An Open Letter to the Ever-Precocious Halloween Section in Department Stores

Dear Halloween Section, 

Thanks to you, I am caught in a dizzying state of cognitive dissonance. The sun’s UV savagely attacks my exposed skin as I try to sit outside and do homework. The thermometer still climbs reliably higher every day here in St. Louis than it seemingly did all summer back home. My jean jackets and light sweaters and fall scarves are simultaneously distant and hideously present as the cruelest of jokes. All I want to do at the end of a long day running from class to class is grab some ice cream (and maybe even press it to my flushed face a bit) and run through the tantalizing sprinklers set up on the Swamp green, not curl up beneath a blanket in a sweater with a book. And yet, the latter is what Halloween implies. 

How can you expect me to put myself in the mindset of fallen sienna leaves crunching beneath my feet when it’s a hot, early September? The first day of October is as far from us now as Labor Day, and neighborhood pools were still open then! Halloween itself is as far from us now as the first day of August! Do you see the problem now of rushing ahead? Skeletons and witches and generally spookiness have their time, and such a time is precious. Do not desecrate it by extending it beyond its prime. By introducing Halloween so early in the year as now, the public becomes desensitized and do not give Halloween the attention it is due. People walk through orange-black aisles of zombies and black cats and tune it out in favor of pressing concerns, like sunscreen or new sandals. Soon, these aisles will lose their effect and mean nothing, or worse, provoke enough of a negative response for someone to write an open letter. Don’t allow that to happen anymore. Preserve the magic of Halloween, and let it pack its punch in October. Then, and only then. 


A confused and estranged patron  


By Gina Wiste