Candy is the Currency of Childhood
The other day I was worrying about money, being greedy, wanting more, and I looked over at my happy children and thought, “Ahh, to be like that again. Not greedy.”
Oh, but then I realized they are greedy.
Greedy for candy.
And once a year, the whole nation obliges them. All they have to do is wear anything — something strange, wild, fantastical — ring the door bell and loads of candy comes flowing into the streets.
When my husband and I lived in Savannah, GA, none of the kids dressed up for Halloween. All night I opened the door for just plain old kids begging for candy.
“And what are you dressed up as?” I asked every one of them.
“Just give us your candy, lady,” they said.
“I put razor blades in it!” I would scream after them as they left my house.
I felt like Mr. Wilson, Dennis the Menace’s grouchy neighbor. This is the social contract. I did my job. You do your job. You don’t have to spend any money. Just cut two holes in your mother’s best sheet, put it over your head and you’re done. (IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to draw a big ghost mouth on the sheet, or else you’ll resemble a lower ranking member of the KKK.)
For three years I opened my door expecting a costume. Why wasn’t my annoyance persuading them to dress up?
Finally on the fourth year, I sat on my neighbor’s front porch with a glass of wine and laughed at all the regular kids walking around (while praying they wouldn’t egg my empty house).
Costume = The Candy
When my husband was 4 years old, he woke up in the middle of the night (say 11 p.m. in November) and thought, “I know, if I put on a costume, then I can go get candy from the neighbors.”
“Costume? Costume?” He searched his 4-year-old mind.
He decided on chimney sweep, took off his pajamas and rolled himself around in the fireplace ashes.
Imagine opening your door at 11 p.m. to a small naked child covered in soot. The neighbors screamed and called 911 to report a house on fire.
Poor kid got a whooping instead of the CANDY.
Where is the Household Goods Section in this Candy Store?
“Where stool?” my 2-year-old son asks me while he searches for the step stool. (So he could get into something that he was not supposed to, I’m sure.)
I told him I didn’t know where it was, and he should go look for it. He comes back 30 seconds later.
“I know,” he says in a sing-songy voice, jumping up and down smiling. “Buy new one at CANDY STORE!” (Throwing his hands above his head when he says candy store.)
Like he could trick me: Oh well, there are no stools in here but since we are already here I guess I should buy you some CANDY.