Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween USA Style

Halloween - Its a BIG deal
In October of 1994, we moved into our first house is the USA and our furniture had just arrived from England. We hadn’t brought our worn out three piece suite or our UK television, so we didn’t have any living room furniture at all.  So, by Halloween, the front door still opened into an empty room.  It looked like we were going for the empty, haunted house look - perfect!
Not my house
Having grown up in England where the only notable thing that happened on October 31st was my friend’s birthday, I’m not sure we were entirely ready for Halloween.  We’d seen the films, of course, and hoped that Michael Myers didn’t live in our neighbourhood.   I knew the children (and apparently teenagers after 9:00 p.m.) dressed up and went door to door “Trick or Treating” with a bucket or in some cases a pillowcase (greedy) collecting sweets, or “candy.”

My son was around 8 at that time and wanted to trick or treat with his new friends, so it was just my daughter and I at home that night.  We were ready, we were prepared, we had a couple of bags of sweets to give out, we had the lights on inside and out, I got a dining room chair and put it by the front door and we waited for the first children to arrive.   And did they arrive!!!

One after the other, in droves, with parents, without parents, babies in pushchairs (why would babies need candy?) and the costumes - from Disney characters and superheroes, to vampires and zombies we saw them all.  One notable costume and one which was my daughters favourite was a tiny little baby in a Tweety Pie costume.  That baby’s probably around 22 now and might really want to forget it, bless.  Some parents are very inventive with their costumes and I'm sure some of those babies might grow up to hate their parents for the indignities handed out.  For example - this one ..
So anyway, there we were, giving out handfuls of sweets to every child and about an hour in I realized that we weren’t going to have enough. We had been willynilly throwing handfuls into each bucket and I thought the children were really nice when they were saying “Wow, thank you”  Look at me, I thought, I must have the best sweets on the street.  Nope, it was that they couldn’t believe I was so generous and I have since learned that they get ONE each…. Yes only one!!
Only ONE each!
So Plan B went into action – one sweet each and if possible, only pretend to put a sweet in their bucket.  Yes, this sounds like a terrible plan and it actually was…. I still remember the angry look I got from one little boy who knew I hadn’t put anything into his pillowcase and I stood there looking at him, daring him to tell me he knew – bad karma, I know (*cringe*)  I only tried it that once though – I couldn’t handle the guilt.

And throughout all this, every time I opened the front door, the first thing those little kids saw was an empty room.  I did get quite a few questioning looks that night and think I might have scared some of them actually.

And what do you do when you run out of candy?  Well, you close the door, turn out the lights and pretend you’re not home.  But that doesn’t actually work.  It seems those flippin’ kids will knock on every door in their hunt for sugar!  And then, as it got later, the children got bigger.  I was opening the door to teenagers, some of whom even had mustaches – and not the stick on kind.  Surely there should be an age limit to trick or treating?  My daughter and I eventually had to go and sit in a back bedroom because, quite frankly, she was getting scared (she was only 2.5) of all the big monsters knocking on the door.

Nowadays, I end up having way too much candy and I tend to buy what I like and fortunately, I now live in a neighbourhood where there aren’t so many children.  But then, I end up eating ALL of the sweets myself.  Not such a good idea after all!

No comments:

Post a Comment