Halloween Signifies a Loss of Innocence

Matthew Friend

A couple of weeks ago, while looking through old photo albums, I stumbled upon a picture of my brother and myself from Halloween ten years ago.  We both had our pillowcases in hand, and I was dressed as a great-white shark while he was his favorite hockey player.

Looking at this picture, I couldn’t help but think about what a stark contrast this was from the Halloweens I experience now as a teenager.  Gone are the ghosts and ghouls, replaced by costumes showing more skin than what is socially acceptable any other day of the year.

While Halloween is still one of my favorite times of the year, I can’t help being disillusioned by the fact that this day — once filled with innocent fun — now ends for many with coming down from much more than a sugar high.

If you think about it, many of the celebrations and events that highlighted the first ten years of our lives have now taken on an entirely new meaning.

Take this year’s World Series Parade, for instance.  Even just two years ago when I attended as a freshman, it was a memorable day in which I got to cheer on my favorite players in the company of my family.  This year, experiencing the event from a more “mature” perspective, I witnessed a day full of debauchery, filled with many of my peers clasping their signature bottles of “water” and Gatorade.

This phenomenon appears again on the first Friday of the school year, when Redwood students gather to celebrate their first weekend at the Back to School Dance.  I remember my first middle school dance, where the boys jumped up and down in a mosh pit, never daring to move near a girl until that dreaded slow song came on.

My high school dances have been a noticeably different scene, filled with bodies grinding tightly on each other, tongues trading places, and recently emptied Ziploc bags being discarded in the trash.  The new formula for having a good time seems to be to take an event, add alcohol, and lose the clothing.

It’s not that I believe one of these behaviors is better than the other, as they’re just different avenues of enjoying the same event, but I sometimes miss the days where one could just enjoy something for what it was, not because it’s an opportunity to party or “get some butt”.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is why does growing up mean we have to tear the veil of innocence from our lives – why can’t we all go trick-or-treating, even in our promiscuous costumes?