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At the time of writing this blog, Friday, July 23rd, marks 100 days until Halloween. Time speeds way the fuck up at this point. It happens every year. The construct of time even has a way of bending and making it seem like I am in a swirling orange and black portal speeding through August and September. October itself truly begins and ends with a blink of a heavily lashed eye. July is usually the most miserable month of any year for those like us, but in recent years the 100 day countdown has grown in popularity and excitement. Again, it’s all thanks to influencers like @halloweenhappy, correct use of social media and the fact that we Halloweeniers spend a lot of cash on really dumb shit. Like, 12-ft skeletons that barely fit in our yards. So, worth it, though! I am that bitch who runs out of Spirit with a large animatronic under her arm, laughing manically and shouting how stupid this purchase was, but make no mistake-I have no regrets!

Sam is my most treasured animatronic.

It’s a time when you can’t find a decent bathing suit, inner tube or water shoes because summer has ended in Consumerland! It’s a time when we begin to see the #codeorange alerts pop up in our social media feeds. At Home, Michael’s, Bath & Body Works and even Cracker Barrel begin to slowly tease our wallets with just a few popular goodies each week. Spirit Halloween signs begin to materialize atop of empty stores. It’s exciting seeing all of these hallowed traditions appear even when you’re a person who lives amongst fake pumpkins and odes to Halloween throughout the wheel of the year. The saying,“We live Halloween all year. We just go crazy in October. is untrue. We go bat-shit insane at the end of July!

The truth is, as I am writing this, I am freaking out about missing the chance at nabbing the ghost candle holder from Bath & Body Works! I am battling with the illusion that those teasers are a sign that I am too late in scoring goods from At Home. I am also kicking myself in the ass for not having a book of short stories ready for you readers by October! And there’s the new worry – How will COVID breakthrough infections impact the season, if at all? I’ll be keeping my mask on when I hit the hot spot Halloween stores, when in large crowds and amongst the unvaccinated. I know my worries can be managed and be taken as a reason to flex my creative muscle.

I didn’t want to spend $60 on your ass anyways!

For example, last year, within the 100 days till Halloween, I finally executed an idea I had been harboring from Halloweens passed. I wanted to hoard 12 months worth of Halloween Kit Kats. These are candies you don’t give the average trick or treater. I enjoy at least three to four bags to myself each season. Don’t you dare judge me! Anyways, thanks to my oldest son and husband, they acquired more than 15 bags of the elusive and quite pricey treat. I allowed all but 10 bags to be eaten and I am happy to report that I still have one bag left. That should get me through August. I truly hope I find these in stores in the PNW. Otherwise, I ‘ll be calling on you to send me bags to get me through another year. This is insane right? To me, it’s Halloween bliss and a sense of accomplishment.

My Booty pics have evolved haven’t they?

I have never been a Mom who is happy about her goblins heading back to school. I truly love my kids and was happy to keep them safe at home for the past 15 months. Up until this year, I have always complained that the stupid school districts in SoCal would begin classes in early August. Half of it was because it was unproductive and gross for them to be confined in assembly rooms during recess because it was too hot for them to go out. The other half was because I hated having to pass up the Halloween goodies that were available for overpriced binders and sneakers. At the end of July in 2019, I bought my youngest Goblin her first pair of Docs. I was stoked about it. She was stoked about it! However, it did take off about $80 from my Midsummer Scream budget which was the following day. That was the day I wanted to grab my first pair of Strangecvlt shoes as well. I had enough cash for them, but there was this rad tiki bar in the Hall of Shadows… so, yeah, Drunk Michelle Halloween roaming the vendor floor led to some rad purchases. It’s really hard to prioritize when you’re on a budget and there’s so many spooky treasures so easily available. I ended up getting my first pair of Strangecvlt shoes two weeks later. I now own 21 pairs and counting. My little Goblin has a few herself.

My very first pair! I make it a tradition to wear them throughout October.

Do you remember when the Trick or Treat Studios Halloween 2018 masks were hitting Spirit stores three at a time, every two weeks? I worked at Spirit that year and they were gone within five minutes of us opening. The Hocus Pocus Funko Pops were even worse. Well, I was able to live without those, but I wanted that Michael Myers mask. I ended up purchasing the one we had as we opened one nice Fall day. I followed the rules set for employee purchases so, I didn’t feel bad when this redneck jock dude came in asking for the mask. He told my coworker and me that a manager at another store sent him to our store for the one mask she said we had in stock. It didn’t have his name on it. It wasn’t even put on hold. It was rightfully mine. I wasn’t about to let this bully know I was the one that bought it. I told him that it was purchased by another customer just before he came in. “Sorry, it’s part of the fun of the season though, isn’t it?” Is what I said.

He lost his shit!

I was yelled at. He mansplained, asserting his entitlement, because the manager at the other store told him we had one mask left. Well, I was a manager too, so that was fun to hear. Then he left. I thought that was the end of it. It wasn’t. About 45 minutes later, I got a call from that other store. The District Manager was the one that sent that wonderful man to our store. He went back to her store and aggressively approached her as she was entering her car to make the daily deposit. Thankfully, he backed off once others from the store came out to see what the guy’s issue was. How scary that must’ve been for her! I explained how my interaction went down with him and we devised a plan to deal with him if he came back. I wasn’t giving up my rightfully owned mask for that small dick energy. Turns out, he ended up driving 75 miles away to get a mask elsewhere. So, you see, even the worst kind of people are Halloween fans and go insane in October.

That wasn’t the above mentioned mask.

Even with that bullshit, I had an incredible Halloween season. I always do. The best time of the season comes well before October 31st even if it’s riddled with anxiety. It’s nothing compared to the stress of that Winter holiday. Thankfully, we can enjoy the harvest of Halloween at that time too. We have spooky pop-ups and Halloween and Horror creators of all kinds that create real life Nightmares Before Christmas to take the edge off of the sadness that comes from missing the spooky season, but the 100 days before Halloween feel the most exciting to me. The anticipation leads to visions of pumpkin-spice-latte-sipping the moment the kids are dropped off at school. I day dream (hard) about how the first Spirit I walk into will smell, what song will be playing and what mini walkthroughs will be on display. I look forward to treasure hunting and finding that one item on the first try. I dust off my goods to use for those Halloween Happy prompts and often marvel at my haul. Sometimes, I forget what I have put away. It brings back the magic of discovering something old like it’s something new each and every year. A fabricated surprise and a delight nevertheless. More than anything, I love sharing these seasonal experiences with you and amongst you. I don’t need a 12-foot skeleton of my own when so many of you do and have cleverly modified them. I love hearing about your extreme haunt experiences because I can’t do those. I enjoy the “firsts” of the season, the first sips of hot lattes and cider. The first maze, the first whiffs of moisture in the air, the first bushel of pumpkins and pumpkin flavored goodies at Trader Joes (yes, I’m hungry.) The firsts that only come within the 100 days till Halloween. Each year the things I missed out on become the priority for the next. So, look out for that book of short stories within the 100 days till Halloween 2022! In the meantime, continue with the code orange hashtags. Continue to share anything that makes you excited leading up to October 31st. I love hearing your stories!

So, tell me, what gets you the most excited for Halloween?

How I’m walking into the first Spirit of 2021.

Get in touch

mobrien@michellehalloween.com