Today might be the first Halloween in my life that I don’t dress up as something. It’ll be a game-time decision as to whether or not I go out, but with my trip to Haiti exactly a week away and my friend, Rachel Baribeau, coming to stay with me this weekend, I’ve got stuff to do!
In Life Lessons Class–er, Sports Governance, this week, we spent some time briefly on the topic of making good decisions. One of my students in the back of class piped in with, “Yea, but a little mischief is ok!”
Yes, a little mischief is definitely ok.
And on that note, two of my favorite Halloween memories:
1. 8th grade was probably my most epic trick-or-treating session. For some reason, my parents thought it would be a good idea to let me two best friends and I stay in a vacant duplex my grandfather owned. On our own. Alone. I guess they thought we were responsible (which we were).
That Halloween, it seemed like Jessica, Courtney and I trick-or-treated FOREVER! We went into every corner of my small Wheat Ridge, CO neighborhood, unwilling to relent on our search for candy.
Finally worn out, we decided to make my grandparents’ street our last stop. My grandfather built the house he and my grandmother lived in in the late 1950s. Everyone else on the block had done something similar. So, their neighbors were a group of people who started their families and aged at the same time.
Across from my grandparents’ house lived the Walker’s. These were the people that would never buy Girl Scout cookies from me as a kid and generally seemed pretty reserved. So, as my friends and I approached their house, I was expecting a less-than-impressive Halloween treat, or even worse, a refusal to open the door.
Little did I know, that into her 80s at this point, Mrs. Walker had a little bit of mischief in her still. As we opened the gate to her house and started walking up their walkway, we heard a noise in the bushes. “Wooooooo wooooo boooo. WOOOF!”
Yes, elderly Mrs. Walker was hiding in her bushes pretending to be a ghost/dog. And it was AWESOME. She jumped out at us “woo/hooing” and barking. It was confusing and really weird and sent us into an obvious fit of laughter. It was mischievous.
2. My actual favorite Halloween memory, though, comes from when I was seven-years-old. At that time, “Beauty and the Beast” was my favorite movie and Belle was my idol. Every year, my mom hand-sewed me a Halloween costume, but in second grade, probably realizing that designing and sewing a Belle costume would be a MOTHER, she let me just buy it.
I felt like a queen in that thing. The problem, though, is that I also felt like I was going to puke the entire night, because I was really sick. My parents urged me to stay home, offering to just buy me candy and get me treats. Every kid knows that that is not an option come Halloween, though, so I trudged it out.
My dad and I went to a few houses around the neighborhood and I was feeling more and more nauseous. I told him that I didn’t think I could do it anymore, and he told me we had to go to my grandparents’ house, then I could go home. In my mind, I knew that this wasn’t a good idea, but I went with it.
Dawned in a golden, silk dress, I rang my grandparents’ door bell and waited on their front porch for them to hobble to the door. My grandfather opened the door. “Trick-or-treat,” I said under my breath, feeling like I was going to die.
I’m the youngest person in my entire family. As such, I feel like my grandpa liked to hassle me sometimes and generally give me a hard time. Rather than just handing over the candy he said, “If you want a treat, you have to show me a trick.”
I’m also an only child and very stubborn, so this response just annoyed me. In my seven-year-old mind, I probably literally thought, “Ok, gramps. Let’s just get this thing over with so I can get on my way.” Not wanting to be a jerk, I opted to just say, “Trick-or-treat” again.
And again, Grandpa Watts said, “Trick for a treat!” I rolled my eyes, turned back to my dad and kind of shrugged my shoulders, because I am still candy-less at this point. “What’s this dude’s problem?” is also probably a thought that rolled through my head. Nonetheless, I knew what was coming.
I shot a look up at my grandfather, who was still demanding a trick, and then turned they other way and vomited all over his entire front porch.
“WHOA, Alicia! I wasn’t serious about the trick!”
Yea, that’s what you get for hassling a seven-year-old who’s just out trying to get treats. Showed that guy.
In all seriousness, though: A very happy Halloween to all of you! It’s a night for a little bit of mischief, but in all reality, a night for a lot of fun.