Harrowing holiday issues

by Annie Beltran

The holidays are coming and malls are beginning to decorate with subtle, seasonal displays.  I know “the man” just wants us to start thinking about Hanukkah or Christmas early so we can spend more money on pointless gifts for families and friends.

I offer my empathy to those buying dad the obvious holiday gifts. Seriously, how many random ties or socks can one man handle? My father is awful at telling me or my sisters what he wants—a tradition I despise every year.

“Dad I have the money, just tell me what you want. And please take off that ridiculous cop-out Santa tie from last year.”

Every father’s pre-Christmas nightmare is just around the corner—Halloween. Here’s to his girls finding those perfect sexy costumes—outfits that give the perfect amount of lift and curve to everyone’s treat basket.

Last year I was graced by an original trio passing out eye candy, running in skimpy outfits through the streets of Hillcrest was a group of scandalous boxes, including “One night stand” (equipped with condoms), “peep show theater,” and “Maru cat sexy shoebox.”

Personally, I tend to be a bit more modest on Halloween.  I rocked a spicy mustard costume last year. Only my fellow sandwich connoisseurs could truly appreciate the value of hot mustard readily available for one’s viewing pleasure.

I love Halloween, even though I can hardly tolerate candy. Yes, this is true. I’m not sure how this happened. I can assure you it’s not because I was dropped as a baby or a group of Snickers lovers bullied me in elementary school.  Cookie dough repulses me.  There is nothing I would do for a Klondike Bar.  I am not a big fan of candy or many sweets.  Hungry? I will wait for dinner.

Without wanting the candy, I am still an expert trick-or-treater.  When I was of a street-begging age, I would wear both face paint and a mask.  This technique allowed me to hit up the same house twice.  My shameless family fed me and my sisters to the wolves around the neighborhood, left to fend off razor blade-filled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups—another reason I don’t eat candy.

Recently, I went to the mall on a hunt for a round ice cube tray because square ice cubes in a whiskey ginger are too low-class. I’m a San Diego State student, not a Neanderthal.   The mall is a place I cannot stand both during and after the holidays.  Nothing gives me more stress knots in my back than a mall.  Everything about malls is horrendous: the parking lot, the endless row of shops, the search for my few desired items and the people.  For the record, I shop online for my holiday gifts.

The people in the mall, rudely crowding whatever clearance items are available, not only invade my personal walking space but add a Snap Chatter to that mix and I’ve just flipped a lid. The lid of a short, brown, canned mix of pent-up anger and anxiety, to be exact.

I found myself in Bed Bath & Beyond. Whoever decided grocery carts were appropriate in such a place clearly hates me. Bed Bath & Beyond is a giant store full of single-use kitchen items, such as the apple corer, the apple peeler, or even the perfect apple slicer. It’s covered floor-to-ceiling with holiday gift ideas.  Recently, I’ve noticed a trend that Halloween is a gift-giving holiday as well.  Not to mention the trend of Christmas lights being put on display in September.

The menorah is often harder to find. Usually I’ll spot a tiny display of blue and silver amongst a plethora of green and red.  Where is everyone’s favorite Hanukkah Harry sitting around to take some pictures with people’s children on his lap, huh?  In my personal experience, the best days to spin a dreidel are the first and last days of Hanukkah.  That’s when the best gifts and food are brought out.  The other six days are merely stocking stuffers and chocolate coins.

When is the perfect time to give your love to that bloody candy skeleton to symbolize your romance?  And how old is too old for some door-to-door freebie action?

Last Halloween, sexy pirate and her baby daddy, cheap Jack Sparrow, came banging on my door.  The pair of candy-crazed treasure hunters charged toward my porch light and left their toddler behind them.  The little poo-flinger was out of breath by the time he reached the bowl I just emptied on his sea-blazing parents.

I tried to remember the holidays are about giving, so I gave him some helpful advice.

“Better luck next year,” I told him. “And don’t be so slow to the doors next time.”