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Disillusionment and Halloween...(25 posts)

Disillusionment and Halloween...mohair_chair
Nov 3, 2003 8:33 AM
Halloween is big in my neighborhood. People decorate their houses almost as much as Christmas, which is saying something, because decorating at Christmas is huge in my neighborhood. Thankfully, my street doesn't go nuts like some of the adjacent streets, so we only get 100-150 kids coming by. Yes, only 100-150! Between the stuff I eat and the stuff I give out, I have to drop some real cash on candy. Despite the half ton of candy I bought, I ended up with only pieces left (which I promptly ate).

Anyway, this year I noticed some dark trends that make me want to turn off all the lights and be somewhere else next year.

First, lack of costumes. About half the kids that came by just came by in street clothes. I'm thinking, what are you going as, yourself??? Wow, that's a GREAT costume! I'm sorry, but you are supposed to wear a costume on Halloween. It's one of the rules. You want candy? Wear a costume. Put a feather in your hair and call yourself an Indian.

Second, not saying "Trick or Treat." About a quarter of the time, they knock, I open the door, they stand there with their bags open. What are you, a couple of mutes??? That's another one of the rules. You have to speak. I'll let this one slide a bit, because some of these kids only seemed to speak Spanish, and there may not be a Spanish translation. But would it kill them to learn just a bit of English?

Third, greedy little fat bastards. I buy a range of candy, and like to let the kids pick what they want. I hold the bowl out and most kids behave properly, picking out one piece they like. But this hospitality ends when the first punk, always male, grabs a fistful and deposits it in his bag, as the parents stand by, beaming. Look at our boy, feeding from the troth! In what world is "pick out something you like" interpreted as "grab as much as you can?" Yeah, enjoy it kid, you're only 15 pounds overweight right now. By next week, it'll be twenty, and you'll never have a girlfriend. Then there's the kids who keep their bag open and look longingly when I only give them one piece of candy. Move along kid, you can't have it all.

Finally, high school kids. When I was in high school, we were way too cool to be going out looking for candy on Halloween. Towards the end of the night, I got two groups of 10-15 high schoolers knocking on my door. One was all girls, but at least they were all in costume.

So, my disillusionment is complete. The few adorable kids in adorable costumes couldn't overcome the feeling of entitlement I got from most of the other little punks. Open the door and give us the damn candy, they might as well have said. You owe us candy. You are required to give us candy. Lots of candy. As much as we want.

Next year, maybe I'll go see a movie.
different hereDougSloan
Nov 3, 2003 8:49 AM
I fully agree with your rant. Gotta wear a costume and say "trick or treat." That's how it works.

In our neighborhood, though, the experience is opposite. We get mostly little kids in costumes, and if they are too young or shy to say it, the parents chime in and say "trick or treat" and "thank you" for them.

We first ran my 1 year old around to a few houses, then went next door to a party for a while, then went to bed around 9 o'clock. During those times, we simply left a big bowl of candy outside the front door. Imagine my amazement the next morning when the bowl was still half full (and I know there were plenty of kids coming by, as I could hear them outside).

Nov 4, 2003 3:06 PM
My 2 year old barfed after his 4th house....
Do you have kids?53T
Nov 3, 2003 8:50 AM
The older I get, the more cynical and crotchety I get, and that is saying a lot. When I read posts like this I start to believe that there are only two choices: you either have kids, or you are a kid.
Nov 3, 2003 8:59 AM
I worried about sounding like an old codger when I wrote that, but I'm not. I don't have kids of my own, but I enjoyed the kids who dressed up and seemed to be having fun. There were some really good costumes that just impressed the heck out of me. There were even kids without costumes who were polite and gracious.

The big turn off was all the kids treating this as an obligatory transaction: on this night we show up and you give us candy, whether you want to or not.
you sounded like an old codgerColnagoFE
Nov 3, 2003 9:13 AM
kids can be just as crafty and greedy as old people. letting them grab their own candy is asking for trouble. candy is like crack for most kids. we give away or throw away most of the "loot" our kids get because all they do is fight over it after their systems are so wired on sugar they can't think straight. still, halloween can be fun. i don't care if teenagers come least they aren't out holing up the local qwicky mart or egging my house. and candy is cheap. if you run out, just turn off your porch light and stop answering the door. sure the little kids are cute, but you get what you year go to a movie or maybe just drink more beer and enjoy the craziness.
Never let kids grab their own...Brooks
Nov 3, 2003 5:09 PM
we always stick our hand in the basket, grap several, and drop the candy deep into their bags. That way, they don't know how much they got. This year it was snowing like mad, probably 7-8" already and we didn't expect many kids. It varies around here from a few to several dozen depending on which night of the week it falls on and how flippin' cold it is. Despite the weather, we got 25-30 kids, I recall all had some sort of costume, even the few high schoolers. I usually wear a scary mask and hide behind the door and scare the kids. One time a number of years ago when we lived elsewhere, I hadn't gotten the mask out yet when I came to the door. The father with the neighbor kid said his son (5-ish) was prepared to be brave and not scared, so I ran upstairs and got the mask and it scared the kid anyway!
Nov 3, 2003 10:47 AM
Think of kids as computers running basic. The parents write the program and the kids will execute it as long as the power is still on. They may need an occasional re-boot, but they never do anything that isn't already programmed.
do you have kids?ColnagoFE
Nov 3, 2003 11:21 AM
And if so are you saying that kids never do anything unexpected? More like parents write the program and the computer they programmed might turn out to be HAL from 2001 a Space Odyssey. You do your best and love em even when they do exactly the opposite of what you want them to do.
Nov 3, 2003 11:26 AM
Children are not "programmed." At best, they are "influenced."

Nov 3, 2003 12:00 PM
You are correct that kids always do things that are unexpected, and Doug is right that they don't always do what you want them to. However, I stand by my position that these behaviors are (until about age 12) 100% what you have taught them to do by your words and actions.

Are we teaching them to do what they should? Not always. Are we surprized when they do what we do, even though it is not the best choice? Curiously, we are.

Yes, I have two darling children who never do anything wrong. Well, almost never.
lighten up francis!( nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 3, 2003 9:07 AM
ya, lighten up.RoyGBiv
Nov 3, 2003 9:31 AM
Surely there must be more pressing issues in the world than decorum at Halloween. And as for teenagers going out for trick or treating, hey, can you blame them having one last fling with childhood before the drudgery of adulthood?
Have a nice day
what I do........african
Nov 3, 2003 9:23 AM
I turn off all my lights, then if I get a knock on the door. I give out beads, yes beads. Mardi gras beads. They are really cheap about $14 for 144 necklaces. I give each kid 2 or 3 strands. This way I am teaching all the little girls that when they are older they must get beads at mardi gras!! (ok thats a joke). But most kids were like cool and so were the parents. I think the older teenage kids not in costume were a bit dumbfounded but still took the beads. Hey at least I am not contributing towards the fattening of American kids and to more zits on those punks.

If you need a place to buy beads contact me I have my own bead business and will gladly sell you some.
Is that wholesale or retail ? :O)Live Steam
Nov 3, 2003 9:38 AM
Aren't you in the bead business? You probably do better that $14/gross :O) I like that idea. Maybe I'll do that next year. This year we happened to be out - sort of a subconscious plan to not be home. We both forgot that it was Holloween when we made plans with some friends for dinner.
see cyclists always want a discount...african
Nov 3, 2003 9:53 AM
ha ha just kidding, I thought that was a good one...

Ja giving beads away is a good idea, and the parents seemed to like it. One fat boy was not too happy - he said "I don't want beads" - well guess what? at the Africans house you get what you get or $%# off kiddo. Er I did not really say that but he got beads anyway. I thought next year I can put my business card with the beads and the parents will get it and maybe buy some beads........
I agree with most of what you saidLive Steam
Nov 3, 2003 9:33 AM
Kids now expect things rather than appreciate that someone went out of their way to make Holloween a fun holiday for them. Kids are way too fat and no costume is somewhat disturbing in a way - especially from younger kids. I guess they are tought to "expect" things rather than appreciate them as an act of neighborliness. Did you ever see the Holloween episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" when the two teeen girls showed up without costumes? Funny stuff!

I loved Holloween as a kid. Right up through HS it was fun to dress up and yes, even Trick or Treat. There was this one house that was a favorite on everyone's stop. Big old house owned by an even older lady. She baked these great gingerbread "Pumpkin" cookies. It must have taken her days to do and some good coin to boot. She acted as if it were a bother for her to be giving them out, but you had to know that she just loved the whole event. She would always great you with "Weren't you here before?" To see if you would cave and admit that you were, but just loved her cookies.

As with many things, I think Holloween is changing for the worse. It must be difficult for parents to let their kids just walk out of the door on Holloween, un-supervised. I was able to go out on my own with friends at a pretty young age - probably around six or seven. The world was a different place then. Everyone knew everyone else for a pretty good radius from their homes. Today, many people don't even know their neighbors names, much less anything about their lives. I am sure that parents are much more reluctant to let their kids out of their sight on Holloween. That must change at some point, because I see parents letting their kids get away with murder when out in public. Well that's my rant for today too :O(
Try some tricks to thwart these ruffians128
Nov 3, 2003 9:41 AM
Tricks are fair game, part of the rules.
That oughta bring you back into the fold.

"Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see."" -The Great Pumpkin
I sat out on my front porch with a bottle of Bourbon and ...sacheson
Nov 3, 2003 10:12 AM
... some cups. I was a hit with the dads!

It was a great night.

There was one 4 or 5 year old boy that came to our house. He was dressed as Spiderman and had some of those sneakers with the red lights that flashed when he walked. I pulled out the candy bowl when he walked up, and he said "I's Spid-man wif Batman shooooz and I want some caaannndy!" He made my night. Getting too excited to be a dad, I think.
my first time in a 'hood...FTMD
Nov 3, 2003 3:01 PM
I've always lived in the country. And by country I mean can't see the neighbor's house cuz it's too far away. I moved into a suburban subdivision this year. Anyway, I had plans not to be home for the Halloween night. Came home the next morning and half of the mailboxes on the my street were smashed, including mine. Next year it's booze on the porch and a watchful eye. Little punks.
re: Disillusionment and Halloween...snapdragen
Nov 3, 2003 8:08 PM
I had the bejeezus scared out of me Halloween. Opened the door to a full sized Freddy Kruger. Rubbing his hands together and laughing like a maniac. Then he ran off! Took me a good 10 minutes to calm down.....

I always wish everyone could come to my neighborhood for Halloween. We close off a couple of blocks and have a parade. Kids, some adults, even the dogs get dressed up. Some of the local kids from the highschool band lead the way.
ha ha check the astro - naughty kid........ nmafrican
Nov 4, 2003 5:32 AM
missed it (nm)53T
Nov 4, 2003 8:44 AM
the astronaut on the left?? nmafrican
Nov 4, 2003 1:34 PM
Late response, but here goes...eyebob
Nov 6, 2003 3:47 PM
As a rule I truly enjoy this "holiday" the most. I don't have kids but I think that they're a hoot.

I do not give candy to kids without a costume. Period. I tell them so and try to have fun with the fact that they don't get any. Someday, my house will feel the retrobution, but oh well.

I typically sit out front smoke a cigar and imbibe a bit too. The dads do love it. One year I made a vat of mimosas which I ladled out to those of age which was fun. Bottom line, if you don't love the Holiday, don't run from it (it's truly anti-social) it up. Get into a costume yourself. Preferably, a cop costume, that way no one gives you crap about drinking and the teens won't likely egg your house for fear that you really are a cop.