maro Lip Schtick: Hell night - 1981p

Friday, October 21, 2005

Hell night - 1981

My friends are all very excited about what they're going to be for Halloween. I, on the other hand, do not enjoy Halloween. I don't enjoy dressing up.

And until just a few days ago, I didn't exactly know why. But then I remembered a Halloween from years ago that I must have had tucked away in the deepest recesses of my mind ...

Flashback to October 1981. I was in the fifth grade in a new school, as well as a new school district. Up until this point I had always loved Halloween. The candy, the cool fall air. And I always enjoyed when my grandparents took me trick-or-treating.

But things were about to change.

Evidently a lot of the kids in my fifth grade class no longer trick-or-treated. According to them, trick-or-treating was for babies. At the time I remember thinking, uh, we are babies. We're 10. It's not like we're 19 trying to hit up people for some candy.

And even the few kids that still did go trolling for candy did so, at least, in very cool, authentic homemade costumes.

But, like any 10-year-old, I was not interested in bucking the norm. If the kids in my class weren't trick-or-treating, then by God, neither was I.

My mom had other ideas in mind.

"You are only 10! You're trick-or-treating," my mom replied (with a hint of irritation in her voice) when I told her I didn't want to trick-or-treat.

"But Mom, none of the other kids are going," I whined.

"I don't care. You're going," she answered.

I still to this day don't know if she was trying to show me how important it was to preserve my youth, or if she really just wanted to hork some of my candy.

Days passed, and we got closer and closer to Halloween. I kept thinking that if I didn't mention it again, Mom would forget about making me go trick-or-treating.

But of course, she didn't.

"Come on, let's go. It's time to go buy your costume," Mom asserted one fateful evening.

"Mom - I don't want to go buy a costume. None of the other kids wear store bought costumes. If they trick-or-treat at all, which most of them don't, they wear homemade costumes," I moaned.

"Well, I'm not going to spend a bunch of time or ask Grandma to spend a lot of time making a costume that you'll only be able to wear this Halloween. Next year you'll have grown out of it."

Even though she had a point (hindsight is always 20/20), I begrudgingly went with her to pick out my store-bought costume. Obviously me heart wasn't in it.

"Pick out anything you want," Mom said, trying to get me into the Halloween spirit.

I trudged along, checking out the array of flame-retardant lame costumes.

I finally decided on Spider Woman. Or at least the package said Spider Woman. I didn't know that Spider Man had a female counterpart, but if he did, this sure was a crappy excuse.

"I don't want to wear this, Mom!"

"Don't worry," she replied. "No one will know it's you because you'll have on a mask."

There was no winning with her. I was going trick-or-treating, and that's all there was to it.

I had convinced myself that maybe she was right. Maybe I could get through the night with no one recognizing me. I would, after all, be wearing a mask (albeit an extremely dorky mask). Oh, and by the way, my costume pants were too short. I was in for a long night.

I made my Mom take me to an area of the neighborhood where we weren't as familiar with the people who lived there. I couldn't risk having anyone recognize my Mom standing on the sidewalk waiting for me.

We got through the first few homes, no problem. No one recognized me. I was actually almost convinced that I could possibly get through the evening relatively unscathed.

Until I rang the next doorbell.

To my chagrin, Doug Mitchell answered the door.

Doug Mitchell was a third grader.

Unbelievable. A third grader answering the door. Why the hell wasn't he out trick-or-treating?

He immediately began to laugh. Not only did he recognize me, but his "Nice costume" remark didn't make me feel any better.

It was all I could do to not rip into my Mom and give her the biggest "I told you so!" she had ever heard. I took Doug's candy (hey, embarrassed as I may have been, I was not about to pass up some Smarties) and got the hell away from his front porch.

That's when I saw her face. Mom realized that maybe she had made a mistake. She saw how embarrassed I was, and I know she felt badly too.

So badly, she said we could go home.

Thank God! What a poo of an evening.

I was pretty pissed, too. She just wouldn't listen.

When we got home, I couldn't get that God forsaken Spider Woman costume off quickly enough.

I did my ritualistic dumping of the candy onto the living room floor (I always did this as I was parked n front of the TV, of course) and began to separate the candy into piles of like pieces.

I was beginning to get over the fact that I had just suffered quite the humiliation at the hands of a dillhole third grader. Chocolate can help a kid get over almost anything.

An hour later it was time for bed. Tomorrow would be a new day. Hopefully Doug would forget what he saw and keep his 8-year-old trap shut.

As I told Mom goodnight, I could feel that I was even past being mad at her.

"Goodnight, Mom. Have some candy, if you want."

"Goodnight," she answered softly.

I made my way toward my room. All was well. If I could get over the worst Halloween ever, I could get over anything. And finally Mom had learned a valuable lesson as well. She should have listened to what I was trying to tell her.

"Oh, LilRed?" I heard Mom holler.

I made my way back to the living room. "Yeah?"

"What do you want to go as next Halloween?"


Anonymous The Incurable Insomniac said...


Don't feel bad. I'm going to a party tonight dressed as a whoopie cushion.

4:00 AM  
Blogger The Scarlett said...

Times have changed so much. My sixteen-year-old is having her friends over to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood because it is the best. Nobody gives people pressure today to either strictly buy a costume or strictly make a costume, at least not on the busy Main Line of Philadelphia anyway. I'll have kids from the local college, even, come to my door for candy and I'll give it to them (college kids like candy, too).

Your mom had limitations. I'd like to think she was trying to preserve your youth. At ten, she assumed you could still be wrong. Her biggest mistake was insisting. Forgive her.

9:15 AM  

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