Wishing you the happiest of Halloweens
It was Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, my most exciting Halloween since being a small boy eager to trick-or-treat and see Mrs. Broomfield, my former kindergarten teacher who lived in the same subdivision.
The excitement almost one year ago stemmed from the simple fact that this was my first opportunity to sit outside my own home (OK, apartment) and hand out candy. And unlike my few unfortunate encounters with trick-or-treaters in college, I was going to have something to offer other than cheap beer and leftover pizza.
I cut out of work early, really early, to go buy candy for the super heroes, ghosts, princesses and other costumed kids who would soon be walking up and asking for treats. I purchased one bag of Snickers, one bag of Twix and one bag of Crunch Bars and darted home. Three bags was far too much, however, I had no intentions of playing by the typical “only one or two pieces” rule.
I was going to be the cool neighbor, telling each child to grab as large a handful as they could. Rules be damned. (In hindsight, I realize I did not have any options for the kids who don’t like chocolate, but then again, if you don’t like chocolate then you probably have bigger issues, such as finding the nearest psychiatric institution).
It did not dampen my spirits when I realized I did not have a bowl to put the candy in. The large pot I cook pasta in did just fine. I poured a little from each bag, filled the pot and headed to the front porch. And then waited. And waited. And waited.
My first trick-or-treater showed up about 40 minutes later — a young girl dressed as what I assume was one of the characters from the Disney movie “Frozen.” And then nothing.
Heartbroken, I gave up after several hours and headed to a Halloween party. The pot of candy was essentially untouched when I returned home later that night. I’m still haunted by the obscene amount of candy wrappers strewn throughout my apartment the next day.
Looking back, I cannot help but chuckle at how excited I was that day. Halloween has not meant much of anything since I surpassed the acceptable age for dressing up and roaming the streets for candy.
For the most part, it’s a night just like any other night for us childless adults, except for the fact that if we venture out we have to go through the brain-racking process of devising a costume — an even more difficult process, I’m learning, when you’re in a relationship and have to come up with a costume as a couple.
Being able to hand out candy, though, managed to spark something inside me last year. I suspect it had something to do with seeing the eager faces and trying to remember the days when Halloween was a big deal.
This year, I will not be handing out candy at my home. I could joke and say I cannot handle the disappointment again, but truthfully I don’t see many making the haul to the top of the hill I live on.
Instead, I’ll be handing out candy Friday morning during the Rifle Branch Library Halloween parade downtown. Actually, I’ll be taking photos for the paper, but one of my neighbors in the Midland Building has agreed to hand out candy for me, and you better believe there will not be a shortage of treats.
And later on Friday and even on Saturday, while I’m brooding about not having any trick-or-treaters, I hope the rest of you are safe and have a happy Halloween.
Ryan Hoffman is editor of The Citizen Telegram. He can be reached at 970-685-2103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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