It’s a very exciting time when you buy a new house and then just prior to your first Halloween, kids move in across the street. At this point you get to choose if you are going to be a fun neighbour or a Mr. Wilson.
Big motivator for me to get on board with Halloween was these new kids were male and full of mischief and violent tendencies towards each other. One false move and this energy could easily be directed at me until the day they got a dog or a little sister so I embraced fright night out of pure fear of this turn.
Pumpkins were carved, candy was purchased, costume well thought out. From what I understand from boys, mostly from trying to be one up to age ten, to get the beejeebers scared out of you is high priority, second only to candy haul. So this is what I did. In darkness, and in costume, I waited. Crouched down at kid height I listened for the pitter patter of little fuckers and then flew the door open for the big reveal. The dearest little lad who had joined the Dennis The Mennace’s jumped back and with full power of a terrified five year old yelled “Holy Shit!” My dreams of being a fun neighbour came crashing down. Long story short, kids stopped coming to my house.
The new modus operandi seems to be home from school, get costume on, get in the car, go to a better neighbourhood. I tried my best. Still put out the pumpkins. Had one lit in the front window. Couple years of that and you realize that they just aren’t that into you and you cross over into dejected old person territory. You take it personally and you start going to the pictures.
Last night we waited for the little ones to come by….which they never did….so the fun sized candy went in the purse and we headed to a movie. You do not go to the bar, see your ex and then just stand there and drink by yourself….more than a couple times….why would you stand on your front porch with chocolate staring at an empty street. And then at last call dump it all into the plastic shopping bag of an eighteen year old wearing “a teenager” costume. For dignity sake, we had to vacate for a couple hours.
Nothing sucks any youthful enthusiasm you still have remaining in your bones like an early movie on Halloween night. If ever you are in need of a hundred or so miserable looking non-participating curmudgeons, gold mine! Bring us your elderly! Bring us your cheap! Bring us your kid haters! Pretty funny at first glance until you enter the theatre, see the couple you went to dinner with the Saturday prior crouched down amidst all the bitterness, and you become fully aware that you are indeed a full fledged Mr. Wilson.
November morning brings a new outlook. This weekend I will rake leaves and let the boys jump in the pile. They’ll get on the cookie rotation at Christmas. A couple time’s i’ll pay them to half ass shovel my driveway. But the tension will remain. The unspoken knowledge that i’ve done something worse than scare the crap out of them, i’ve abandoned them and ate all their candy. You don’t forget something like that. All I can do is keep the house insurance up to date , maintain a watchful eye on the cat and hope a new batch of children moves in so I can try and reinstate myself as a contributing member of this community by next year.