I used to hate Halloween. Well, not really the actual Halloween itself. More like those stupid plastic costumes that you had to wear clothes under and those masks that didn’t let sight or air in well enough because the holes were never properly aligned the face underneath.
See…the holes? They SUCKED.
That’s what I hated.
I remember 5th grade. Everyone in the class had cool costumes. My friend Jenny was Olivia Newton John from the end scene of Grease, black spandex and big, blonde curly hair. There were fancy witches, warlocks, sports figures, gypsies, all home made and envy worthy.
Then there was me. I was plastic tablecloth Wonder Woman with plastic mask included. With matching Wonder Woman Under-Roos.
Oh yes, I was the proud owner of Wonder Woman Under-Roos because that’s how I rolled.
I sounded like a garbage bag when I walked and the band that held the mask “in place” always got caught in my hair and tore, exposing my red, embarrassed face. And I would always be layered with sweater, jeans, underwear and any other clothing that my mom would bundle me up in. Just in case it might be cold in the school during the parade.
I sweat under these things. Profusely.
I always loved Halloween night though.
My sister and I would go trick or treating with my Dad while my mom was at home passing out candy to the very few kids in our neighborhood.
We lived in an area where the houses were far apart so my Dad would drive us. It didn’t matter what the weather was like, we’d go beg for candy and rush back into the warmth of the car.
After treating, because we NEVER tricked with our Dad around, we’d be driven home, excited to inspect our loot.
We’d lay our candy out in front of our parents whose mouths were watering. We’d do a quick inventory and then eat few pieces from our less than large stash before we showered and got ready for bed.
Somehow, every morning, we’d wake up to find a bunch of our candy had disappeared. And the pieces that were left had bites taken from them. Our parents would tell us that they had to check the candy to make sure they weren’t poisoned.
We caught on much later. They weren’t worried about poison. No, in fact, I’m pretty sure they weren’t worried at all.
They were candy thieves. Yes, my parents stole candy from out of the mouths of their babes. Harumph.
And let me tell you…
That tradition continues.
My kids don’t wear those yucky costumes. Actually, I’m not sure they even make them anymore. There were probably lawsuits or something from traumatized kids who were forced to wear those sorry excuses. Now the Halloween costumes are fancy and they don’t even have to be handmade. Children everywhere have been liberated from wearing plastic picnic-like tablecloths masquerading as super hero costumes. Now they are adorned in hooker looking, mid-ruff baring ensembles, even as Super hero chicks their bellies are exposed. Boys costumes have padded muscles and masks that fit properly.
Their bag of candy goodness, full of Mounds bars, Almond Joy (oh, my mouth waters as I type this) and every other snack sized, sweet treat you can think of comes home.
They dump it on the floor.
They organize according to type.
They take inventory, know exactly how many of what they have.
And they hide their bags so that their parents, who are lurking about, can’t eat their candy.
But oh, I watch.
And I check.
Much like when I was a kid, my children find half eaten candy bars or just empty wrappers, evidence that we parents were there.
You know, checking to make sure our precious children don’t get poisoned from some psycho, child hating, Halloween grinch neighbor.
Our kids are so lucky that they have parents that will risk their own lives for them. I don’t understand why they get so mad about all the missing pieces of candy. Don’t they realize that we are potentially saving their lives?
Don’t they realize how their Mommy is making up for her lost Halloween, candy eating youth?
Oh tradition, how lovely you are.
What are your memories of Halloween?