Halloween, as only the Great American Gentleman can do it


October 31, 2012 by pfrancis207

Halloween is one of the great holidays in American culture and it is great for the reason that it remains important throughout a person’s life. It starts out as a mere excuse for you to get jacked up on sugar and dress as your favorite superhero when you’re a child. By the time middle school arrives, you’re far too cool for Halloween, but by high school, you get back into it, if only sparingly.

But it isn’t until one gets to college (and alcohol takes the place of candy) that people dive head first into the holiday again, dressing up more daringly and suggestively than ever before. Adult Halloween is a far more lewd and lascivious affair than it was in high school, replacing the wholesome fun of childhood Halloween and the “who cares?” attitude of adolescent Halloween.

So, after all of these reincarnations of all hallows eve, how does the gentleman do it?

Today, I’m going to cue you in on ideas that will make your Halloween better than all the rest.

1. Costumes

The single most important thing about the holiday is the selection of a costume(s). Depending on what day Halloween falls on, there could be several days worth of celebration, so pick costumes that are of two qualities: cleverness and efficiency.

Being as the majority of this blog’s patrons are in college, cost efficiency is the mantra with everything you do. So look to universally beloved movie characters or pop-culture references for inspiration (disney characters, celebrities, etc). Another thing about Halloween is that you can really bend the gender boundaries a little bit as well (any guy who attends the party dressed as an old lady is bound to get a few laughs).

Yet perhaps one of the most underrated concepts as far as costumes go for Halloween is the team costume. Get together three or four friends and all dress up as one thing or related things (blind mice, motorcycle gang, Santa’s elves, etc). These costumes are generally among the most creative and get the best reaction because of the humor of seeing several people of different shapes and sizes dressed as the same thing.

And really, the humor is what you as the gentleman are going for. Usually, the gentleman chooses to dress not to stand out or to make a statement, but rather to attract the most discriminating eyes in the crowd. The phrase “the loudest man in the room is the weakest” pertains to this sentiment. The need for attention is not usually the need of the gentleman.

However, Halloween is a night to show your humor and to get some attention thanks to your costume. Gone are the days of dressing to be as scary as possible (you probably haven’t done that since you were playing pokemon on your gameboy color). Women get this memo once they leave home and subsequently let their freak flag fly on Halloween in college. As the college gentleman, your modus operandi is not scandalousness but humor. Brainstorm by yourself or with friends to come up with the best costume for your personalities and wallets.

2. The Party

Another important aspect of Halloween is the party: There needs to be one. Otherwise, what good is the holiday? You must have a sit down with your roommates to decide whether your apartment is going to be the party apartment or if your going to entrust someone else with that responsibility. If you are hosting the gala event, just remember these keys.

– Decide early

– Pick a theme within the theme 

– Advertise

What I mean by decide early is obvious: Have this conversation waaay in advance of the holiday. Sit down with your crew and make this choice in early October. A gentleman is never without his thinking cap, and by deciding early, you can in turn advertise.

However, before that even begins, you must decide on the logistics: whether you want it to have a theme, whether it’s BYOB, etc. Themed Halloween parties work best when the holiday falls on a day of the week that is conducive to multiple evenings of celebrating (i.e, any week day from Sunday to Wednesday). This way, you have multiple nights to dress up, and one night when everyone dresses in a similar theme saves alotta money and aggravation for all parties involved.

While you can just hold a regular costume party, if you decide to do a theme party, pick a theme that is universal, but niche enough so that you can have a core group that are really engaged in the idea. My personal gold standard for the theme party is the Roman Toga party. It’s easy (just grab a bedsheet) and thanks to National Lampoon’s Animal House, a college icon (See the immortal John Belushi in proper toga party attire to the left). The theme party is generally a safe bet for Halloween, as long as the idea is “universally niche”, so to speak.

The last little party bit is the advertising. Now when I say advertising, I’m not referring to taking out space in the paper and sending up smoke signals. What I’m referring to is the manner in which word gets out about the party. The key is to pick several, well known (and trustworthy) folks on campus (and off campus) to basically spread the word. Once you get these people (guys and gals) locked in, more will come based on their sayso, in turn making your party all the livelier.

(However, setting a limit on how many ghouls and goblins you want at your party is important, as you don’t want it to get so loud that you attract the attention of campus security and/or the Boys in Blue.)

3. Gentleman’s Etiquette

The last little bit of information in today’s post is just a simple reminder to remember to be smart and careful during this holiday, whether you are hosting a party or not.

First and foremost, be smart behind the wheel. Practice the designated driver routine, in which your entire crew draws straws, short straw gets to DD. Luckily, Halloween generally has multiple nights of celebration, so be sure to spread the DD wealth. If one gentleman draws the short straw, he is removed from the pool for the rest of the celebratory nights.

However, DD’s sometimes drink more than they should (i.e, nothing), so in case your DD thwarts his sworn duty, have the number of a taxi service ready to go.

Avoid public transportation at all costs. Halloween is a big gang initiation night in many urban areas nationwide, so to avoid potential violent encounters, stay clear of areas that basically trap you. Nowhere to run to on a moving train or bus. So pick a party location and then decide on the quickest, safest way to get home beforehand.

Halloween is also strange timed event seasonally, so bring warm(er) clothes in a backpack with you in case your costume is a bit thin, because there is nothing worse than having to walk somewhere in really chilly weather. Halloween is not worth getting hypothermia over.

Also keep in mind, if there are women in your group that you are travelling/partying with, remember to keep a look out for them at all times. Due to the suggestive nature of many women’s Halloween costumes today, many men who do not fit the gentleman’s profile may get alcohol induced ideas of intimacy that are unwelcome from the women themselves. Always be on the look out for shady characters wherever you are and, in the event you must protect the women in your party, make sure you have several other gentlemen with you with which to deal with this offensive character swiftly and effectively.

And last but not least, enjoy alcohol responsibly. Do not drink so much that you blackout and/or say things you shouldn’t say to people you shouldn’t say them to, for this can only end badly for you and the group of people you are with. Give up your keys if you drove to the party you are attending and plan to stay there. And lastly, if you are hosting a party, check ID’s. Making sure everyone in your apartment is 21 years of age may seem like a killjoy move to the underage crowd, but supplying alcohol to minors is a felony in many US states. Keep that in mind when throwing a Halloween bash.

So on that note, be smart, be safe, and enjoy tonight’s festivities, my gentlemanly patrons!


2 thoughts on “Halloween, as only the Great American Gentleman can do it

  1. pete I really liked the different themes that you expressed in this post. The one that stood out most to me was about safety and having a DD when you go to a party. Next i thought that the responsibility factor is important if you are the one who is throwing the party. Having underage people there is a huge risk factor that no one wants to deal with. I like how your post is all about being a gentleman, and one factor in being a gentleman is always looking out for your lady friends and making sure that they are safe. I think creativity is also a very big part of Halloween and I think it was smart to incorporate that within your post. I also really liked the team costume factor that you mentioned. Being a part of a group is always more fun than acting alone.

  2. Mark says:

    Glad to see that your classmate found so much to appreciate in this post.

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