Monday, November 1, 2010

The Halloween Effect

Halloween is a single person’s best friend.

There’s something about a holiday that allows you to justify showing up at a bar in your underwear that’s conducive to more one-night stands and dfm (dance-floor makeouts) than any other day of the year.

Everyone seems to get a new phone number on Halloween, and the first few weeks in November usually pass in a flurry of subsequent first dates.

But why do the guys never seem as cute when their Chilean miner costumes come off, and why was the conversation so much easier at Heaven & Hell?

Halloween offers two advantages for single people that have nothing to do with adding the word “sexy” to an otherwise unglamorous profession. The first is confidence.

When you’re wearing an Ed Hardy tank top and a mile-high poof, you have to own it. And that creates a boost in confidence (and a drop in inhibitions) that makes it a lot easier to talk to people.

Who cares if you say the wrong thing when your face is covered in bronzer?

It’s the one night a year where everyone fits in, regardless of what you’re wearing. And you have a perfectly acceptable opening line with anyone who catches your eye. This creates an atmosphere that’s conducive to conversation, and if everyone wasn’t getting blackout, a lot more people might have a “We met in Fell’s” story.

The problem is that people are wasted, and alcohol is never the best way to meet a guy.

But if you can come up with a way to fake the kind of social graces everyone seems to possess on Halloween, you’ll have a much easier time meeting guys the other 364 days of the year.

It might be kind of weird to show up at a party in a cheerleader’s costume in May, but there’s no reason you can’t act like your bellybutton’s exposed.

Channel the extroverted side of you that only comes out on October 31. Introduce yourself to friends of friends (we still wouldn’t recommend walking up to strangers in bars), repeat names, smile, and engage in conversation. Don’t worry about coming across as too socially aggressive or saying the wrong thing—people are always flattered when you seem genuinely interested in what they have to say.  

The other advantage Halloween provides is an easy way to break a lull in conversation. Run out of things to say? You can just point to someone’s costume.

There isn’t an obvious substitute for this in a sea of polo shirts and business casual, but there are other ways of keeping a conversation going.

When there’s an awkward pause, don’t stress about coming up with something to say, focus on finding a question to ask. You can come up with a few stock questions to ask. “Did you hear about X random current event” (stay away from politics), what are you doing for Thanksgiving, etc.

Try to figure out what it was that made you so charming on Halloween (or what made the guy you were talking to seem so suave). And bring that back the next time you’re in a social setting.  


  1. My sister just got married in June - she met her husband Halloween '08! (He was dressed as Cookie Monster.)

  2. Stop writing this blog. You come across as childish. I'm guessing 22-24. You often give terrible advice that no doubt comes from your sheltered suburban upbringing. There is a good chance you are from Nova and have always considered yourself a woman of the District. The truth, the bartender hates your sloppy slurring self, and this blog will not make penance for it.

  3. Right on all counts except one--I actually consider myself a man of the District. I've never left NOVA, except twice when I went to bars in Georgetown, where they drank communism like it was the second amendment and had gay sex afterwords. Never again! Are you sure the bartender hates me though? I go there so often I feel like we're family...

  4. Apparently the poster going by the pseudonym "Seriously" forgets that the market for 22-24 year olds who moved on from their sheltered, suburban upbringings to move to Washington, DC is quite large. If you don't like the blog, don't read it - or post comments on it.