Friends With Opinions Friday: Halloween By Kellye

by Jennifer Has Opinions

*The opinions expressed in FWOPF are not necessarily shared by Jennifer (though this friend also happens to be my boss, so if you could all concur vehemently, that would be fantastic)*

A friend of mine posted on Facebook this week that she was earning a nasty reputation on her street because she made the non-costumed teenagers who showed up at her door on Halloween make an effort (sing a song, do a dance, or draw a picture with sidewalk chalk) in return for candy. I chuckled reading it because I know her, and I know she was serious. But then I started wondering, when did people start using Halloween as an excuse to hit people up for candy with nothing in return?

I know how Halloween’s supposed to work … I WAS a kid once! And every year, without fail, I put a lot of thought into what I would be, rushed home from school to get my costume on, faithfully tromped from house to house displaying myself as whatever character I had chosen, and politely held out my bag in order to receive my treat. There was an exchange you might have missed in this process … I dressed up to the entertainment of my candy-giving neighbors and they rewarded me for this effort.

When did this mutual exchange get tossed aside? Who said kids don’t have to work for their treats? Is October 31st now designated as “Free Candy Day’ on calendars?

And it’s not just teenagers who seem to have developed this skewed perception of Halloween. I watched with amazement one Halloween as a man and woman who were at least in their 40’s went door-to-door holding out their plastic Kroger bags and demanding candy … neither of them wearing costumes. And yet, there was absolutely no shame between them. They didn’t even try to hang with the kids and act like maybe they were collecting candy for a sick child who had to stay home. Heck no, they zipped right on past the groups of kids (who obviously couldn’t walk as fast because it was hard to see through their masks or their costumes were too long and got caught under their feet) and stood at doors all by themselves expecting something for nothing.

You know, I consider myself a fairly kind and giving person. I buy numerous copies of the little newspapers sold by the homeless folks; I can’t count how many packages of diapers I’ve bought though I’ve never had a baby of my own; I buy for “Angels” at Christmas, give to several charitable organizations, and try to help others through words, actions, or cash when possible. But if you want my candy, you’re gonna’ have to give me somethin’ in return! Halloween has rules!