Halloween just happened so I thought I would stroll down memory lane about my past Halloween’s. More like my “last” Halloween: Trick or Treat.
My last Halloween of trick or treating was a watershed moment in my adolescence.
You see, it all started when I wanted money. That’s right, greed. I wanted money to purchase items that tween boys like, such as candy, comics, video games, etc. My parents never subscribed to an allowance like my friends because they felt house chores are part of the community, needed to be contributed to, and more importantly, done for free.
I was 13 years old, so I couldn’t find employment in the work force, but save for one: managing a newspaper route. I thought, “Alright fine. A paper route it IS!” And my Dad wouldn’t agree to signing the papers for me until I agreed to joining the Boy Scouts since I just completed Cub Scouts and didn’t want to continue with it.
Again, fine, I’ll do what a man’s gotta do. Sheesh!
I joined the Enterprise Weekly paper route. It was once a week, which the papers were delivered to my house on Tuesday to be distributed on Wednesday. There was no fee for delivery, but based on donations. The suggested amount was $2 per month for the typical 4-5 newspaper. That first summer I wanted to impress my customers! I delivered to their doorstep, in a nice dry place, and easily found area.
When I set out to collect my donations, I changed my speech. I would knock on the door, heart-pounding in my chest as I was yet comfortable approaching people asking for money for services rendered. I would smile, “Hello there, it’s Carlos once again. The boy that delivers your Enterprise newspaper faithfully every Wednesday. As always the suggested donation amount of $2 is always appreciated but if you feel that I’ve earned more, you can donate more.”
Well the response of overwhelmingly more than I could imagine! By the time I was done collecting, I had $80 in my pocket. For a kid in 1989 with 80 bones, I was rich. So I biked myself to the local pharmacy with my carrier bag and one thought on my mind. The 5 cent bin was gonna get rocked! I spent nearly half of my collection on candy and comics.
I biked back home, summarily dumped out my sock drawer, and filled it with my coveted candy and comics. For the rest of the summer, I would eat nothing but candy. I wouldn’t eat much at dinner in favor of my treasure trove of chocolate, sugar, and candied items.
My mother grew concerned once she discovered this change in my behavior. That and all my damn socks on the floor instead of the drawer. She even mentioned to my Dad.
Mom: “Lovey, do you know what your son is up to?”
Dad: “Why the hell is he ‘my son’ when he’s up to trouble? But yes, I know what he’s up to.”
Mom: “Oh, yeah? Like his sock drawer?”
Dad: “Yes. I’ve seen it myself. It’ll be fine, Lovey. If I know my son, and I do, it’ll solve itself eventually.”
Mom: “He’ll get cavities, he’s teeth will fall out of his mouth, and might get diabetes!”
Dad: “Trust me. Just be glad it’s not Playboy magazines, ok? Don’t say anything, Carina.”
By the end of summer, I had nearly consumed the drawer full of candy. And as my Dad had predicted, I became disenchanted with my purchase. On my child’s teeth, I had a record 11 cavities, gained pounds, and couldn’t bring myself to eat any sugar, let alone drink sugary drinks. It was repellent.
On the first day of school, I packed up my carrier bag with the remaining amount of candy. I took it to school, I went to the cafeteria, and literally strewn all the candy on the tables right before lunch. My friends, and other school mates snatched up the free candy like the largest piñata broke up from the ceiling.
I went home, placed all my socks back in the drawer, and said nothing to anyone.
Then Halloween 1989 arrived before I knew it. I bought my costume, and did set out into the neighborhood with my little sister, Charrina. I brought my bag to be filled with candy I knew damn well I wasn’t gonna eat, I would give it to my friends.
That’s when I realized I needed to shed my little boy ways, and move on. But I didn’t know what the next step was. The first year of high school showed me the way… Halloween parties!
Nowadays, I’ve started to transition from Halloween parties to wanting to pass out candy to the neighborhood. But here’s the crux to that. Not many children are chaperoned to the houses in Suburbia to state “trick or treat”, with the expectation of candy to be given over.
Now that I’ve bought a house in a quiet suburban neighborhood in a relatively “small-town feel” city, I’m hoping that the kids will be stopping by.
Talk about coming full circle in terms of Halloween development. Instead of the trick-or-treat-EE, I’m wanting to be the trick-or-treat-ER to see the smiles of little kids being bold enough to ask for free stuff after wearing a costume and knocking on a door with their parents looking on.
Hopefully my next Halloween will be filled with kids knocking at my door for sugary treats. Until next week, be good like you should and if you can’t be good, be good at what you do!
Mic drop *bOoM*