I have to admit it. I go into Halloween with a bad attitude but I think it’s the only holiday where a bad attitude is perfectly okay.
Quite the opposite is my husband who looks forward to Halloween. He makes the trek to Costco a week ahead and buys enough candy for the hundred or so children, teens and one pushy grandma who come to the door each year.
This year my husband bought me a pumpkin to carve. I didn’t ask to carve a pumpkin, so I told him to first cut the top off for me because it's kind of tricky. Then I asked him to clean out the guts. Then I played frail and had him carve out the design that I drew on the outside. That’s how pumpkin carving is done – no fuss, no muss.
On the actual day, I forgot it was Halloween. So promptly at 6 p.m., when I’m just about ready to head out for sushi, the doorbell starts ringing. Cancel dinner out tonight. It’s cold ham and cheese sandwiches on white bread.
Once it starts, it’s non-stop doorbell ringing until the lights go out on the porch at 8 p.m. or until we run out of candy – whichever comes first.
I immediately hide in the upstairs office. “I’ve got work to do and then I’ll come down,” I yell down the stairs.
I can hear my husband downstairs oohing and aahing over every costume and wishing everyone a Happy Halloween. He’s acting like it’s a real holiday. He says “Happy Halloween” in the same tone of voice that he would say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah.”
Finally, I can’t bear it. What am I missing? I go down and see our temperamental Siamese cat is even in the Halloween spirit. She’s normally skittish but tonight she’s running up to the door at every ring, admiring the costumes and then scampering back to the safety of the couch.
Okay, I’ll try it. I’ll give out some candy. I grab the giant Tupperware bowl and on the next doorbell ring I open the door to ten or so kids who are quite small and have no qualms about pushing their way into the foyer of the house.
Note to self: Wear shoes when giving out Halloween candy. Every single one of those kids stepped on my feet in their efforts to grab candy and move on to the next house.
But I do admire their efficiency. Calling out “Trick or Treat” and saying “thank you” actually slows down the process. Grab your candy and move along, kids. No niceties are required in my book.
I was being quite generous with the candy. Normally it’s two pieces per person, kiddo, and don’t even try to tell me what’s your favorite sugar high.
But this year, I’m on a diet and no sense in having extra candy lying around the next day. Nearly every kid wanted the Candy Korn and normally I don’t take requests but I hate Candy Korn so I picked through the good stuff to satisfy their questionable and undeveloped taste buds.
After two or three candy-giving attempts, I let my husband take over and stood by to get a different perspective.
He was so nice to the kids…even the one who came dressed as a spoiled princess. She couldn’t have been more than five years old and immediately announced that she wanted the exact same candy that would be given to her princess friend. She didn’t care what kind of candy -- it just had to be the same. She didn’t even notice when he put the candy in her bag.
“I want the same as her,” she said again before she was gently shooed away.
Interesting. I wish I had taken more than a semester of psychology in college.
Ding-dong. I opened the door to a trick-or-treater who was smaller than my cat. Dressed as a puppy, the child was still learning to walk and nearly stumbled over the half-inch high doormat. “Fifteen-months-old,” her mom announced. Cute, but I felt door-to-door soliciting at such a young age could traumatize her. There are years of school fundraising ahead.
At 7:56 p.m. I gave the lucky solo trick-or-treater, appropriately wearing a Chicago-style gangster suit, the last handful of candy, locked the door, turned out every visible house light.
My husband went to bed early and I stayed up to finally have my cold ham sandwich in peace and to watch some reality television. I’ll head to bed around midnight, hoping not to be awoken by Bob Marley and the Ghost of Halloween Past.