It’s November 1, and I’m feeling a little down today, just a little off. It’s not a huge thing, and I’m not like, depressed, or anything, but I just feel like a person who missed a party he wasn’t planning to go to anyway, but still felt sorry he missed it.
Yesterday was Halloween, and I bought a bunch of candy for the little freeloaders who normally swarm on such an occasion. The candy is untouched. No one showed. No spaced out babies dolled up with wings or a kitty suit; no avaricious 6 year olds in home-made dragon outfits; no pop-culturally relevant Manafort impersonators in jailbird stripes; not even a single over-the-age, trick-or-treating teen who just wants the candy and has made only the barest attempt to impersonate a costume-wearer – maybe a drawn-on mustache or a scarf over the head.
I miss all those moochers. In some ways, I also feel a bit responsible – as though I accidentally put out a negative stay-away vibe that blocked our house from the internal sensors that kids (and their parents) use to direct them to the most generous candy-distro houses. Of course, the real reason is that I live in a 50 plus community. Kids don’t live here! Duh! But outsiders could still come in though, right?
So what do you do with a bunch of candy that you don’t want. Or, rather, that you do want, but no really you don’t. I took it back to the market.
That made me feel lousy all over again. Here was this store that had put on a massive display of candy, even discounting some of it, for the big national holiday that is Halloween. And here was this consumer, me, returning it a day late after its value had plummeted. I had violated the store’s trust, is what it felt like. Took their candy out on loan for the possibility of a rapacious attack by young costumed candi-vores. Then brought it back for a full refund.
The young woman at the service desk did not seem at all hostile at my taking advantage of the store’s liberal return policy. “No one came,” I said sheepishly as I dumped my bags of unopened “snack size” munchables on the counter.
“No one came to my house either,” she said, and she told me she lives across the street from a school. I idly wondered if it was possible trick or treating didn’t take place this year? But of course it did. It was everywhere.
I got a text from my friend Larry in Indianapolis with a picture of his front yard all gussied up, awaiting the rampaging hordes. I got pictures of my grandchildren out on the town. My grandson Sam, who is ten, started out as Trump, and ended up as a New Jersey Devil (get it?). My granddaughter Sarah, 13, was a shadow hunter based on a book series.
So, the party was held everywhere else but here it seems. Around here, it was just another day.
Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now
Steve, you’re being too hard on yourself in regard to returning the bags of candy, especially if it was a big chain store. If it was a Mom & Pop store that might be different, plus it’s not like they were opened.
Having feelings of feeling bad (in and of itself) and a conscious about doing the right thing, is a great thing. If more people HAD those feelings we’d have a lot less problems, which ties in with why fewer children are out trick or treating these days nearly everywhere; even in ‘safe’ neighborhoods.
October is book-ended with the Las Vegas massacre on the 1st and the worst terror attack in New York since 9/11 on the morning of the 31st! That certainly didn’t help. In L.A. where I live, the World Series I’m sure kept a lot of people home in front of the TV that might have been out.
Next year just have a bag of candy YOU like, just in case, and keep it if no children come by. I love the way you handled the return, but can picture a similar scene in my mind where Larry David on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ turns that simple return into a drawn-out, argumentative nightmare! Something tells me it’s probably because he DID open the bag, passed out a few pieces to a couple of kids that did come around, tried to disguise it with tape, got busted, told he can’t return it, not accepting that…