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Brothers Alexander and Harrison (pictured) watched the ‘49ers on Halloween 2019.
As we grow older, many of us can relate to the idea that the activities we enjoyed as young children are somehow beneath us. Dressing up for Halloween is childish, we say. Trick-or-treating is dumb, I don’t need candy. I’m too old for that.
I’m not here to argue that you aren’t. I’m here to argue that this mindset is frankly reductive and does nothing but disallow anyone from having any fun.
All of this comes down to a matter of what maturity means. When I first encountered it, to be mature meant to me that you were above all the things you used to find fun when you were younger. I couldn’t enjoy toys anymore; those were for kids. I wouldn’t play with my cousins because they were young girls who liked stuffed animals. I didn’t let myself act silly or goof off. I was an adult now, or at least preparing to become one. I needed to be professional.
Keep in mind that I was 13 at this point. Nowadays, two years later, I have a different outlook. Plenty of people don’t.
As it turns out, my view of maturity as “anything that children enjoy” is shared by quite a few. The very reason that I abandoned the activities of my youth was that our media and the culture that it has cultivated does not view having fun as being socially acceptable. To us, there are very specific ways that each age bracket is supposed to enjoy themselves. Adults go to bars and watch sporting events, teenagers play video games, and kids mess around with toys and play dress up. There is no crossover.
Of course, some may break this tradition, but most stick to the norms. Us teenagers don’t go trick-or-treating anymore. I don’t go trick-or-treating anymore, and neither does my brother. We spent our Halloween at home, listening for the doorbell.
I want to close this article with a message: don’t be afraid to have fun. Maturity isn’t about being professional. It’s about knowing what’s acceptable to do and whether or not you should care. And if you find it fun to dress up and get free candy and forget about your problems for one night of the year, feel free.