My Halloween Tradition

It’s that day again. Time for me to turn out all the lights at the front of the house, refuse to come to the door, and pray earnestly that no one vandalizes my car. This has been my time-honored tradition for my entire adult life. Happy Halloween.

For starters, I don’t like kids. I avoid them the rest of the year, so why should I bribe them with sweets on this particular night? And in terms of self-care, keeping candy in the house has never been the best idea for me. Also, it’s really not the kindest thing to do for this generation of children, who have traded in their bicycles for computers and are struggling with obesity.

I also hate those adult parties where women feel obliged to dress up like sexy witches, dominatrices and French maids. No one puts that kind of pressure on men. I find these displays depressing.

And then there’s the fact that I used to know someone who worked with parole officers with caseloads of people on the sex offenders’ database. This time of year they’d have to do twice as many home visits, to make sure these people aren’t decorating their houses to draw the kiddies in. “Want some candy, little girl?” Sorry to break this to you, but Halloween is the high holy day for perverts.

I think my generation was the last to really trick or treat safely. If I were a parent, I certainly wouldn’t be allowing my children to knock on the doors of strangers in this day and age. You just don’t know who they’ll be coming face to face with.

Fortunately, more and more communities, churches, and malls are having public Halloween events. I think this is a marvelous idea. Let the little monsters and ghosts roam around in a well-supervised environment. Brilliant.

And at the risk of being one of those grumpy neighbors who shouts, “Get off my lawn, kids!” I really would prefer to be left in peace. But in case of emergency, I’ll be in the back of the house, in the dark, listening to ghost stories on Youtube.



Check this out, y’all. I wrote a book!


4 thoughts on “My Halloween Tradition

  1. Sam Ramirez

    I’m the opposite, Barb. I still miss the days when I was a kid and could go trick or treating. I still love the holiday, the costumes, and the “all in good fun” memories of yesteryear. However, I do have some sad memories of the holiday. When I was a kid, a neighbor was giving out candied apples and I threw the sticky treat into my candy sack. I had just started my rounds and didn’t want to gobble down the apple right away. When my brother and I got home from collecting our treats, we dumped out loot on the floor to explore our bounty. I was shocked to find that my candy bag was practically empty! The candied apple had eaten a hole in paper shopping bag (yes this was back in the olden days) and I had left a trail of candy throughout the neighborhood. All though this might have been helpful to Hansel and Gretel, it was devastating to me. Today, I celebrate the holiday at school with my students. I wear a makeshift costume and give out candy. And my students demand that I share my famous ghost stories. It’s also cool to explain what the holiday is all about to my recently arrived Eastern European students who think Halloween is very unusual holiday. The tenants of my apt. building are mostly college students and working adults, so I won’t need to pass out candy to visiting little goblins. And in New York, Halloween parties for kids and a Greenwich Village children’s Halloween parade have became the safer way to go. I’m afraid crazy adults have made the holiday a little bit too rowdy in Greenwich Village. The annual Halloween parade that takes place a few blocks away, has become loud, vulgar, and offensive. Loud, unruly people roam neighboring streets and cause mayhem. It makes me sad that irresponsible adults have corrupted an otherwise “all in good fun” holiday. Or least that’s what it used to be. So, I plan to celebrate Halloween in my own “safe” way and reminisce about the days when it was fun and not threatening. Happy Halloween, Barb!

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