I was over at Jeez Louise’s blog earlier this week for her Eden’s Fantasy giveaway. She asked for comments telling about our best Halloween ever. As usual, I started writing a super long comment and decided that wasn’t the place for it. I kept it short (for me) and concluded I had better write my own blog post about Halloween.
I’m not exactly a huge fan of Halloween. As a kid I went to Halloween parties, dressed in costume, bobbed for apples, trick or treated after dark (on the night of the holiday), answered the door at home for the trick or treaters, etc. The usual stuff. My mom made my costumes and I remember being a witch a lot. I’m a witch a lot now but I don’t wear a costume. Things are definitely not the same now with kids trick or treating during the daytime, on a day that’s not even Oct. 31st. I trick or treated every year with my friend Kathy who lived less than a block away. We didn’t go to school together (she went to Catholic school) but played together all the time. Back then, you went out without parents or any adults along. You also went only in your neighborhood and only as far as you could walk in a set amount of time. You got your sack or plastic pumpkin full and you went home. The candy was safe and didn’t have to be inspected or xrayed for razor blades or foreign objects. Now kids are being dropped off in different neighborhoods by the vanfull. They fill their bags, drop them off and go out again to fill another bag. That’s probably what gets me the most: the greed. Kids think it is owed to them. We were taught that we didn’t get anything unless we said “trick or treat” and always had to thank the person giving out the goodies. Nowdays, the kids will hold out their bags without saying anything & at least half don’t say thank you. You hear complaints if they don’t care for the specific sugar rush you are handing out and if it’s their favorite, they ask for more! I’ve had that happen several times when they ask if they can have a 2nd one. I tell them to trade with their friend, which is what we would do to get what we wanted.
I remember being one of the kids who had to carry the small box around and “trick or treat for Unicef”. Each house would put a single penny inside. Even then I wondered how the few pennies could make a difference.
Years ago, Halloween was a scary holiday. The costumes were all made to frighten. Now there are as many “cute” costumes as scary. I never cared for giving out the candy at home. My mom was always working and my dad was home but he used to pawn the job off on me. I only trick or treated a few years, I’d say from ages 5 or 6 to 10. I started babysitting at 11 so thought I was too grown up to trick or treat. I kept running into the problem of answering the door and kids that were 15 (in 10th grade) trick or treating. They weren’t even wearing costumes but had a pillowcase for the candy. You were afraid to turn them down or they’d egg your house. That’s what you get when you live in a “tough” neighborhood. On the other end of the spectrum, now you get kids under a year old trick or treating. I realize the baby looks adorable and you want to show him off but if the kid can’t walk, he has no business trick or treating, let alone eating candy. The parents carry the baby up to the door and have a little bag they hold to put the kid’s candy in. There’s a good chance the parents are eating the candy themselves.
I think what bothers me the most about Halloween is that you’re not given a choice. It’s expected that you participate and I’ve always rebelled at anything I was told I HAD to do. It’s not the giving part that bothers me or even the expense. A lot of it is the inconvenience and how uncomfortable it makes me. I’m pretty unconventional when it comes to all holidays and want to give to who I choose and not be dictated to by society.
My Halloweens as an adult have gone from wild to tame. The best one was when I was in college in Madison, WI. My mom was with me and we walked among the throngs of revelers on State St. from the capital to the area by the university. It was so crowded it was just a mob that moved as a sea of bodies. A lot of people were dressed in ghoulish costumes but plenty were not. Anything went and it was a feast of people watching and mingling. The only costumes we wore were headband type things with antennae or eyeballs shooting off the top supported by springy wires. It was so fun! I don’t recall if at the time they allowed alcohol (beer in plastic glasses) but it wouldn’t surprise me. I went to several parties on State St. during other times of the year where everyone carried beers from one bar to another. The same went for block parties at other Madison locations. Anyway, that stands out as the highlight of my Halloweens past.
My husband’s older sister has been throwing an awesome Halloween party for decades. She goes full out with decorating her home inside and out and her and her husband’s costumes are always over the top. We’ve gone several times. Since we live 1 hr. & 45 min. away, it’s not that fun knowing we have to drive there during bad Sat. traffic, stay from 7-12 or so, not drink and drive home being so tired. We’ve tried taking turns drinking and the other one drives. It’s not fun riding in a car when you’ve got to pee bad either or if you’ve drank too much and everything’s spinning. We usually end up skipping dinner so we can leave at 5 pm, to get there by 7 pm. We like seeing everyone but neither one of us gets into dressing up. For one thing, I can’t see spending a ton of money on an outfit I’ll only wear for a few hours. I also can’t handle spending a lot of time thinking about what I’m going to be. It’s not that I’m not creative but I just don’t feel inspired. If someone else wanted me to help them think up a costume or make a costume, I’d be really into it. But to do it for myself, no way. I can’t put my finger on why. I guess if someone just GAVE me a costume (that fit) every year, I’d wear it and be glad. I’d love a full body cow costume complete with udders. Hubby & I bought costumes a few years ago–a nun outfit and a prisoner outfit at Spencer Gifts. We took turns, the first year I was the nun, he was the prisoner and the next year the opposite. It was hilarious seeing my husband as a nun! We’ve also been fishermen, a TSA agent, a blind person, etc. Whatever we can be without spending a ton of money.
Our very first Halloween together was also our engagement party. My hubby had been cohosting a Halloween party with a friend of his for a few years and we decided to combine it with our celebration. We went as an engaged couple! He had his best friend from college and his girlfriend come for the weekend. They wore a combined 2 person costume where they were literally side by side in the same suit. Greg drove my car at the time, I sat in the passenger seat & the suited couple sat in back. When I got out, I slammed the door and the girl in back had put her hand over the piece of metal that framed the car and divided the front from the back. She was trying to get leverage to pull herself out but I hadn’t noticed. My head was in the clouds with all the excitement, I had shut her hand in the door. Obviously she shouldn’t have put her hand there but I felt TERRIBLE. The door was locked and it took a minute for hubby (who had the keys) to open his side and pull up the knob to open the door. Needless to say, we ended up taking her to the ER at the hospital instead of the party. Nothing was broken but we spent most of the night in the ER. I think we might’ve made an appearance late into the night at the party but only for a few minutes. That’s the worst Halloween in my memory bank.
Some other fun Halloweens were when hubby and I first got together. A year or two after the debacle above, I went as Mrs. Butterworth. A younger, hotter version of Aunt Jemima. I wore a short black wig, brown face paint, a brown dress to the floor, etc. Everybody knew who I was which made me think it was a success. This is in the days before political correctness. The following year I went as Oprah (her early fat years). Shockingly, I really did look like her once I dressed up like she did. Those were the most fun costumes. My other favorite costume was a toga made by just wrapping a white bed sheet around you to look like how the Romans dressed. I love any excuse to wear a toga. They’re sexy.
I love looking at others’ Halloween decorations and admire them for their creativity. When we first moved here, I went all out decorating inside the house for all holidays. Somehow it got to be too much trouble for me to bother with. The holiday comes and goes so quickly and I hate putting decorations away. It’s easier to just not put them up. I don’t know if it’s laziness or me being cynical. It just seems like in the long run it doesn’t make a difference if you do or don’t. I wish I could get enthused to start decorating again.
I’ll be giving out the candy this year for trick or treat since hubby is working on Monday from 3-8 pm. Hubby says he doesn’t mind giving out the candy yet somehow he is always either working or away on a business trip. The 5 hours it goes on makes me feel like it’s 5 hours I can’t get back. We don’t have a doorbell now (long story) but when we did, it would put me so on edge to have it rung like mad. I feel like I can’t start anything because the munchkins will come along. So if the weather’s nice, I get Mom to sit outside with me on the step and we chat inbetween giving out candy. I’d love to have the dogs outside with us but so many are afraid of dogs. We usually get over 100 kids and it’s all spread out over that time. After an hour or two of that, we come inside and I stand by the door until my nerves give out.
I want to wish all my internet chums a Happy Halloween however you choose to celebrate it! In the comments, please tell about anything Halloween related: your best or worst costume, your favorite Halloween, a nightmare of a Halloween, if you enjoy giving out Halloween candy, etc. Oh, and by the way, get off my lawn!