Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ghosts, Ghouls, and Goblins, OH MY!

by Judy Merrill Larsen

When I was a kid, I loved Halloween. What was not to love about it? I got to wear makeup and collect scads of candy. I got to try on other personas and then go home and crawl back into myself. My favorite get-up was a gypsy. I must have been this at least 3 or 4 times. My mom would paint up my face (eyeliner! rouge! a beauty mark crafted from the mascara wand!). I'd wear bangly bracelets and big earrings. I loved it.

Then, when my sons were little it was fun all over again. One year, they were pirates. Another year green and purple dinosaurs. Then there was the year my older one was a police officer and the younger one was a prisoner. They really were cute.

We carved pumpkins and decorated the front porch.

But now, I'm not the quite the really fun Halloween mom anymore.

For one thing, the boys are both grown up and out of the house. And while I'm quite charmed with the little ghosts and goblins who'll ring my doorbell Friday night and tell me a goofy Halloween joke (that's a St. Louis custom--kids have to have a joke to tell before they get their candy. I love the ones that make absolutely no sense except to the seven year-old who made it up.), I have no patience for the older kids who'll tromp up on my porch later in the evening. The teens who thrown on a mask, grab a hefty garbage bag and think just because they want free candy it's okay for them to trick or treat. It's not, grow up, and get outta my yard.

Carving pumpkins has also lost its charm. A few years ago, Target had these great fake pumpkins. They look carved (especially when they're on my upstairs porch railing) and they light up when I plug them in. Voila! Jack-o-lantern fun without all the sliminess.

And then, there's the candy. Why, oh why, does all candy taste better in October? I mean, I know NOT to buy mini-snickers and other candy that I like. Because whatever is left over I will snarf. So my plan this year was to buy the mega-sized bag from Target with candy I don't like. The thinking being that since I don't like it, I won't eat it. Yeah, well, I've suddenly taken to craving plain sweet tarts, chewy sweet tarts, and sweet tart smarties. Craving to the degree that I always have one of those damn mini-bags in my purse and another in my pocket and a few in my car.

I'm thinking this is how a meth addiction starts.

You never think you'll like the stuff until you find that you do.

That's scarier than any ghost or goblin or teenager dressed like a ghoul. So will stepping on the scale Nov. 1, I fear.


Barb McKone said...

I made the mistake of buying a bag of mini-sized "Take 5" candy bars a few weeks ago- so good- chocolate and pretzels and other stuff- ate the whole thing and went back for another bag. My husband asked me this morning if I'd gotten our candy yet. I didn't have the heart to tell him "Yes, but I ate it..."

Katie Alender said...

So far I've managed to avoid buying bags of Halloween candy--but I had to buy myself a regular-sized candy bar the other night to justify the sacrifice.

I just had a brilliant idea about older trick or treaters--get "good candy" for the little kids, and raisins or pencil erasers (or, heaven forbid, pennies!) for the older kids. Nothing says, "Go home! You're too old for this!" like dumping a pound-worth of pennies in some kids Hefty bag.