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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Charlotte Steinway | S.O.S.

Dear SOS,

When I still lived at home, the only sort of Halloween festivities I chose to partake in involved rebellious acts of toilet-papering and post trick-or-treating saccharine binges. Now, as a freshman, I am sort of clueless as to how Halloween works here. What sorts of things go on, and what sorts of costumes are appropriate? Sincerely, Hallowhat? Dear Hallowhat,

I feel your pain. In my youth, I assumed college would mark the time when I could finally consider myself over the (trick-or-treating) hill, and thus I would reluctantly consider myself too old to partake in the festivities. Unfortunately, that day came a bit more prematurely than had been expected: At age 15, I was finally deemed too old for trick-or-treating.

But the critical moment didn't occur through the standard, "How old are you girls?" question. Rather, my four friends and I were thrown a curveball when the door-greeter looked at us, assessed our status as teenage girls and said, "You guys are sill trick-or-treating? Shouldn't you be out dieting or something?" It was then that I realized that many seasonal holidays don't really have a place in my home city of Los Angeles: There's not enough snow for Christmas and far too much health-consciousness for Halloween.

But when I got to college, I was ready to celebrate the holiday in a slightly more adult manner. And though I expected "adult" to be a synonym for "mature," there are many people who chose to celebrate Halloween in an "adult" a.k.a "sexy" manner as well. In case you were not aware, "adult" as a suffix added to virtually any commonplace costume will automatically renHOvate any standard guise, thus doubling all of your costume options. Just think of the possibilities: a sexy Tetris block (the yellow one is most phallic), an "adult" porcupine (such a tease!) or even a slutty Oompa Loompa (which could dually be a cast member of E!'s "Sunset Tan" ... your pick).

This fact brings me to another point: Be prepared to leave your costume up to the interpretation of your fellow partygoers. Oftentimes despite tedious attempts to create an intricate costume -- like a James Bond Girl -- the inebriated masses will ultimately deem you to be something either a) extremely basic or b) wholly perverted (e.g. a Slut dressed in black with a gun).

And although it wasn't on Halloween, I remember a certain Disney Debauchery party, where my best friend and I decided to go as the White Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland. While most people understood my intentions, everyone at the party was convinced that my friend had dressed up as "the Playboy Bunny." I mean, I know there are some conspiracies about subliminal sexuality in Disney movies but come on!

In terms of the actual holiday, aside from a couple of fun, campus-sponsored events, your celebratory festivities will probably center around the evening's activities. Because the holiday falls on a Friday this year, there will be tons of weekend revelry; unlike last year, when it fell on a Wednesday, and thus, it elicited some crazy prolonged celebration I called 'Halloweek,' leaving most of the campus out-spooked by the time the actual holiday rolled around. This year, the days for feasible celebration may be numbered (I'm banking on the no-brainer triple threat of Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights), it doesn't mean the amount of celebration has to be truncated as well. Go crazy: Carve a pumpkin, stock your mini fridge with candy corn, and if you're anxious about finding a costume, just leave the creativity up to your fellow party-goers. Wear a solid color scheme, throw on some funky accessories, and just see what people will think you've dressed up as. The results could get interesting.

--Charlotte Steinway is a junior majoring in sociology. She can be reached at

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