It’s Halloween! Woo hoo!!
Halloween has always been one of my favourite days of the year. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get home from school, and then my brother and I would start hounding immediately, “When can we get into our costumes? When can we go?!” It was all my parents could do to force-feed us supper and hold us off until it was dark out. (There were always a few in our town who went out early, before it got dark out, and they’d have us just chomping at the bit to get out there. My mom’s rule was always to wait until it got dark. *sigh*)
Yet, with all the fond Halloween memories – of my dad taking us down Stanton Road to all the neighbours, and then on to the homes of our aunts and uncles that lived in town, who all gave out the BEST treats!! – there is one Halloween that I recall as the worst ever…
I think it was the year I was twelve. Maybe thirteen. Right on the cusp of being “too old to go trick-or-treating” in my parents’ eyes, as I know we had already had the conversation prior to - “Are you sure you don’t want to just stay home and hand out treats? You might be getting too old for this…”
In my mind, to this day, I do not feel twelve or thirteen is too old for trick-or-treating. I get many kids at my door who are WAY older than that.
We had decided, though, that it was OK for me to go out, especially since I could go with my younger brother, saving Dad from having to trail around the neighbourhood with us. (He’d reached a point where he hated that job. We were no longer little and cute and it didn’t float his boat to take us anymore.)
ANYways. So. It’s Halloween night, and I was already a little disgruntled because I hadn’t been able to find a costume in my mom’s extensive collection that fit me. I was a chunky kid. And she always made us wear layers under our costumes on top of that. Already fat, and then having to wear three sweaters, two coats, long johns, and two pairs of pants? Not cool. I had resulted to cutting eye and mouth holes in an old bedsheet and going as a ghost. I know, I know. Sounds lazy, like something a kid who was too old to be trick-or-treating would do. But trust me, it was way better than what some of the older kids around here pawn off as “costumes”!
So. Off we go. Me in my pathetic ghost costume, and Luke in his Ninja Turtle costume. (OK, probably not, I can’t remember what he was, but in my memory, he was always a Ninja Turtle.)
We hit a few houses on our street with some of the other neighbourhood kids, and all was going well. A few of the neighbours even complimented me on my ghost costume. Some of them were concerned that I couldn’t see. (And I couldn’t. My eye holes didn’t line up with my eyeballs. I was pretty much blind.) But aside from that, it was all good.
Then. Then. We went to a house nearby, of a neighbour that we didn’t know so well. I remember he was out on his porch, an older man holding a big bowl of candy, and right in the centre of the bowl was an apple. As we all clustered around him, he chuckled, complimented kids on their costumes, and generously shoved handfuls of candy into their waiting bags.
Then he looked up and saw me. His smile disappeared. His eyes narrowed. He said, “You. You’re too old to be trick-or-treating.”
And he threw the damned apple in my bag.
I’m not sure if that old guy realized how damaging that moment was to my spirit. How his cruelty absolutely ruined my night and made this the one Halloween that always comes clearly to mind when I think of Halloween nights as a kid.
I remember fighting tears, and when we returned home to get Dad to take us in the truck to our aunts & uncles houses, I had a breakdown. My mom and dad told me to forget about him, that I wasn’t too old to be trick-or-treating, that it’s just because I was bigger than most kids my age.
Yep. Halloween isn’t always a treat for the fat kids, folks. Mean old neighbours toss apples in our bags, basically telling us to go on a diet. How rude.
So that’s my piece of advice to all of you on this Halloween day. Smile at the kids when they come to your doors, tell them they look awesome, and don’t ever, ever put a damned piece of fruit in their bags, even if you do think they are too big or too old to be trick-or-treating.
Unless, of course, they are 18 years old and drew a mustache on their face or something lame like that.
Then load them up with fruit. They deserve it. ;)