The primary elements of Halloween are: costumes, spookiness, candy and contact with strangers. Candy is okay. Costumes are disturbing. Spookiness is scary and so are strangers.

That’s why I don’t like Halloween. I didn’t like it as a child, either. I’ve never even taken Economics, but I know that candy is cheap. I knew this at around age five, when I saw the price of candy and compared it to the price of other things. But during Halloween, there is no item more costly than precious, precious candy. Children are self–employed, working the street to gather resources for their candy funds. For four hours of work, I made $6.32 of sugar, no tips. That’s a lot of work for some low–priced nausea.

I hated costumes then, too. I have a hazy memory of being dressed up as Princess Leia, complete with cinnabons of hair at each ear. Get it? I’m Leah and she’s Leia? She spells it wrong but pronounces it right. I remember explaining the whole name coincidence to strangers on stoops and then just feeling really confused and depressed because it was too much for my five –year–old self to handle. But then I was also nauseated. The trauma runs deep.

As a young adult that hates Halloween in a pro–Halloween society, I’ve come to learn that I don’t have many choices. Probably, I will hibernate. Sitting in a nest of savory snacks and internet, I’ll be dressed as myself. (Not “as myself.” That’s never funny.) But because Halloweekend is a long weekend, and my granary is limited, I’m going to have to venture outside.

Inevitably, I’ll be amongst the Halloweeners. They’ll be dressed in less dignity than clothing. I believe people should wear whatever they want and not look for excuses. I want to wear jeans and “a cute top” at all times and am not looking for excuses. The thing is, dressing slutty is fine. Sticking animal appendages to your rear isn’t. Eventually, one of them will come up to me, syllables aslur, and say, “Whad’re you dressed as?” I will turn to this intoxicated individual and sigh, “Nothing.” He or she will invade my personal space and say, “Oh, I get it, you’re dressed as yourself.”

To avoid this encounter, I could dress up as something. But what? Seriously. What should I dress up as? My first thought is always something high–concept. Wait. Woah. What if I dressed as a concept for Halloween? Do you see where this ends up? Next thing I know I’m wearing a purple dress and some origami on my head and spending the whole night explaining how it has to do with Freud and stuff.

I wish I could like Halloween. I like to have fun. Or at least, I think I like to have fun. Why is fun so hard?

More in Highbrow: Toasts and Roasts My Penn Addiction: Penn Directory Overheard at Penn