As an adult, Halloween is a distinctly different affair than it was when we were kids. In 2018, Halloween has lost so much of its appeal. With kids choosing to stay home to play video games and eat the candy their parents bought, the neighborhood streets have less activity and fewer costume-donned participants. I, on the other hand, have great Halloween memories from childhood to adulthood filled with fun, friends, laughter, and, of course, candy!
Nightclub Halloween parties were where I chose to spend my time. My friends and I knew the guy who produced the weekly events at various clubs in our area, so we always got into the club free. I’d get all dressed up – sometimes “supermodel cover girl” and sometimes a traditional costume – and walk up to the front of the line, be greeted with a friendly hug and be escorted inside. We were never drinkers, but dancing was another story. We would dance from the time we got there until the club closed.
One year, me and my fiance were invited to a big, fancy hotel Halloween party. We decided to go all out and rent costumes. We were buccaneer pirates, complete with the white ruffled shirt, plush red coat, black boots, and feathered hat. We matched so well that we were counted one of the best dressed couples at the event.
My first few years as a mother simply did not include Halloween; but by the time I had a two and four-year old, Halloween was back on track again. As our family grew, we alternated between trick-or-treating around the neighborhood and the local mall.
One particularly rainy Halloween, we took the four kids to mall-or-treat indoors at the mall. It was fun and games until some tall guy wearing a bleeding Scream mask scared the life out of our preschooler. So much for well-lit locations.
Then there was the time I busted a greedy kid dumping the whole unattended bowl of “take only one please” candies. Selfish little jerk that he was. Is the person lazy for not attending the candy or super caring to put it out even though they were busy. Was the kid a selfish jerk or simply young and unable to resist? Either way, it was kinda obnoxious.
Eventually, I moved into the position of the candy hander-outer, while my husband took the kids trick-or-treating. In this new role, I was friendly and generous to those who at least tried to put together a costume; but for the rest, my motto was: wear something and say something or you gets nothing! It’s already free candy, is it too much to ask you to give a little effort you spoiled malcontent!
Soon the kids grew old enough to decide whether or not they wanted to trick-or-treat, to come up with their own costumes, and roam the neighborhood in small groups on their own. Me and the hubby relaxed at home, warm and peaceful, while the kids took themselves out candy hunting. Inevitably, we would see or hear something that would make us shake our heads and chuckle.
A recent phenomenon we began noticing really blew our minds. We watched as parents from other neighborhoods drove their kids around from house to house, leaving the van door open for them to hop in and out as they greedily gathered free sugar from other people’s neighbors! These obnoxious kids wouldn’t even walk to a few houses in a row; instead, they got candy from one house and speedily hopped back in the car and waited – with the sliding door still open -while their child-indulging parent rolled up a few dozen yards to the next house on the block. Can you imagine a kid being that lazy and a parent being that accommodating? Really? You’re getting free stuff and you can’t even walk a few blocks for it?
Now that most of my children are adults and I only have two high schoolers left, my job is complete. That doesn’t mean I won’t come full circle on the whole Halloween thing in the future. Who knows, I may find the costume-wearing me again one day, but until then … I’m pretty much over it.