Yesterday was our first Halloween at Breen Acres.
Now, Jeffrey and I are not what you’d call “Halloween People.” We do not decorate for the holiday; nor do we generally dress up for it or anticipate, with excitement, the holiday, in any way. The closest we come to any kind of emotion is the slight anxiety we feel the first Halloween we spend in a new home or neighborhood, never knowing what, if anything, to expect in terms of Trick-or-Treaters or eggings or any number of holiday shenanigans.
As is our wont, we tend to avoid the whole debacle by either hiding out in our house with lights down and curtains drawn, or being away for the evening. On occasion, we have carved pumpkins and/or attended Halloween parties, in costume, as part of social interactions with friends. After all, we are hardly opposed to social gatherings or parties, regardless the reason, and Halloween is no exception. But, left to our own druthers, we have no real interest in the day.
This year, we had intended to avoid the holiday once again by spending the evening with a friend who lives nearby in a remote house that, according to said friend, never attracts disguised rug rats begging for treats. However, upon arriving home, I discovered all the curtains drawn, lights turned out, and my pajamaed hubby, hole up in the bedroom with the dogs, watching TV (turned down very low). It was clear he had no intention on venturing back out, so home we stayed.
With all our lights off, I thought we had successfully sent a proper “stay away” message to the neighborhood. However, the moment we slipped into the kitchen and switched on a single light to scramble together a semblance of dinner, the doorbell began ringing and suddenly our house seemed to be a magnet for every oddly-clad child within a 10 mile radius, as droves of them came in fives and tens refusing to vacate our porch until we made their loot bags a few ounces heavier with sugar-laden tummy-yummies and cavity encouragers. Fortunately, although I do not look forward to being home and prefer not to participate in trick-or-treating, I do always buy a bag or two of “emergency candy” should we be home and get harassed by beggars looking for sweets, so we were prepared, just in case. Initial frustration quickly gave way to dejected acquiescence, and we set up shop in the living room, dinner, wine and a “Bettlejuice” DVD entertaining us between doorbell rings.
To my horror, I discovered Jeffrey was giving handfuls of candy to each beggar. HANDFULS.!!! Our candy supply depleted to 50 % after the first 4 visits. I quickly schooled Jeffrey in the proper disbursement of candy: one piece to each child. Sure, you could get generous with a really good costume or extra polite knee-biter, (or child of a DILF!) but one was the general rule and one was what he must give. I panicked as I imagined text messages flying throughout the neighborhood identifying us as “the guys that give out handfuls of candy at a time.”
After what seemed like an eternity of visitors (it was really only about 3 hours) we dropped the last few pieces of candy into the clutches of a group of too-old-to-still-be-trick-or-treating stragglers-come-lately before shooing them off our porch and turning off the lights. We had survived our first Halloween at the new place and avoided getting the reputation of the cranky old gay men who don’t give out candy. That should buy us a little protection come next year, should the urge to get pranky hit any of these half-pint hooligans. And, if I was being TOTALLY honest, though I’m loathe to admit it and despite the fact that you’ll never get me to do so on Judge Judy or in front of a priest on his knees grasping at my zipper…it was kind of not too bad and sorta fun.
Kind of sorta.
Besides, as Jeffrey and I agreed, it was probably a nice way to connect with the neighborhood since we’ll be here another 15 years and don’t want to become outcasts or disliked more than necessary.
Of course, we may completely wreck what little progress we made last night when we put up our Atheist tree and burn manger scenes on our front lawn during the upcoming gifts-means-godly season of gluttony and greed aka X-mas.
We shall see.