Respect the treat or the trick’s on you

I love trick-or-treaters.

When my kids were little, I was always happy to forego freezing my fanny off on t-o-t duty, choosing instead to stay home and pass out the candy and ooh and ahh at all the creative costumes.

The fact that there was wine and a bowl of my favorite candy at home had *cough* nothing to do with it.

My favorite trick-or-treaters—by far—have always been the tiny little ones collecting a boat load of candy for their parents who don’t really even know what they’re doing but who are dressed as tiny princesses or baby animals or miniature superheroes.  Of course, living in Minnesota what I usually see is a stunned kid in a snow parka with a bit of pink tulle peeking out from the bottom and a tiara pinned to the top of her snow hat, but it’s still adorable.

What is much, much less adorable to me?  The teenagers who run – and I mean run – from house to house dressed in their street clothes but try to tell me they’re ‘football players’ or ‘hunters’ when I ask them what they are supposed to be.

Dude, wearing a Vikings jersey or a neon orange beanie is NOT a costume.

And besides the lack of any sort of originality (wanna be a hunter? Throw on a camo jacket and carry a decoy and a fake – fake – gun. Football player? Two swipes of your mama’s black eyeliner under your vacant teenage eyes will give you a lot more credibility, genius) they stand there totally mute, holding out their king-sized pillow cases when I open the door. So I stand there, totally mute, holding my king-sized bowl of candy, and stare them down.  

And wait.  
And wait.  

Seriously, I’m not reaching into that bowl until they at least mumble trick-or-treat.
Too cool to say it? Then stay at home.

And when they eventually clue in to the stare-down and finally spit it out, I slowly reach into my brimming bowl of candy and give them one piece.

I always get a couple of these gangs who show up twice. Sometimes they try to trick me by turning their ski hat around backward or taking off their high school jersey. When I say, Hey, you guys have been here before they sputter and look confused, which is not a difficult task for them, I’m sure.  I lie about not having enough candy for repeats and send them on their way.
And then I pray I don’t get TP’d.

And don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for trick-or-treating as long as you like. In fact, I encourage it, but for the love of David S. Pumpkins, dress up.
Like, in a costume. 
And also? Be respectful. To the occasion and to the woman holding the bowl of sugar you’re there to trick her out of.

In all fairness to the teenage population in my neighborhood, I should point out that for every sullen and stone-faced and rude and unimaginative group of Minnesota Wild players I get (groan), there’s usually a group of teens dressed fantastically … and who get to take their pick from my candy bowl. It’s ridiculous how excited I get when I open the door and see a group of 15-year-old girls who’ve put some real thought into it.
And no, I’m not being sexist.
It’s an absolute truth that it’s mostly the female trick-or-treaters who are more polite and who show up dressed in creative and awesome costumes. Sure, there’s a few boys who still dress in awesome costumes to go trick-or-treating at age 16.
They’re usually with the girls.
They’re the ones I tell my daughters to date one day.

I’m heading to Target today (surprise) and think I’ll pick up some full-sized candy bars to reward the kids who’ve put some effort into the occasion, and I don’t mean an animal onesie or that stupid Scream mask. Give me a gypsy or a harried housewife in curlers or a magician in a top hat or even a Pokemon trainer and I’ll give you 300 calories of congratulations.

But if you show up in a snow coat and tell me you’re a snowplow driver, the trick will be on you.
Hope you like raisins.


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  • barbara Norton - Touche!! So well written and expressed exactly how I feel. I loved to stay home and see all the little ones and try not to let the teenagers intimidate me! Now retired from upstate NY to Florida…weather a little warmer for trick or treaters, and not many kids in our neighborhood! Sure do miss it!ReplyCancel

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