Monday, October 24, 2011

Why no! You won't be surprised to hear my costume isn't ready.

I just read a study that reports the following:

Top 5 US Holidays according to a survey of American men and women:

1. Christmas
2. Thanksgiving
3. Well, let's hold on this one for a moment...
4. Independence Day
5. Easter

Number Three is the tricky one here; that's where the survey takes a bit of a turn. In fact, depending on who is answering, the list changes from group to group.

For a few groups (Echo Boomers, age 18 - 34; Generation X, age 35 - 46 and women), HALLOWEEN ranks third.

For Baby Boomers (47 - 65), Matures (66 +) and men, INDEPENDENCE DAY comes in third.

Let's translate, shall we?

Women are fans of gifts (giving and receiving), food (preparing and eating) and candy + costumes.

Men appear to be fans of gifts (giving and receiving), food (preparing and eating) and food + fire.

I guess many women feel this way: if I get to buy and eat candy and dress like a slutty nurse or a witch while I do, well, that works for me. Personally, I can't quite relate because while I am an enormous fan of candy of almost any kind, dressing up for Halloween never did much for me. In fact, regular readers of my now departed newspaper column will remember that every single year, I was always the mother who was stunned year after year when the end of October arrived and it was Halloween again. Not only was I the one who bought the boys' costumes from catalogs, I paid FedEx for overnight delivery.

Thankfully, they had their dad. He could somehow coordinate three reasonably good costumes for them out of nothing in a matter of hours; I'm not kidding. Give him an old coat, a tennis racquet and a hardhat and he'd turn random accessories into costumes that were somehow pretty good. God knows how he did it.

Back to the survey: It's not that women don't like celebrating Fourth of July; we do. It's just fifth in a list of five. You'll note it comes in after another religious-with-heavy-candy-overtones-holiday: Easter.

Number 5 for men? New Year's Eve.

Personal sidebar: Yet another holiday that never did much for me. Over-rated; too many expectations. When I was younger and single, I either worried about the date I had or the date I didn't have. When I was younger and in love, I appreciated the sure-thing-of-it all. When I married and realized I'd never have to think about New Year's Eve in a certain way again, I was relieved. These days, the holiday arrives and it's become the perfect opportunity for me to brood about the year that has passed and the year to come.

Many men - not all certainly - may like Thanksgiving and New Year's because of the football games that take place on those holidays. That means food, drink and sports. Some might call it the trifecta of a perfect day. (I wouldn't, but some might.)

Maybe men also think this on December 31: festive party + drinks = maybe I'll get lucky. With my wife. Maybe.

You know what women are thinking? Only about six weeks until another national holiday built around candy.

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