There’s no way you could know this but Halloween is my family’s favorite holiday. We live for horror movies, costumes, and spending one night in a world that doesn’t gag us with princess tiaras and glitter. We do enjoy that stuff but not on Halloween.
Our seven year old contemplated her vampire costume all week. She wanted to be sure that her fangs were just right and that her costume’s collar stood on her neck perfectly. She wanted makeup but not too much. She wanted fake blood but didn’t appreciate how I literally had it dripping from her face.
Enthusiasm got the best of me!
Our two year old wouldn’t nap all day and was delirious with exhaustion by evening. The act of choosing between a bumblebee costume (she didn’t want to wear!) and an old witch costume was almost a catastrophe. She eventually gave in to the bumblebee but had an exhaustion meltdown after seeing her makeup applied.
My spouse and I procrastinated and didn’t purchase costumes for ourselves. We’d never give up on Halloween so we settled for old stained clothes from our closet. After covering them and ourselves in fake blood, dirt, and rotting flesh, we were the perfect zombies!
I’m laying this all out for you so you can get an idea of how devoted we were to this night. Can you sense our excitement and dedication yet? Well imagine how taken aback we were when we “met” you.
Rarely do we participate in traditional trick-or-treating. We typically visit malls, churches, etc. The society in which we now live is terribly complex and it often feels that the good of humanity has disappeared. This time I chose to rebuke such thoughts and pushed my spouse to try traditional trick-or-treating just once more. He was adamant about not doing it stating that “People are crazy and can be assholes.”
I dismissed his statement and pressured him to proceed.
We rode around for a while making wrong turns and second-guessing certain neighborhoods we ventured into. We live in a rural area (not far from you) and don’t really have a neighborhood of our own. If we did, we would have happily stayed there! Then came a short, well-lit street and there was your place with its welcoming porchlight and opened door.
Jack Pot! Our first stop!
The girls were so excited! Our oldest had literally begged us to allow her to go door-to-door this year. She even said “That’s the whole fun of Halloween.” I agreed because I remember stopping at every house in my neighborhood, with a bright porchlight, as a child.
In case you didn’t know... that’s one way to tell if a “home” is giving out candy to enthusiastic little monsters just trying to have a night of take-something-from-a-stranger fun. Kids live for that!
We exited our vehicle, leaving our doors slightly ajar just in case. You never know these days right? My girls made sure to grab their pumpkins hoping for a BIG handful of the candy you had to share with them.
My oldest rang your doorbell. We made sure the girls stood up front with pumpkins outstretched, smiles bright, and manners ready to use after offering you their best “trick or treat.”
Your doors and curtain were opened wide. We could see the spookily appropriate decorations. We also saw the young girl who came to the front door and pushed it closed but not completely. Surely she went to get an adult. Of course she did. No parent would allow a child to open the door to strangers on a night known for blatant trickery.
So we waited.
After a minute or so, we all looked at one another in confusion. Should we leave? We heard adult voices in the background. Was an adult coming to shoo us off or to fulfill the girl’s hopes of filling their pumpkins with candy?
No one came.
Then the door closed completely (after hearing adults mutter something else) and the porchlight was turned off. There we stood… on your porch… in the dark. We could see our little girl’s eyes looking up at us full of confusion, sadness, and devastation in the moonlight.
No one in your home bothered to tell us to go away with decency and respect. No one bothered to greet us and inform us of your decision to not hand out candy. No one took the time to apologize to the eager, innocent, and beautiful little girls who stood smiling and waiting patiently just to be acknowledged.
Maybe our vampire and zombie costumes scared you or maybe you’re the kind of asshole my spouse spoke of.
If you’d had a rough day and didn’t feel like having strangers at your door, how were we supposed to know that? And honestly, that’s no excuse! It was Halloween night, your lights were on, and your door open. We wouldn’t be at a stranger’s home asking for candy otherwise.
Because of that, I’ve decided that you’re an asshole.
I reprimanded you sternly whether you heard me or not. You insulted my kid’s hearts. My spouse quickly hushed me because he knew the mother in me was ready to shove your head into the pumpkins my girls carried! My girls deserved at least enough common decency (from you) to direct us nicely to another home.
Next time… if you don’t want to be bothered… turn off your porchlight and close your door.
So to the mall we ventured, stroking our girl’s hopes back to happiness, and reassuring them that the world is a good place. From here on out, however, we will stick with our malls and other welcoming arenas.
A Pissed Off Mother
As always, thanks for being here! Writing is my therapy and keeps me out of padded rooms (and jail cells). I thoroughly appreciate your support. <3
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