For Halloween, The Scientist walked the girls around our cul-de-sac, then I took over the took them down the block. I ended up taking them about four or five houses too far before turning around, because near the end they were more interested in sitting down and examining their loot then collecting more. And I had to carry both of them for the last three houses. Note to self: next year bring wagon.
While I was waiting for my turn to walk with the girls, I sat outside and handed out the candy. And while I was doing that, I could only wonder when, exactly, Halloween became less about playing dress-up and more about grubbing all the free candy you could?
I know I’m not alone in this because I’ve read several blogs from people who have had the same experience: kid comes to the door with no attempt at a costume whatsoever. Just a big sack in hand demanding candy. And, sometimes, his/her parent is right there too.
Now, a lot has been said about the underlying theme of racism in this line of thinking. And the people who are saying, “Well, these kids from other neighborhoods are being driven over here by their parents!” should probably re-evaluate what they’re really objecting to. Me personally, I don’t give a crap if these kids are black or white, or if they're from my neighborhood or not, I’m just pissed that they aren’t wearing costumes.
And don’t get me wrong, I know that not every family has the money to go out and get a nice store-bought costume. But come on… I don’t believe for a moment that you can’t cobble together something, anything, that would pass as a costume. I mean, throw on a Steelers’ jersey and say, “I’m a Steelers’ fan!” That’s good enough. Put on a red t-shirt and say “I’m the color red!” I’m good with that. But when I ask “what are you supposed to be?” you should be able to give me a reply. I got a lot of “I don’t know” or just silence when I asked that this year.
And that sucks.
There’s an unspoken contract at Halloween: you dress up and knock on my door; I give you candy. I put some effort into my part of the contract (albeit not much, but I do drive to the store, pay for it, and stand by waiting to dish it out) so you should put some effort into your part, too.
It’s come to this: next year, I’m going to buy the smallest, nastiest candy I can find. And when you come knocking in your jeans and t-shirt, and you can’t answer my question of “what are you supposed to be?” you're getting the nasty stuff.