Until last night, I’d forgotten how great it is to live in a neighbourhood with excellent trick or treating. I haven’ t been trick or treating in 16 years, the dressing up and hunting for candy being one of the first childhood pleasures to get dropped in the name of adolescent holier-than-thou angst. Then came college and the dressing up to attract boys (but no candy—not a great trade), and the lean post-college apartment years in neighborhoods where sane adults didn’t let their kids out of the house at night, much less let them ask strangers for candy. Last year I lived in an apartment building filled with grad students and couples who didn’t have kids. Needless to say, no one rang the doorbell.
Last night I walked home from Kendall and my street was filled with kids and parents going from house to house. Three of the houses on our street had huge, inflatable Halloween decorations on their lawns and one of our neighbors threw a Halloween pizza party for parents on their lawn. Everyone was out, even the extremely private neighbors whom we suspect are the owners of Dali but aren’t really sure. Wearing my Wonder Woman T-shirt (my grown up replacement for my old Underoos), I manned the door, wishing we’d done more decorating so parents knew it was ok to try our house. Best costume: a 3-year old Curious George who roared like a lion. Worst costume: a 10-year old gypsy who ran around the neighbourhood screaming, “I’ll dance for money!” God, I hope someone told her to stop saying that.
Watching the kids go parading down the sidewalk, I had a moment of nostalgia for being young enough to think that people will mistake you for whatever you dressed up as—a pirate, a princess, Lemon Meringue, Spiderman. It’s the only time you can really get away with pretending to be someone else and that’s still cool.