By Holly A. Phillips — @OrangeJulius7
I’m finally going to admit it. I hate Halloween.
As a kid, I loved it (duh, free candy), and in college, it was the perfect excuse to wear fishnets and do keg stands.
But, I’m older now, and truthfully, a lot of things that didn’t scare me before, terrify me now.
I’m particularly terrified of masks. Any mask. It doesn’t even have to be a mask, if it’s covering someone’s face, I’m out of there so fast.
According to my mom, I’ve been scared of masks my whole life.
Honestly, who wouldn’t be? If you can’t see someone’s face, it’s difficult to tell who they are. What’s more frightening than the unknown?
In high school, a guy I dated invited me to come over. When I arrived, he was wearing the infamous white mask from Scream. He didn’t chase me or tackle me; he just sat there staring at me.
It was creepy as hell, and after many shrieks for him to remove the mask, he did, and everything was okay again.
But when you consider dating, there’re all sorts of things people can do to trick us into thinking they’re someone they aren’t — and not just in October.
The last guy I was in a serious relationship with put on a very sweet façade at first. In this world, he was a good father, a hard worker and a loyal boyfriend. But, four months into our relationship, the person behind the mask started to reveal himself.
Truthfully, he was a deadbeat. He was fired for stealing money from his job, he was arrested for drunk driving and he was infatuated with his side chick.
It was one of the meanest tricks anyone has ever played on me.
While it’s been two years since that went down (like a razor blade in an apple), I’ve certainly come a long way, but I find myself very cautious as I attempt to step back into dating. Will it be a mean trick or a sweet treat?
Technology makes it easier for people to trick us into believing one persona when there could be worlds of secrets behind the mask (also known as the Instagram filter).
When I use dating apps, I constantly wonder if that’s the real person I’m talking to, or if Nev and Max are going to arrive at my door and tell me I’ve been Catfished.
Even when messaging with guys, I sometimes question the meaning behind the text, or if they’re even as single as they’re telling me they are.
I recently started a new job, and everyone told me they never celebrate Halloween at the office because no one was into it.
Sweeter words have never been spoken. I was so relieved that I wouldn’t have to see masks at my office at the end of the month.
But, of course, enough people spoke up that they wanted to wear costumes, and so, a costume contest has been added to our task list. And, what’s a costume content without a Halloween-themed potluck?
But, I don’t want to seem like I’m not a team player, and I often try to keep my mask fear to myself.
So, I need a costume. I’m toying with the idea of going as Amy Winehouse because I can rock some ballet flats and a Bump-It without judgment.
Halloween is all about living as someone you want to be, right? Then, I should totally go as Kate Middleton because she’s got killer style and a hot, kind husband. Or, maybe I should go as Ronda Rousey – powerful, rich and knows how to kick ass.
Who knows what kind of costume I’ll end up putting together. But I know this: it’s time to start putting a few of these fears behind me. Sure, I don’t want to get tricked by a man in a mask, but if I’m going to find my knight in shining armor, I’m going to have to get out of the dark.
Read more about dating tricks or treats on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.