Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween, South O style

My husband and I were sitting around talking about how we celebrated Halloween when we were kids.  You see, I wasn't going to buy candy because I really didn't feel like locking the dog up and dealing with the crazy barking but Brian insisted I get candy.

"When I was a kid, we went to every house," he said. "I don't want someone pulling a 'trick' on our house."

"Well, isn't that the point of having a porch light on?" I said. He stared at my blankly.

"You know you only go to houses with lit pumpkins or porch lights on, right," I said.

"That's not how we did it. If you didn't have candy, well, we weren't to nice to the people," he paused. "I kinda didn't hang around the best crowd." Well obviously.

I actully thought I was crazy so I posted this on Facebook:

So my husband just told me that when he was a kid they would knock on everyone's door on Halloween. I told him we only knocked on doors that had lights on. He had never heard that. Isn't that the rule on Halloween? Or was that a midwest rule?

All 14 comments from my friends sealed the deal that you were supposed to only go to houses with porch lights on.

I used to be able to go back all the way to age five and tell you all the costumes I used to go as but maybe all those beer drinking days have burned some brain cells. I can only remember the gypsy, the punk rocker (went as this many times) and the witch from grade school.  I might has went as a news anchor but I might be imagining that as that is what I wanted to be when I grew up. The last time I trick or treated was my freshman year in high school when I wore my band uniform.

My husband and I reminisced about the costumes with the masks of Scooby Doo and Smufs that KMart used to sell in the 80s. (what happened to those?) I think my younger brother Chris was a few Star Wars masked characters when he was a kid. I don't remember having a masked costume though.

Since my mother was a working mom, she didn't have time to hand make our costume so we would visit ShopKo or Kmart to pick something up. As I said before, I went as a punk rocker a few times. I was really into having pink hair and I loved that spray paint that washes out each day. I remember asking my mom to buy extras cans for when I played dress up. She would say something sassy like "money doesn't grow on trees" and we'd leave the store.

At the beginning of October, my mom would put up our paper Halloween decor on the front door and the windows. People don't do this anymore. I'm seeing more Christmas-like orange lights, hay bundles and Halloween blow-up characters these day. When my mom would put those up, you knew the Halloween countdown was on.

Halloween day would arrive and after school, I'd get all dressed up just waiting for it to be dark outside. My brothers and I have one goal in mind, get all the candy we could or walk until we couldn't walk anymore. My mom would stay home and pass out candy and most of the time my older brother took us since he was much older than us. Up and down the hilly streets of our neighborhood, each with a full pillowcase. You don't see many pillowcases anymore.

When we got home, around 8 p.m., my mom would drive us to my Grandma Marie's house so we could show our grandparents our costumes. There we would trick or treat some more around their  neighborhood with our cousins. As we drove home, we'd be exhausted from all the walking. Good thing we only had a half day of school the next day (Nov 1 is a holy day -- All Saints Day).

Mom would tuck us into bed and then would check the candy for us. I remember one year, I watched her dump three pillowcases full of candy onto our TV room floor to start sorting. She wanted to make sure everything was safe and sound to eat for her little ones.

Our candy was then rationed. We would only be allowed a piece or two a day as my mom tucked it away in a secret hiding place in which we found each year.

I only remember my mom dressing up once to go to a party. She bought a costume and went as a witch one year with the green make-up and wort. I wish I could find that photo today.

Yesterday, Lil B didn't go too many places. He got a fruit roll up and a few candy bars but that was about it. He was more into taking off his costume and not wearing his tiger hat. My friends tell me that Halloween gets better with age and next year promises to be more exciting for Lil B.  I look forward to the many Halloween's he'll be celebrating.

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