Monday, October 30, 2006
The Halloween Dictator
My daughter is naturally assertive and outspoken. Or, in contemporary terms, bossy as hell.

Which means that Halloween-Eve, when this backwards little corner of New England does trick-or-treating instead of on the actual Day, is just tailor-made for her. Not the door-to-door part. I mean, the candy's all well and good, but I think somewhere in her 6-year-old brain she recognizes that Mom's going to go through and pick out the good stuff after she's in bed, anyway.

No, the part that gets her motor running is the handing-out-candy part. She gets to decide who gets two pieces and who gets just one, and I have learned that in an hour it is possible to say, "If you don't say 'trick or treat' you don't get candy," four thousand times. It's a truly amazing thing.

Which actually creates an ideal situation all around, because I despise being the candy-hander-out. Not because I begrudge giving away candy, but because the world is populated by weasels and liars, and never does that become more apparent than Halloween (at least, until I'm out Christmas shopping. I seem to find them then, too). Kids who ask for extra pieces for their sick brothers, kids who hit the same house twice, kids who are 45 and still seeking free candy.

My personal favorite are the kids who just stand there and stare at me, bucket extended, because the obligatory greeting is clearly below a specimen of such human perfection as I see standing before me. My general response is to stand there with a slightly tilted head and a politely curious raised-eyebrow look, and if they continue to stare at me, I say, "Yes? Can I help you?" I actually had one entrepreneurial young lady push me to the side in an attempt to get to the candy and leave without any of that pesky social interaction. I'm proud to report that I did not kill her and bury her in the front yard.

There was a perfectly good deck to toss bodies under, no burying necessary.

But for the past two years, I've taken the kids out early and briefly, and then came home and let Emily administer the Candy-and-Bossy portion of the evening, and everyone is happy. And alive.