when i moved to new york city, i was as green as spring corn.
to protect me, my brothers would arbitrarily spew weird bits of flotsam about how to conduct myself in the city, for safety's sake. i distinctly recall promising them a thousand times over that i would never leave our harlem apartment on three particular nights -- new year's eve, the fourth of july, and halloween. and although i said it so they'd stop hassling me about it, in time i realized that staying home on those nights was a very smart thing to do. oh, sure -- there were moments when some friend would invite me downtown to some party or something. i almost always regretted it, though. i'd rather be at home watching a marathon of movies or tv shows or documentaries about ghosts or whatever.
when halloween falls on a weekend, it's especially hellish. this year, i got a reprieve. sort of.
on my end of the ghetto, children dress up and stay in the buildings that they live in and roam the hallways, knocking on doors and screaming. they are adorable. one year, i forgot that it was halloween and when i heard a knock, i threw the door open and all these little munchkins were all dressed up and staring at me. hard. i had to tell them that i had a gig and i forgot it was halloween. in spanish. (they probably thought i was a witch. or an idiot. or both.)
and then of course, there was the year that everyone got a kinderegg (my favorite!) because my german friend joe sent a box of them from berlin. i went a little overboard with that one, but after that no candy debacle, i had to redeem myself somehow.
(actually, my favorite chocolates are richart. but i digress.)
this year, my friend and i are going to get all american candy that he likes so he can enjoy munching on whatever we don't give away. fun.
halloween falls on a wednesday this year, so there was a lot of costumed revelry to wade through last weekend. all of it was tacky, racist and stupid. remarkably, i didn't see any children parading around. evidently, the stats say that this has definitely turned into an adult party event all the way across the board, with an anticipated $5 billion in revenue this year ($2.2 billion of that is candy, folks) and right behind the superbowl and new year's eve in popularity. why?
i always thought that the costume was a reflection of the inner self. after this weekend, i think everybody ran through the back end of ricky's when they realized they couldn't get into the party they were invited to without a costume and grabbed whatever wasn't too picked over.
white girls in their street clothes wearing afro wigs with fake gold teeth and talkin' "jive" -- that's like having a sign on your back that says please bitchslap me. and that goes double for the mexican costume that has you on a donkey, like juan valdez. seriously.
this is called "funny mexican costume". too bad they didn't have any drunken white girl/boy outfits. what do you think those look like? then again, my friend says that one year when he was bartending at the slipper room, he dressed up as a preppy drunken frat boy with a bullet hole in the middle of his forehead, so i guess you can always d.i.y.
if anyone asks me where my costume is, i'm going to point at my clothes and say, this is it. and i'm going to mean it. (you should dress up like a kitty, my friend says. maybe i'll get some ears and surprise him.)
can you imagine running around looking like a "funny mexican" in spanish harlem? they're not that stupid. they save it for the neighborhoods they feel safe in. like chelsea. and times square. and the upper west side. and to be totally honest with you, this reminds me of when i was an undergrad at UT (Austin) and i lived in west campus. i was literally surrounded by greek houses and jillions of well-manicured and priveleged frat boys and sorority girls. it seemed like every weekend, they were having keggers and getting dressed up for some racist theme party or another. many is the day when i would wake up on a saturday and walk through the neighborhood to see frat boys curled up on somebody's lawns, wearing a sombrero or an afro or God knows what all, with those freaking crappy docksiders on, and covered in a moist blanket of their own vomit.
Lord. would someone please tell me what's so great about those stupid boating shoes?
don't get me wrong. i like halloween (when i can remember it). i just don't like being surrounded by white people who dress up and behave like racial stereotypes because they think it's a fun thing to do.
it's so much easier to stay home.