synthetic spiderwebs… a sob story

by lillymerchant

Halloween decorations begin to spring up around the dorms as early as the first week in October. Among these is the fake spiderweb. A cult classic; a fan favorite. Strewn across bushes in the front yards of houses in suburban neighborhoods, these webs have brought joy to girls and boys and theys of all ages for years. I love fall and I love when other students invest in knickknacks to prove that they, too, love fall. Not to mention, the hallways of WDW are reminiscent of a low budget Holiday Inn without the help of cute little ghosts and pumpkins. In light of this, I am a firm advocate for pretty-ing up our living environments through festively-charged trinkets. But, as it turns out, I should have left spiderweb décor to the professionals (the spiders).

Perhaps I was naive to think that joining in on the festivities would be simple, that my door would look spooky in a disheveled-yet-aesthetically-pleasing kind of way. On the 8th of October, 2021, my roommates and I pulled into Halloween’s Holy Terrain (Party City), and upon viewing their collection of “spooktastic” bits and bobbles, agreed that our door décor could be the answer to sprucing up our hallway. Maybe we could unite our uncharacteristically quiet floor through the Halloween spirit. Because who doesn’t love some festive activity? 

samantha stillman

How foolish we once were. 

Hanging up synthetic spiderwebs is not for the faint of heart. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, let me give you the low down. You go to the Party City in South Burlington (you know the one), and even though you don’t want to spend $14 on a hunk of weird cotton, you have to. It’s the viable only option. Then, you sit on the floor of your hallway, pull out the aforementioned mass of cotton, and stare at it for a good 15 minutes trying to figure out how to turn stuffing into something spooky. Your RA walks by and tells you she “can’t wait to see what it looks like!” But time passes and you become more and more certain that this is not something you need other people to see. 

Our neighbors in the hall across the way had hung their web up the week before. Their room didn’t look too bad, but we thought–nay–we knew we could do better. Cut to an hour of arguing and another hour of taping and retaping, we had one poorly decorated door, and about 5 doors worth of extra web. At this point, we accepted our lack of spiderweb-hanging skills, but, as I mentioned, we had an abundance of web just sitting, collecting synthetic dust bunnies. The solution? Decorate the rest of the hall. 

They say that practice makes perfect. They’re full of shit. Practice makes pessimism and ultimately ends in defeat. And now we live in a hallway with the ambiance of a defaced Build-A-Bear. 

 If you’re a student at UVM and you’re in the market for some spooktastic décor, HMU, I still have fucking loads of it.

Categories: around town, oct. 26, samantha stillman, vol 25

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