“Uh oh, don’t look, daddy! Don’t look…or you’ll get angry!” my seven-year-old daughter warned me. It wasn’t the first time that day in late August she alerted me to danger. I knew it could be one of only two things. But, just like when you’re afraid of heights and someone tells you not to look down, you have to look. I had to look.
“WHAT!?!” I shouted dramatically, followed by a fist-shaking, get-off-my-lawn-esque “ooooohhhh, why I oughta….another Halloween store! IT’S STILL SUMMER, PEOPLE!!!” At least it wasn’t my other trigger: a craft beer display case featuring that seasonally flavored abomination known as pumpkin beer. There are maybe three days in the year when pumpkin beer is an acceptable drink (and that’s being generous). None of them are in August.
Of course, this is a goofy game I play with my little girl, but I was kind of serious. School hadn’t started yet, it was nearly 90 degrees outside, the pool was still open, and it was STILL NEARLY 90 DEGREES OUTSIDE. Why was I expected to start planning for, or even thinking about, Halloween? Then, as soon as everyone’s out of their costumes, maybe before, they’ll start with all the gobble gobble Thanksgiving crap.
Where does it end? And why is seasonal beer in such a rush?
Perhaps more importantly, why does it annoy me so much?
Maybe it’s because I’m not much of a planner. I want to appreciate what I’m doing now and think about later… a lot later. I’ll still be here when it gets here. If I’m not, I won’t have to worry about it anyway. Huh. That was supposed to be a “live in the moment” summertime idea that became kind of morbid. Almost… Halloweeny! Ugh.
As bad a planner as I am, and maybe some of you are, EVERYONE KNOWS WHEN HALLOWEEN IS. No one needs a reminder or is shocked and amazed to find out it’s at the very end of October. So, if my hand-dandy calendar doesn’t say October, I don’t want to hear about it, think about it or shop in any pop-up costume shops. Why would anyone need to buy a costume nearly three months ahead of time!? They don’t. Those stores should still be selling flip flops and beach towels, albeit at deeply discounted prices.
And I take back what I said about the pumpkin beers. I’ve decided they are never acceptable, not even at Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re tempted, go ahead and drink an IPA, have a slice of pumpkin pie and swish them both around in your mouth a little. You’re welcome.
And Merry Christmas, everybody. Fa la la la la GET OFF OF MY LAWN!!!!!
A version of this article originally appeared in NJ Family. I probably should have published it here a couple months ago, before Halloween instead of after…at least I made it in time for Thanksgiving! I told you I’m not much of a planner.