I'm not a fan of anything "scary" or "gory." I literally had to change the channel the other night watching the Shrek Halloween special because the ginger bread brides were creeping me out and I get nightmares. I once got dragged to a "Saw" movie with my friend and her new boyfriend but then made it very awkward when I got up and walked out after 5 minutes.
However, despite my hatred for guts and gore and anything frightening, I used to LOVE Halloween as a kid. It doesn't seem very Christian of me but I did. I went to public school and my family never did the church "Festival" alternatives- we were all about costumes and candy. And we were serious about our candy. From a young age we ditched the cute candy baskets and adopted the pillow cases for maximum candy-holding capacity. We mapped out our routes and then we filled those cases. Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was late that night, after all the goods had been acquired, we'd set up shop in the living room and the massive trading began. Here we learned first hand about economics and politics. We learned what others valued, how to get what we wanted, and how to get rid of those plain hershey bars by adding a pack of Skittles to the trade. You couldn't get me to let go of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups but I was eager to get rid of those nasty flavored tootsie rolls. We were set for weeks and sometimes, if our rationing was strict, months. Our mom and dad gave us limits to how much candy we could consume each day so I spent most of November confessing to God my lies to my parents about how much candy I had eaten. (perhaps this is why both Trent and I have had at least 5 root canals each). One year our stupid dog Duke ate my entire stash. It was devastating. It's why I secretly wasn't too sad when he had to be put down. Ten year old me held grudges and was very serious about her candy.
It wasn't just the candy that I loved. I loved the costumes. If you had a good one, you were the talk of the town at the school parade. I can remember all my costumes and most of my siblings' as well. I'll never forget when my mom helped Trent and Travis dress as cheerleaders. She got a call from the principal because of their inappropriate use of balloons.
My LEAST favorite costume happened during my LEAST favorite year in elementary school: fourth grade. I don't remember much from that year except I got my first D on a test, cried buckets about it and that year I had a lame Halloween costume. I had been planning on being a Hawaiian girl but the morning of the parade I put on the "grass skirt" and realized there was very little grass left on it. I panicked. "Mom!!! There's no grass on my grass skirt! What can I be for the parade?" Ever resourceful and with only 5 minutes to create a costume, she suggested that I be a rich person. I hesitated, knowing it wasn't going to get any second looks, but I was desperate. Going to school without a costume was never an option. This "rich woman" costume consisted of me wearing one of my mom's dresses, hair in a bun, mom's pearls and lots of red blush and red lipstick. (My mom's life goal has always been to get me to wear lipstick so I'm thinking this was the beginning stage of her plan to make it so I don't "look as pale as death.") It was a costume but basically, I was my mom for Halloween. Not cool by kid standards.
My FAVORITE costume came not surprisingly, during my FAVORITE year: fifth grade. Mr. A was our incredibly cool teacher who called me "Katie Hardly-a-Man" and dressed as a "Jamaican" that year, painting his arms and face black and wearing a wig with dreds. This was the year of "the train." I think Megan's mom thought of the costume but I got to be part of what I deemed "the most original costume" of the year. Megan, Lauren, Jenny and myself were four parts of a train. I can still smell the fumes as we spray painted our cardboard boxes and decorated them on my driveway. We walked everywhere that day with a proud swagger and in a single-file line, occasionally making train sounds. We had a cool costume and we knew it. I loved being part of a group costume and felt the envious stares of others in less original costumes. It was awesome.
Yes, I sported some fashionable stirrups- though not quite as cool as Heidi's birkenstocks with socks.
Heidi and I were reminiscing about our trick-or-treating escapades and candy obsession and realized that somewhere along the path between adolescence and adulthood, our passion for such sugary sweetness dwindled. Snickers, Skittles, Starburst, and Sugar Babies don't make our eyes light up like they used to. Milk Duds and Milky Ways aren't quite as delectable as I remember. Like many holidays, the magic and thrill of Halloween has dissipated over the years. However, though our trick-or-treating days are long over, we now get to experience the magic through Heidi's boys. We got to witness their excitement as they donned their pirate costumes and said, "Arrr, me matey." We got to experience their wonder and joy as they watched their baskets fill with sugary goodness. We got to see their eyes light up when they received a handfull of candy and we saw them quake in genuine fear when their dad chased them in a disturbing mask. Indeed, Halloween is much more fun and even magical when experienced as a child.
Now I'm going to try something new on this blog. I'm asking for reader participation. I haven't done this before because I fear no one will respond and I'll feel like a total tool with no friends. (It's Saturday night and I'm blogging at Panera in my pajamas so I'm already dancing dangerously close to the "loser" line.) However, I've been blog stalking for awhile and this guy and this guy always put questions at the end of their posts for people to comment. The comment section is hilarious. They have some uber funny friends/blog readers and I know I do too. That being said, don't feel the pressure to be "uber funny." Just be honest. Consider this a birthday present to me because comments make me feel good about myself. Yeah, my birthday was in May- you missed it. So, without further ado or groveling, here are your questions:
1. What was your favorite candy as a kid?
2. What was your favorite Halloween costume?
Mom, Heidi- you'd better comment- I know I have at least two readers in you guys:) I'll start us off in the comment section.