Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween 2012

I actually need to step back in time... way back to 1978 to explain why I haven't been a fan of Halloween. Mrs. Nelson used to take many of the neighborhood kids trick or treating along with her three daughters. This year was no different, and besides the three Nelson girls the group included Tiffany and myself.

Tiffany was three years older than me and was sort of like a big sister to me. Our families were linked in that way that we both knew what the term 'dysfunctional family' was all about. My sister babysat Tiffany and her sister so I spent a fair amount of time in their house. Tiffany looked out for me and I adored her.

So. Halloween 1978.

We were making our rounds in the neighborhood. My new denim school bag (with a cool pocket on the outside) was filling up quickly with all sorts of delicious candies when some older kids walked by. They told they had a treat for us. We were already hopped up on the excitement and sugar of Halloween and weren't about to let a treat pass us by. All we had to do was close our eyes and hold out our hands. The innocent 6 year old in me looped my bag handles over my arm and did as was told as I waited for my surprise.

I was then told to put the bag down.

I know it was a long time ago, but I feel like I knew in my gut not to do so, but I thought "what could happen". Well, the older kids proceeded to put pumpkin guts in my hands and then threw my hands into my face... and took off with my bag of candy. Mrs. Nelson was down the sidewalk, not aware of what was going on, but Tiffany took off after those kids with me on her heals. We never did catch them, my favorite bag lost forever. I was pretty devastated, but Tiffany made sure that I had plenty of candy at the end of the night.

As I got older a lot of people thought I was a party pooper for not wanting to go to costume parties or hand out candy. I had no interest. At all. Over the years I'd occasionally go to a Halloween party, but only because someone talked me into it. And I never dressed up.

Except this time - my roomie made me a matching costume as his. He was a Manwich, I was a Sloppy Jo.

The last Halloween party I went to was probably a good 10 years ago and I haven't gone to one since. It might have been my last straw when one of the guests showed up with a stuffed bunny strapped to his nether regions. At one point during the party I watched him drunkenly stumble to the back of the yard to pee and then stumble over to my group of friends. I later discovered that the bunny had brushed up against one of my friends... and it was wet.

That was enough for me.

That is until 2011. 2011 is the year we took Riley trick or treating for the first time. She seemed to have fun and even said "trick or treat" and "thank you" at every door even if she had no idea what we were doing. My dislike started to break down a little bit, but I still wasn't embracing the holiday.


Fast forward to 2012 and I find myself warming to Halloween a little bit more. Riley had a blast and something changes in you a little bit when you see how excited your kid is over something. Not that I was surprised that this would happen, but it actually makes me a little excited about next year.

But don't go getting your hopes up that you'll see me dressed up in costume anytime soon.


Riley picked out her own costume this year - a cow. My step-mom LOVED cows and would have been proud of her selection if she were still here. Riley was in constant motion from the time I got home from work until she went to bed so the picture above is really the best head to toe shot of her costume. This year she wasn't quite as good about saying "thank you" at every door, because she was too busy saying "let's get more candy!".

Grandma accompanied us as we did a loop of our block. Jesse headed home during the middle of it to make sure kids were getting candy as they came to our house. Once we went around the block we headed home to the dissatisfaction of our kid. She had a mini meltdown, but recovered fairly quickly when she realized she got to help answer the door. "Here's the kids!", she'd yell while jumping around.

With some of her stash in the purple bag.

Giving some cheese while grandma tried to take her picture.

At 7:30 (the time she's usually in bed) we told her it was time to go up to bed which she balked at until I told her that we could go read a Halloween book. She got up from her chair and said "bye Daddy, bye grandma" and headed upstairs. I have no idea how this wound up little girl went to bed after one book, but she did it.

I can't wait to see what she'll want to be next year.

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