Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The first year I owned my house, I was actually a little bit excited about the trick-or-treaters. I carefully picked out a solid variety of candy, and I hurried home after work to make sure I was there in time to hand it out. It's sort of a strange rite of passage realizing that now you're the adult with the big bowl of candy, waiting to answer the door. It made me feel grown up, in an oddly less negative way than writing my mortgage check or mailing my electric bill did. I actually thought it was fun.

By now, however, the fun has, unfortunately, worn off. I actually considered not buying any candy this year, and instead hiding out in the dark pretending not to be home, like the cranky old lady I've apparently become. But then I remembered my nice neighbors across the street and their perfectly sweet little girl LuLu, who would surely be coming to knock on my door. And I remembered the little girl in the tiara last year who made my night with her impossible cuteness. And I bought two bags of assorted candy anyway.

Last night at Target, I almost changed my mind about handing it out. I overheard two teenagers talking in the pain relievers aisle, and their exchange went something like this:

Boy: So, um, we should, like, hang out sometime.
Girl: Yeah, that'd be cool. OK.
Boy: All right. Yeah.
Girl: So, are you going trick-or-treating tomorrow?

I'm sorry; I'm all for the joy of youth and clinging tight to the benefits of childhood for as long as reasonably possible, but if you are old enough to nervously sort-of ask a girl on an almost, maybe-date, then you are, in fact, too old for trick-or-treating.

You know what another sign is that you're too old for trick-or-treating? The fact that you are already a licensed driver and are skipping between houses in a car instead of going it by foot.

After the third group of teenagers showed up wearing nothing that could, as far as I could tell, be in any way considered a costume, I decided to shut down for the night. I turned off my porch light and living room light and drew the curtains closed. Unfortunately, a rabbit or squirrel must have set off the motion light above my side door, and one more group decided that was an open invitation to ring that bell instead.

So now I am sitting in complete and total darkness, typing away by the light of nothing but my Dell flat-screen monitor.

I am nothing if not festive and clearly filled with holiday spirit.

At least no one showed up dressed as a clipboard-toting progressive activist. Because really, that might have been enough to put me off Halloween for good.

In all fairness, I should say that the tiny chicken and her bumblebee sister who showed up earlier in the night were almost adorable enough to make me forget the later hoodlums. Almost. I'm not quite that pure and unjaded, after all.

I really will make an excellent crotchedy old lady someday; don't you agree?


The Other Girl said...

Ha! My friend Deanna and I went trick-or-treating when we were sixteen. We wore nothing but those Groucho-nose-and-glasses things and didn't even carry bags. I think we just stood there on people's porches, eating their Milky Ways.

Which is why I also now spend Halloween hiding in my dark house.

lizgwiz said...

I was a total curmudgeon last night. Although I probably could have saved myself an evening in darkness and turned on some lights, 'cause I don't think there were any trick-or-treaters at all on my street.

Bob said...

Have something crappy for the teenagers, like knee-high hose, so they don't come back the next year. Plus you'll enjoy the look on their face, which will entertain you.

nabbalicious said...

This is what has bothered me about Halloween for the last few years: lately, after the first hour when all the cute kids are out, all I get are a bunch of teenagers wearing, at most, a t-shirt with a skeleton on the front as their "costume." They want a handful of candy, and when I give it to them, they ask for more.

We didn't get any last night, but we also didn't get home until 8. I'm sure I didn't miss much!

Miss Peach said...

One good thing about New York at Halloween?

No trick-or-treaters.

stefanie said...

Other Girl & Nabbalicious--The Groucho glasses or the skeleton shirt are more of a costume than the teenagers who came to my house last night! One girl's winter jacket was puffy and furry, and I thought, "Hooker costume?" Seriously, that's the best explanation I could muster.

Liz--Yeah, I didn't have all that many on my street, either, which is probably why it annoyed me that over half of them were non-costumed teenagers.

Bob--Interesting suggestion, though I doubt any of them would remember and avoid my house next year!

Peach--None? Really? Not even the kids in your own building? Or are there no kids in your building? It's kind of sad if NY children can't trick-or-treat at all...