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Petition to Re-Label Halloween the Holiday of Hope and Good Cheer. I’m Not Even Joking.

I don’t exactly know why, but Mondays have started taking on a lot more pressure since starting this blog.  I have to tell you that I spend the day feeling terrible — terrible — if I can’t knock out a post on a Monday morning.  I feel like I let you down.

Is it more excusable if a missed Monday happens to be a holiday?

Didn’t think so.

Especially when it’s a holiday I’ve already kind of openly admitted that I don’t take very seriously. Like last year, I spent the evening passing out candy from my neighbor’s front porch.  Only this year I graduated from hiding a wine glass behind the railing to hiding a martini glass.

Because if you’re going to force me to sit outside for 2 hours when it’s cold and raining, you can bet your slutty bunny ears that I’m going to do what it takes to stay warm.

I have to admit, though, the little kids kind of get to me on Halloween.  In a good way.  They soften my cold, anti-kid Grinchy heart with their tiny pink tutus and sparkling bug antennae and Harry Potter glasses.  The ones who actually walk door-to-door with their parents (as opposed to riding inside the ever-popular neighborhood golf carts or, even worse, hopping into the back of the family mini van to ride 200 feet down the street at a time) get extra candy.

I mean… really, parents?  This is North Carolina, not the North Pole.  You’re not going to freeze to death while walking your kids from house to house on Halloween.  Especially if you pack a flask.  You might even find that you… I don’t know… bond.  Plus, you’ll feel a lot less guilty about the occasional Reese’s you snag from their bags.

Anyway.

As much as the little kids get me with their doe-eyed, sugar-highed cuteness, the big ones get to me, too.  In a not good way.

You know the ones I’m talking about.

Usually they’re boys, and they’ve reached that age — maybe 12 or 13 — where they apparently feel a little too old to dress up, but apparently not too old to walk door to door begging for handouts.

Except they don’t even beg.

Just try getting one to say, “trick-or-treat.”  I dare you.

They just stare at the bowl of candy, avoiding eye contact with homeowners (or in my case, the martini-laden girl who sits on the front stoop with a bowl of chocolaty goodness), holding out their pillowcases.  Then, when they’ve gotten what they came for, they turn and hightail it out of there, fixing their Justin Bieber hair beneath their hoodies so they’ll still look good when they go home to take photos of their hauls to post on Facebook.

They don’t even say thank you.

And that’s what ticks me off the most.

If you’re old enough to make the conscious decision to not dress up for Halloween and yet still go door-to-door taking candy from strangers, you’re old enough to say “thank you.”

And I let them know that.

And then my neighbor yells at me because she’s afraid I’m going to get her house egged.

Anyway.

It was about time to close up shop last night when a few stragglers came rambling down the driveway.  Tall stragglers.

Great, I thought, here come these teenagers who think I owe them something for throwing Daddy’s Army jacket over their Polo shirts to take the last of my chocolate.  MY chocolate.

I sighed and took one more sip from my sidecar before they got close enough to notice.

But wait.  What’s this?  They’re wearing costumes?  Costumes that took… effort?

“Nice costumes!” I said with a smile when they approached the stoop.  “Though I’m not sure what that one is.”  I pointed to the kid in the middle.

“I’m a Central American revolutionary fighter!” he said with a proud smile.

No.  Frickin’.  Way.

Not only did this kid know there were people with real political struggles outside of the U.S., but he knew there were people outside of the U.S.

It totally blew my mind.

“Really?” I asked.  “Which country?  Nicaragua?  Guatemala?”

“I didn’t really specify,” he said with a laugh.  “But I’d love to visit Costa Rica one day.”

Of course that opened the floodgates.  After all, I spent 2 months there last year.  We spent a few minutes excitedly discussing the merits of work exchanges, and I could literally see the light behind his eyes as he mentally explored the boundary-less possibilities.  His friends piped in with their passion for travel as well, and then they made their way back up the driveway after exchanging “thank yous” and “goodbyes” in English, Spanish, and German.

They said thank-you.

No, they said thank you very much.

I was flabbergasted.

And elated.

And it made me happy to think that these kids — especially the one in the middle — probably would travel and experience the world.  They might even make a difference.  Something I’ve failed, so far, to make myself do.  And I wanted to call their parents and thank them for giving me hope for the future — for raising little people who cared about more than trying to get famous or which Kardashian is getting divorced.

Is that a little much?

Probably.

But it doesn’t change the fact that this year for me, Halloween — that holiday I usually face with amused disdain — turned into the holiday of Hope.

And any time Hope comes pre-packaged with adorable fairy princesses and mini Peanut Butter Cups is just fine with me.

Thank you very much.

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Katie

Thank you for reading Domestiphobia! Knowing you stopped by totally makes my day. If you want to make my week, you should sign up for my mailing list for exclusive updates. It's free, guys, and I won't spam you. I'm also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and if you want to connect!

Comments

Rebecca
Reply

Ahhhhh Katie that was awesome, really awesome. I think it’s totally appropriate to keep yourself “warm” with that martini glass, it’s okay really, you don’t have to hide it;) You can put it in a sippy cup like I do…oh, guess you need kids for that:) I also encountered some older kids in some severe get up last night, one had glowing parts to his costume that didn’t consist of fake blood – they were very polite, one with a pillow case, the other – a re-usable shopping bag – even thinking of the environment, ahhhhh:) Glad you found a glimmer of hope in the typical cesspool of teenage-ness.

Katie
Reply

Haha, thank you for justifying my crazy behavior. ;) And actually, a sippy cup isn’t a half-bad idea! I don’t need kids to buy one… although the prospect of facing that aisle at the Walmarts is a tad scary!

myonepreciouslife
Reply

Oooh! Feel good post first thing in the morning. This made me sincerely smile. Thanks!

Katie
Reply

You’re welcome! It was a little ranty on top of the feel-goodery, but I guess that’s my style. ;)

Landlord
Reply

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this post!!!! All of it, from the rant about parents who drive their kids, to the tweener boys who don’t wear costumes (I used to have a pot of makeup on my porch for them to use, plus a lecture, “If I can dress up, you sure can!” before they’d get candy…) And the ending twist of future revolutionaries!!! You made my day!

And for the record I LOVE Halloween~a little too much maybe, which is why your post was so enjoyable. I can feel you embracing the love ;)

Katie
Reply

Right-on! Except I wasn’t dressed up, so I couldn’t use that line. But I didn’t HAVE to dress up, because I had the goods. :)

And you’re right! After this Halloween experience, I’m definitely going to be more open to it next year!

Kat Richter
Reply

I was about to write “LOVE” in all-caps, several times, but I see that my mother has already beaten me to it– lol! She DOES take Halloween pretty seriously, but this post totally made my day. In fact, if I’m ever lucky enough to get a Central American revolutionary fighter trick-or-treating on my doorstep, I’d probably give him ALL of the candy just for being a cool kid. Glad there’s hope for the next generation :)

Katie
Reply

That’s so funny! Like mother, like daughter — in a good way. :) You know, I pretty much did give him the rest of my candy. It seriously was inspirational to see a kid who was actually aware of the world. Surreal, even. :)

thoughtsappear
Reply

Woo-hoo for hope! I’m glad some tweens and teens aren’t obnoxious.

My favorite part about Halloween this year was the lady who had adult candy and kid candy. Adult candy was Godiva. Yummy!

Katie
Reply

Brilliant! That might not be a bad idea for next year… though I might have to actually be making a bit more money to afford Godiva for the grown-ups (Or cut back on my wine… like THAT would happen anytime soon.) ;)

Angie Kern
Reply

Oh yeah we had the no Dressed up, no Eyecontact, no Trick or Treat, no Thankyou kids here too. My favorite is the extra bag that is held out by the parent for the Baby…..Question is….Where is the baby? Oh yeah and does your 2 month old enjoy a good snickers bar? Our neighbourhood gets swarmed by other neighbourhoods and there are cars slowly cruising the streets as apparently there are a lot of invalid parents out there. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays usually, i am kinda glad I missed it this year. Caitlin and Megan gave out the candy, all 10 bags that lasted about 40 minutes!
Great post hun, always great to meet those kinda kids, the potential is limitless!

Katie
Reply

Haha, so it sounds like your hood might be worse than mine. ;) Where were you??

laxsupermom
Reply

Martini? You’re supposed to have hot rum & cider for handing out candy. Though one of my friends shouts out to the parents on the street, “would you like red or white?” She has a very popular house.

I refuse to hand out candy to “kids” who don’t say Trick or Treat and don’t at least put some effort into a costume. Mask in their hand? I make them go back to the street, put it on, and come back to the door. I’ve never had my house egged, but then I’m clearly cuhhhraaazy and should not be crossed.

Hope is good. It’s nice to see kids with actual life aspirations.

Katie
Reply

Ha! Maybe I just need to perfect my crazy vibe so I can shock some manners into these kids. :) Oooh, rum and cider sounds fantastic! I’ll scribble it in my notes for next year. ;)

nursemyra
Reply

Nice post. My favourite Halloween memory is of a bunch of aboriginal kids coming to my door, No costumes, but a basket full of kittens. If you gave them candy they lifted the lid and let you admire the kittens. Sweet.

Katie
Reply

That is fantastic!! I wish that would happen here… but then they’d have to walk.. then swim.. then walk a really long way.

Matthew
Reply

It’s a good thing you weren’t at my house. I was greated by a young boy dressed as Spider-SpongeBob.

Probably would have scared the vodka and olive right out of you.

Katie
Reply

This comment made me spit out my vodka and olive.

Thanks! :)

(And you’re right — that costume is the stuff of nightmares.)

RHome410
Reply

Halloween: not my favorite either. But your story ended up so cool…

I think you probably just made it MORE likely that that kid will make that trip to Costa Rica. Maybe YOU helped ensure he’ll make a difference, which means you did, too.

Katie
Reply

Awww! Just… awww. I hope so. :)

NovaBlast
Reply

Cool post it is nice when people do the unexpected …in a positive way of course does not happen that often,. Glad you had a good Halloween.

Katie
Reply

Yeah… if they would’ve done something unexpected that was negative — like egging my house — that would’ve sucked. :)

Catherine
Reply

You make a difference. Every day.
Just saying :)

Katie
Reply

You’re kind of awesome. :)

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