People are really into Halloween these days.
The orange and purple neighborhood-sized bags of candy spring up as soon as the last school supplies have been cleared from Target's shelves. Glittery skulls and slutty vampire costumes are everywhere.
I'm starting to get scared because it's reaching Christmas season proportions, and how dare any other holiday try to outshine my favorite?
As an adult, I'm perfectly fine spending October 31 like I would any other evening in October - listening to Bing Crosby's White Christmas in my pajamas.
Even as a child, Halloween didn't impress me much. I played dress up year-round, so there was less of a novelty around costumes. I was too shy to ring doorbells, and usually let my sister do all the "Trick or Treat!" screaming. The free candy was NICE, but I had to walk all the way around the neighborhood to earn it?
There are three things that strongly define my memories of Halloween evenings past:
1. Being EXTREMELY Offended By Kids Who Took More Than One
Every year before we left the house, my mother would reinforce that it was rude to just grab the candy, rude to take too long choosing one, and very, very rude to take more than one. I obediently avoided those offenses, only to be completely shocked by children who either had parents that failed to instill this rule or who simply chose to ignore it.
I was floored by kids in front of me who would ram their entire hand into the pile of fun-sized candy bars. Meanwhile, I would delicately pluck one Snickers bar from the top of the bowl, smile sweetly at the neighbors, and run back to my dad at the end of the driveway.
The worst were the kids who stomped up to unmanned candy bowls left on abandoned porches and dumped the entire thing into their bags. I saw you, I remember, and I will haunt you when I'm dead.
2. Candy Heists
I'm a sneaky kid, and I have a major sweet tooth. In an effort to save me from myself, my parents would have us dump our stash into Target shopping bags and hide them. The bags would be produced for us after dinner so we could choose two or three pieces. It was exactly like prison.
In my later years, I had a better understanding of all the hiding places one might shove a plastic bag of contraband candy in our house - but as a beginner on the Halloween scene, I had to make do with the short candy visitation rights allotted to me.
I still remember sticking my entire head inside the plastic bag - "I just need to get a better look, Mom!" - and hiding two or three more pieces of candy, wrappers and all, in my mouth. This almost backfired when I nearly choked to death on a lifesaver (IRONIC), but I'm still convinced my operation went largely unnoticed by the prison wardens.
3. Under-Appreciated Costumes
As with many other areas of my life, I was completely unappreciative of the labor of love my mother put forth to hand-make costumes for her kids. While she sewed gorgeous fairy costumes and hot-glued silk flowers onto crowns for us, I coveted the manufactured, store-bought costumes of my peers.
My first costume from a store was a witch costume, and I was ready for it to transform me into the Halloween goddess I had always dreamt of being. I slithered into the dress, globbed green makeup on my face, popped on my mom’s old cancer wig, and topped it off with a glitter-encrusted hat. Halloween royalty, at your service.
Looking back, I see now how great those homemade costumes were, and I resent the opinions of my fourth-grade self. (It was a year of many questionable opinions. I bought one of those weird early-2000's one-size-fits all stretchy t-shirts, I engaged in some weird friendship-bullying situations, I cut my own bangs...)
While we’re here, let’s appreciate some of my best Halloween looks. (Thanks, Mom!)
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