Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hallo on this Halloween

A lot of people in this city take their Halloweens seriously.
Today in Starbucks, I saw a man dressed as a Ghostbuster, and it wasn't even noon.
On the subway on the way home from work, I sat next to a stuffed banana. A black ninja was down the aisle, and the "Where's Waldo" guy was leaning against the door. A woman with a crazy short skirt and black fishnet stockings was across the way, but I couldn't tell if that was a costume or just an everyday wardrobe choice.
Steve, Purple Princess, and Buzz are out making the candy-gathering rounds tonight, while I hover by the door waiting for the doorbell and the trailing chorus of "Trick or Treeeeeat!"

It's not a bad job, the Candy Hander-outer. I enjoy all the costumes and Thank You's and the general jovial atmosphere.

But I fear I am discriminatory in my implementation of candy hand-outing.
Yes, I am. Please don't call the ACLU.

When I open the door to behold a little child, perhaps 10 years old or younger, I happily ask them what their costume is, comment on the cute/scary/creative nature of their costume, and hand over the goods. On occasion, there are the really little ones, the ones who are still learning the Trick or Treating ropes, who will stand brazenly with their bags gaping open even after I've deposited the candy. When this happens, I'll smile and throw in another piece for good measure. Happy to do it. Really.

In contrast, when I open the door to a motley crowd of teenagers with half-hearted costumes, I am the Not So Nice Begrudging Candy Hander-Outer. This is especially true when, before I even open the door, I can hear from their "Trick or Treat" that voices have changed and facial hair is forthcoming. Humph! I think. Bah humbug! (which is absolutely appropriate for my attitude and should not be reserved for Christmastime only ).

Tonight, as I was dropping some licorice into a kid's bag, he stopped me and said, "Not that kind! Can I have something else?"
"What!?" I exclaimed, and paused mid-drop.
"Yeah, um...(pause that was a nanosecond too long)... I'm allergic. Can I have something else?"
I'm a nurse; I can respect a person's food-allergy, but that didn't sit well.


Lorraine said...

I'm totally with you. I rather resent even giving treats to people who can't bother to dress up. Hello? Go get your own candy, chump.

But oh, the little ones, they make it so worth it. Like the little dragon who was so entranced with our dog (the Hound of the Baskervilles) barking on the other side of the window that he bent down and kissed the window by the doggie's face. Worth all the mini Snickers bars in the world.

chelle said...

teenagers. ugh.

hey, where do the kids trick or treat in your 'hood?

Dana said...

Our neighborhood association organizes the whole thing. A few weeks before the day, people can sign up to have their apartments be trick or treat stops. Then the night of, a list is distributed that shows which apartments the kiddos can visit. It works well.

Anonymous said...

Our issue here in South Bend is the parents/grandparents walking up to the door with a bag in hand and infant - seriously young - expecting a treat. Like that baby who can't even eat solids yet is going to eat the candy or is even getting anything out of the Halloween experience???? Right. I might begin to hand out jars of baby food like one woman I heard telling a similar story on NPR yesterday. Go ahead. Call me the scrooge of Halloween. :)
Kristi K.