. It's just not Halloween unless you're staring at your own horribly contorted face in a cloudy bathroom mirror and making the false promise that you'll do no more harm to your body and that you'll try to engage in reasonable and healthy conversation with the other party guests. Halloween is about grievous, beslubbering strangeness from the very gut of hell, and if you aren't a participant and victim, you're just a yawning space-wastrel collecting dust on the shelf.
Unfortunately, we live in an emulator society that prefers to 'laugh at' than 'laugh with', and because of this you sometimes see people restraining themselves for fear of evoking the duck-billed slaggings of LADBible clerics and flaky ecstasy dealers in cute Tony the Tiger onesies. Admittedly, I have been quite conservative with my costumes for the past few years, choosing style and comfort over ingenuity, but I have certainly made up for this fuddy-duddery by bringing great dishonour to my barley-cleaving ancestors. It may not be the sexiest of undertakings, but I believe that it is our responsibility to justify the day we began to crawl on our bellies from the life-giving soup to solid ground. We do this by making absolute demons of ourselves on the 31st of October, college student dickheads be damned.
It's understandable that this world view isn't shared by everyone and contains a large trace of the brand of nihilism recognizable only to those who have drank vodka and soy sauce, but it's one night a year, damn it, set fire to the temple of you body and masturbate on the debris. You owe it to yourself.
You are bombarded with new and interesting social constraints every single day of the year. Do's and don'ts that you've never entirely been guilty of, but people are never late to remind you of your inherited debt to society. You're a woman, and one half of the population is telling you that your sexy bumblebee outfit is oppressive while the other half calls you a dirty slut. You know what? You're a full grown fucking woman and can wear whatever you want without feeling as though you're violating some kind of bogus moral code set by people who know nothing of craic. Go into the night, libertine bumblebee, and harvest that sweet, ambrosial funhoney.
I'm not encouraging you to go out on a killing-spree just because it's the one night of year, and I'm definitely not encouraging you to do harm to anyone for the same reason. You have but one responsibility as a human being, and that's to make sure that your fellow human is not in danger. Sure, people's feelings might be hurt because you chose to dress as the ghost of Lou Reed, but something that people have forgotten in the age of the internet is that you aren't responsible for how they feel about something, and they are more than entitled to steer clear of you and your abominable sense of humor. If they are occupied with the social consequences of your attire, they've already made the transition into jaded adulthood. They won't understand you and that's okay. I walked into the wrong house party dressed as Hitler one year, if you're going to roll, you'd better expect to take some bumps.
So, do whatever you feel like doing and be whoever it is you want to be on Halloween night. Even if you're going out without some sense of community, if you're the only one wearing a box over your torso with the words "Shitbot" scrawled on it, just go. Halloween may not rank very high on the year's corporate marketing agenda anymore, but that's a good thing, it means that the holiday is yours again. Get weird.