In my neighborhood, Halloween is so different. First of all there are far fewer kids participating than adults. Second, there are far fewer costumes. Seriously, these kids ring your door bell dressed in their school uniforms. Some of them pull up in your driveway in their cars bumping some loud, bass pounding track having the nerve to seriously ask for candy. It’s sad.
Most of us leave our lights off to indicate we are not participating because there is absolutely no creativity, no fun, no imagination.
The best thing about Halloween for me is memories. I remember when it was for the kids. I remember when adults would chaperon kids around the neighborhood to make sure nothing happened. It’s just different now.
My favorite Halloween workplace story comes from my time in Ohio, many, many years ago before I was in HR. We had costume party and keep in mind this was back in the day before when the world was less tolerant as it is now. There was this guy named Gerald, and he was 6’4” and 240 pounds but he was solid. This dude was huge. He was black, now I mention that because on Halloween he wore an electric blue dress with a boa. And the dress against his dark skin just made him stand out even more. In addition to the dress, he had on a blonde wig and heels. So this was a visual spectacle. All the ladies in the office was clamoring, buzzing and gossiping about his get up. “Have you seen Gerald, oh my goodness, you gotta see that.”
It was all everyone was talking about and when I saw it for myself, I understood why. As stated Gerald is a big bulging dude, and when I say bulging, I mean it in every sense of the word… His skin tight dress could not contain his masculinity. So when the manager saw it, he was red faced with embarrassment. But he was not angry just speechless. The Director was angry and he told the Manager to tell Gerald that that outfit was not appropriate and to go home and change immediately.
One of the things that made the Director, and just about every other man in the building uncomfortable was that Gerald was homosexual, and many felt that he was not dressing up for Halloween so much as he was bringing his cross-dressing lifestyle into the office. Again this was a different time.
When advised to go home, Gerald understood the concerns and kind of felt that he would be asked to change, so he had brought a change of clothes as a back-up plan.
Not sure how that would play out now, someone would probably sue or threaten to sue.
Anyway, Happy Halloween folks, and if you are having an office party, keep it fun and innocent.