Friday, November 4, 2016

The Assholes Of Halloween


Having grown up in a fairly conservative, religious home, Halloween was a little different for me than it might have been for most. When you were young, you probably saw Halloween as a night to dress up and go door to door with your friends, hoping to haul home a few pounds of cheap, skull-rotting candy. But for us, it was a family night. It was the night we went out for ice cream, or went to the movie theater, or sometimes just turned the front porch light off and played games or watched a movie at home.

My siblings and I never really understood what we were missing out on. We knew what our friends were doing on that night, but even though we weren't out ringing doorbells and begging for candy, we still looked forward to Halloween. To us, Halloween was always guaranteed to be a fun night to go out and do something special, in an attempt to avoid the trick-or-treaters who were patrolling our neighborhood.

Some people would say we were robbed of what they consider to be an important part of their childhood. But I don't see it that way. We all enjoyed Halloween – my family just enjoyed it differently than yours did. And I'm sure it helped that we always made it to the store the next day for all the sales on leftover Halloween candy.

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Once I grew up and got my own house, I just carried on the tradition. Even though it was just me, Halloween was usually a night I spent at home with my lights off. For the first few years of my daughter's life I only had her every other weekend, so I never ended up having her on Halloween. Because of this, I didn't have to decide whether we would participate in the festivities of the evening, or carry on the family tradition.

But after a long and painful court battle, I was awarded equal custody of my daughter. So for the first time last year, I made the decision to get her a costume and take her through the neighborhood
soliciting donations in the form of chocolate and high fructose corn syrup; an experience that I must say, was pretty fun. First and foremost, it was fun just helping her pick out her costume and seeing how excited she was to dress up. But it was also exciting to see how much effort some of my neighbors put into creating sometimes spooky scenes at their homes in an attempt to scare the kids who dared come to their door.

Once my daughter was in bed that evening, I discovered the real reason parents support their children's desire to participate in Halloween. Picking through her bucket of candy, setting aside the “premium” items for myself, I couldn't help but question whether this made me a terrible parent. But considering this still left her with more candy than any child could ever consume in a 12 month period, I decided to forgive myself. 

Quit judging me – you know you have done it too!

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This year, with Halloween falling on an evening that I didn't have my daughter, for the first time ever I decided to go buy a giant bag of candy, flip on my porch light and do my part in contributing to childhood obesity and tooth decay. For a while, it was kind of cute, seeing the shy little kids come to my door with their parents in tow. Knocking on the door and then freezing in fear when the door opened and they suddenly forgot the magic words they had been coached to say in exchange for a couple pieces of candy.

Once the sun went down, most of the really young kids took their parents home for the evening. And
that is when I began experiencing the other side of Halloween. The hesitant toddlers were suddenly replaced by slutty zombies, slutty nurses, slutty superheros, and slutty sluts! Oh, and SO MANY different versions of Harley Quinn. So here I am, handing out candy to a bunch of 14-year-olds with their tits and asses barely covered by their costumes, and suddenly I realized that maybe rather than candy, perhaps I should have been handing out condoms to these little future single moms. And to the parents who allowed your kids to leave the house, without you, dressed like a bunch of little tramps, what the hell is wrong with you?

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The final shock of the evening was when high schoolers started coming to my door without a costume or even a bag or bucket for me to put candy in. Don't get me wrong; if you want to go to the trouble of putting on a costume, no matter how old you are, I'm okay giving you candy when you come to my door. But at least make it look like you put forth a little effort!

But after several groups of these young adults without costumes came to my door thinking I owed them candy regardless of their lack of aspiration, I decided I had had all I could take. The next time the doorbell rang, it was a little kid dressed like Batman, with his dad waiting out by the street. I gave him a couple pieces of candy, then on second thought I told him to wait as I emptied the remaining contents of the candy bowl into his bag and told him to have a good night.

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So in conclusion, Halloween is dumb, highschool kids suck, and there are a bunch of really shitty parents out there. Is this what it's like being an adult? I feel like I should be standing on my porch, waving my cane in the air and yelling at any kids who dare to get close to my lawn.

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