Dreaming of a White…Halloween and My Favorite Holiday of the Year

October 31, 2010

white halloween tablescape and place setting

If you’re familiar with my day job, you’d think my favorite holiday of the year would be Thanksgiving, a day entirely devoted to nothing but cooking and eating and cooking and eating, ad alkaseltzered nauseum.

However, Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday of the year.

And neither is Halloween!

My favorite national holiday is my birthday, but before you have time to process that little bit of ego, let me explain why Halloween is not only not my favorite holiday, not only does not fall into that holiday emotion limbo filled with the likes of oh, say Veterans Day and Mexican Independence Day (which is different from Cinco de Mayo, mind you), but actually ties for dead first with Valentine’s Day for Most Hated Holiday of the Year.

It’s not like one Halloween I sliced my mouth into a bloody, pulpy mess after biting into a Snickers bar with a razor blade and so now all I have are traumatic flashbacks as soon as October hits the calendar. That would be too easy to work out in a two hours of therapy.

It’s that I spent Halloweens in the whitest of white suburban parts of the midwest. It’s that my parents are immigrants from a country that didn’t celebrate Halloween. It’s that I’m Korean. It’s that every Halloween that my parents were responsible for costuming me, I was deprived of any sort of “normal” costume, even a janky homemade one that was still recognizable to most normal 7-or-younger-year-olds. It’s that the one Halloween that will haunt my elementary memory into all eternity, I had to wear a hahn-bok, Korean traditional dress, as my costume and tell people I was dressed up as…

…an “Oriental Girl.”

I’ll pause while you recover from the memory so awful that even you are feeling it, 30 years later, and it didn’t even happen to you.

If facebook had been around in the ’80s, there would have been a mass friend exodus from Sarah after hushed IMs about how weird I was because wtf is an Oriental Girl, and aren’t I an Oriental Girl already? As if the dress alone weren’t enough, it was also three sizes too small so I looked like an obese, overgrown Oriental Girl, which probably explains my eating disorder aka food blogging, and my mom yanked my hair back in a bun so tight that my eyes looked more Asi-ental than Joan Rivers’ after her fourth facelift.

Perhaps my traumatic past colors my present. Or perhaps I also just don’t like dressing up in lingerie,don’t like deciding where to party and don’t like all the morbid, monstrous associations. Just about the only thing I do like about Halloween is the candy.

So no, Halloween is not my favorite holiday of the year, and the last thing I would ever do other than try to squeeze back into that fluorescent fuschia and schoolbus yellow hahn-bok (oh? I didn’t mention how embarassingly brightly colored the dress was?) to face my fears 30 some odd years later, is decorate my house for Halloween.

Unless I let SweetPaul do it in all white.

I especially love his silver glitter “disco” pumpkins (above).

Hooray Designs did a silver and white Halloween table. Including the “ornaments” on the centerpiece is a little Christmas-y, but still, very pretty:

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Diana November 8, 2010 at 1:39 am

When I was in the 2nd grade, I threw up in front of my entire class on Halloween. Not only did I have to go home sick and miss out on all the Halloween trick-or-treating and typical childhood tomfoolery associated with the holiday, but the incident turned me into a hypochondriac. For the rest of the year (and actually through 3rd grade), I had to ask my mom, “Am I going to get sick today?” as if the very act of asking would ensure that no, I wouldn’t get sick that day.

I don’t think I’ve ever really recovered.

Maybe this is why we are friends? We were both Halloween outcasts at age 7?


MidwestGirl November 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Seriously, the SAME EXACT THING happened to me! I grew up outside Detroit but was born in Korea. My first Halloween my parents dressed me up in a hahnbok and a plastic tiger nose thing I’m pretty sure I had gotten in my Happy Meal that day. I was a… Oriental Tiger? I still cringe at those photos.


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