by Nicole Harding
I remember how we piled into that raggedy station wagon; damn near the whole block. We wore costumes and coats because you would catch pneumonia going out there with nothing on! Squeezed together tight, the lil ones crying cause they were scared. Big ones holding on to the last lil bit of childhood and maybe a brush-up next to the one you had a crush on.
Most of the costumes were put together with a lil bit of this and a lil bit of that. Rich Debbie had a department store costume but she didn’t come with us, she wasn’t allowed.
Some wore the scratchy masks with the elastic band. That crap popped off before we hit the pavement and some adult somewhere is still mad at their mother for being too busy or too broke to get something better.
I mean, everyone know that’s not a real costume.
We went to the “good” neighborhood, filled that pillow case up…you know, hit the Motherlode! We went in the dark because really, there is no trick or treat in the daylight. It was that first taste of the night air, and if you were lucky, you could go all the way around the block by yourself (THE FREEDOM!) before you heard the sound of that old wagon’s muffler letting you know it was time to load back up and head back to reality.
When the costume came off that night so did the fantasy of living in that neighborhood with the FULL-SIZE CANDY BARS! What? They must be RICH! But any lingering want was quickly dissipated with the moxie needed to negotiate how many Now and Laters you could trade for those Reeces. Those personalized bags from that stucco’ed mini mansion was just trash! Mommy said they could be crazy and put poison in that. Apples? Really? Just throwing money away. Christmas Eve wasn’t the only night that sugar plums danced in our heads, Halloween was also that night! Fell off to sleep dreaming of the trades to be made the next day in school with your pillowcase tucked under the covers so your siblings didn’t make any moves on your stash!
It was like magic!
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Fast forward and Halloween is fast approaching. My candy budget would make my mother’s head spin. You spent what on what? LOL.
I buy extra bags for the load of strangers I’m sure to see that don’t live in my neighborhood. I put my judgment high on a shelf where I can’t reach it. I put my “specials” to the side for the neighborhood kids that run up with the excitement that remind me of my youth! I’m ready! But I have rules….yes I do.
For one and all, young and old, walking or jumping out the back of your different neighborhood’s van, if you want to have something good to eat, there are a few rules of the Trick or Treat.
Here we go:
1. Stay off my lawn. I know, I know (you are killing me!) Unless you are under three-years-old or, there is a real ghost is chasing you use the sidewalk!
2. Scream Trick or Treat! Come on kids, talk to me, that’s part of the fun!
3. Say, Thank You, especially after you’ve taken five minutes to determine which items you would like from my bowl!
4. Parents, smoking and beer drinking make me nervous, I mean, is that part of your costume? Well, if not, could you refrain when you’re at my door? I’m just saying!
5. If your costume looks like jeans and a t-shirt to me, and/or if you are too cool to don a traditional costume you need to give me a little conversation to get my full-sized candy bars! Tell me about your laid-back costume, and what you’re supposed to be.
And finally, adults and kids, the most important rule is to remember to have fun! Scary or nice? Princess or devil? Full-face paint? WOW! Pottery Barn? FANCY! Homemade? You did that! Teenagers with their sheepish grins? Go ahead; throw them an extra bar, and remember how fast it goes from trying to fill your sack to standing on your porch waiting to fill theirs!
Real talk people.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Nicole Harding is an expert in leadership development, a wife and mother, who is focused on spreading positivity, one conversation, one home project, and one dynamite deal at a time. Follow her on Twitter @RealTalkNic.
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