I’ve been trick-or-treating once in my life. Actually, I didn’t even go that time. I was basically the chaperone for Stephanie when she went in 1999. I did get some candy, but I wasn’t dressed up and I wasn’t trying to get anything. People just sort of gave me candy, which was pretty cool.
When I was little, I lived in a pretty rough neighborhood, so my mom didn’t really want me to troll that neighborhood for candy. I think she may have expected that I would start acting like a regular kid once we moved into the house we now live in, which is in a much safer neighborhood. I didn’t. I had gotten used to dressing up and handing out the candy to the kids. It was pretty fun.
I didn’t really want to go out like the other kids because it was a scary idea. I’ve always been on the shy side and I will pretty much go out of my way to avoid interacting socially with just about anyone. (I’m afraid of phones. I stress out when I’m using IM’s. I completely freak on chats. I don’t answer emails. I get queasy when I have to talk for any reason or have to leave the house. I can’t ask for things I need.) It shouldn’t be a shocker that even when given the opportunity to get free candy, I would rather stay inside. Yeah, I know that handing out candy was a form of social interaction, but it was a much easier interaction than getting the candy from someone else would have been.
I also have a tendency to freak out in the dark, a fear that was worse when I was younger. And it didn’t help my social anxieties or my fear of the darkness that I had been an avid news watcher since I was a wee little kid, so I had heard all of the stories about razor blades in candy, kids being run over because they weren’t covered in glow-in-the-dark stickers, and LSD that looked like candy that would get kids hooked on drugs even if they just got a small piece one time. Those stories helped me to rationalize my anxiety about Halloween, not trusting other people, candy being easily tainted, and even fed into future anxieties, i.e. when Mike’s Hard Lemonade was being massively marketed when I was 16 and I had panic attacks that the non-boozy lemonade I’d purchased at the first night of Big Spring Jam was actually somehow full of liquor.
Yeah, my anxiety issues have made my life a bit of a suckfest, but I’m pretty sure that those same issues keep various therapists and other folks entertained as I let them in on my insanity.
Anyway, I’m sitting here writing this up, hoping that I can just sleep through the majority of the Halloween festivities. I think it’s a cool holiday, but it is something that I’ve never really felt was a fun holiday. Of course, if I really think about it, no holiday is fun. I’ve always had anxiety attacks about holidays. Whether it’s ongoing family drama or my period going nuts or knowing that I’ve had the sniffles and I always get the flu during the holidays or worrying that my mom is going to get so depressed that she ends up in the hospital or its worrying that I would end up being the forgotten classmate at Valentine’s parties. Holidays, in general, are just not all that they’re cracked up to be.
So, be careful if you go out or if you have kids going out. Make sure that no one you know ends up swallowing razors laced with LSD while walking down a darkly lit road where they could be run over by a car driven by someone’s depressed mom. Or you could just be careful in the way that normal people do and have fun. That would probably be easier.