Trick or Treat? Please?


Gomer will be 10 this year and I've been wondering about what age is too old for trick-or-treating. I can remember trick-or-treating way past my prime. I can remember dressing up like Madonna in seventh grade. My dad wouldn't let me out the door until I showed him a picture of Madonna, because he was certain I was lying and my costume was really "underage hooker." I can remember hitting the local Walmart for adult-sized footie pajamas, a bib, and a pacifier when I was in college. I dressed up like a baby so my friends and I could score some free Snickers bars. The stupid part is I'm pretty sure my "costume" cost us more than if we'd just bought a bag of Snickers bars when we were at Walmart. But I later realized those jammies were an investment. They got worn all winter long.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not a good judge of who is too old to trick-or-treat, because I was that 18-year-old asshole who begged for chocolate. Now that I'm the homeowner handing out treats, I'm never thrilled when I see a gang of teens stomping through my bushes towards my front door. Because of them I have two bowls of candy. I have the good stuff - the name brand stuff - for the little kids. Little princesses and pirates and puppies and action heroes get handfuls of the good stuff. Then I have that crap stuff that you buy in five-pound bags at Sam's for the big kids. They get a handful too, but it's a handful of bubble gum that goes stale after two chomps and lollipops that don't last past three or four licks before you've reached the slimy stick part.

I couldn't figure out why I disliked the big kids so much until I posed the question to my Facebook friends: "How old is too old to trick-or-treat?" I got answers all over the map, but the one thing that kept popping up was "As long as they're in a costume and they're polite, I'll give them candy."

Yes! That's it. Right there. Even when I was an 18-year-old baby, I was in a costume and I said please and thank you and I even danced a jig at that one house that made me do a "trick." (Yes, I will do just about anything for chocolate. Don't worry, I checked the bowl first to make sure they had the good stuff before I busted out my moves. No way was I going to dance for a Gobstopper or something like that!)

Nowadays, kids come to my door and barely grunt a "Trick-or-treat." If someone says "Thank you" it's a Halloween miracle. The big kids run in packs - literally - through your bushes and on more than one occasion I've seen them cut off little kids in their haste to be the first to the door. Their costumes are pathetic. I'm sorry, but you can't just throw on your soccer uniform that you wore for a game on Saturday afternoon and call that a costume. Put some imagination into it! Look at the little kids around you and learn from them! I've seen little headless horsemen, mad scientists, and Legos come to my door. I do remember a teenager from a few years ago who was a King of Hearts playing card. That was a cool costume! He got candy from the "good" bowl.

And it's not just the boys. Last year I had a gaggle of girls come to the door and they were so busy texting their whereabouts to another group that they barely made eye contact with me when I dropped pencils in their bags. (Yeah, pencils are the worst. That's what I give the rudest kids. Even the dentist next door gives out better stuff than that. It's pretty sad when your treat is worse than the neighborhood dentist's treat. She handed out spooky black dental floss last year. I'm glad she did, because I feel very badass when I'm flossing with black dental floss.)

But sometimes it's me being an old lady. I think a soccer or football uniform isn't a costume, but I'm also a little leery of the scary costumes too. Halloween is the one night of the year you open your door to a six-foot tall Jason and you hope he's just a big middle schooler and not the real deal. He gets the good candy just so he won't kill me. Also, I forget that when I was a kid, much to my parent's dismay, dressing like a Disco Queen was a costume and now it's come full circle. Last year I opened my door to some like totally awesome 80s girls. It took me a full second to realize those were costumes they'd put together and not just me and my friends going to the mall. I said, "Your costumes are tubular, girls! I love the crimped side ponytails." and they were all "Like, thanks. Do you remember crimping irons? They're soooo old! Alycin's mom found her old one and it like still works! We were totally shocked! It's like ancient!" Even though they offended me by making me feel old, they got candy from the good bowl too because they put some effort into their costumes and they were polite.

I've decided that Gomer has another couple of years left in him IF he dresses up AND he's polite. This year he's going to be a banana. Don't ask me why. Apparently it's a hot costume for the elementary school kids. I had to buy that costume, because I couldn't begin to know how to make a banana costume.

Adolpha is going to be a dead bride. Again, I have no idea where they get their ideas. I just know that my crafty side came out in full force for her costume and my glue gun was smoking when I was done with her ah-may-zing dead bouquet of roses and fah-bu-lous veil and I got to repurpose her puppy princess costume we made last year. Poor Adolpha, she's always got an imaginative costume, but no one ever knows what she is. Last year she was a Dalmatian puppy princess. Several people asked her if she was the Chik-fil-A cow. At least she was polite when she gritted her teeth and said, "No. I'm a Dalmatian puppy princess." Thank goodness she's polite and the "Duh" was silent or else she might have come home with a bag full of pencils.

What do you think? How old is too old to trick or treat?

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11 comments:

Unknown said...

I trick-or-treated well into my teens and even once or twice after I entered my 20s. I'd love to keep going out and trick-or-treat my way through Halloween however, I just don't have the time and hey someone has to man the candy bowl or the kids just snatch and grab. But I make it a point to dress up each year. And I like to have two bowls too for the polite and the not so polite kids.

Shinianen said...

I have fond memories as a child of that "one house" in the neighborhood that gave out full sized candy bars. Wanting to continue the tradition, I used to do that as well at my house... until I had a couple years in a row of kids asking if they could have two (YES! TWO!), coming back for a second or third round, and telling me "don't you have anything besides Snickers? I don't like those" when I had ran out of any other options. I was appalled at the lack of manners, especially when their parents were standing right there next to them and not correcting them. Now I give out mini tootsie pops and skittles - and oddly, I get more pleases and thank yous than I ever did when I did full sized candies. That being said, I don't have a problem with the older kids as long as they are respectful. But usually they come out at the end of the evening when I'm almost out of candy anyway, so that pretty much solves the problem for me - lights out.

Rod said...

Ok, so I've always wondered why Charlie Brown didn't heave those rocks through the assholes windows. Seemed like the obvious solution to me.

MomQueenBee said...

My porch light goes off at 8:30 so I don't have many issues with old trick-or-treaters, but my cut-off for not making a rude remark ("Aren't you a little old for this?") is 13. Also, anyone with a kid, whether in costume or not, gets candy from the good bowl.

SnarkfestBlog said...

TOTALLY agree with the statement that as long as they are polite, say Trick or Treat and 'thank you' I'll give them candy. Otherwise, they get a handful of dog hair and dry cat food.

mrainey82 said...

This year, I'm answering the door dressed as Chris Hansen from To Catch A Predator to discourage the 18 plus trick or treaters from mingling with the kid trick or treaters.

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Brandyn Blaze said...

My mom made us stop trick-or-treating when we were twelve. We could dress up to take younger kids or to go to Halloween dances/parties or hand out candy, though. This is something my partner and I disagree on, as I intend to enforce that rule with our kids and he doesn't think there should be a cut off. We have a few years before it becomes an issue though, so we'll see how that goes!

Anonymous said...

Why be crabby? That's my motto. I agree, polite, costume-wearing tricker treaters all get candy at our door. I don't ask to see their I.D. They're just having fun, and I'm a fan of fun.

Unknown said...

If someone said something to my kid, they better be prepared to get something back from me. Having a child heart is fantastic! My teen comes trick or treating in costume, with manners to be a part of it with his younger brother. No need for the crap candy bowl, or "aren't you too old" remarks. If you're not a good sport about Halloween don't participate.

Sop832 said...

I don't participate in trick or treating any more. 90% of those that show up are greedy and surly. I have been asked if I have any soda, if they could use my phone, did I have any other kind of candy (they didn't like what I gave them) and my favorite was " Can I have some for my brother, he's sick" The "big boys " showed up later, and only grunted and held out their hands. When I realized that I was scared to not give them anything, I decided to boycott Halloween. Maybe it has to do with living in an urban area, but I leave my lights off.

Anonymous said...

NEVER too old. I have a 7 and 5 year old and we've done Halloween for the last 3 years (it wasn't even a 'thing' in Australia until about then) and I love dressing up to walk around the block with them! If it's not too hot, that is. I don't get given any choccies, but that's cool, because the boys share theirs :) - Michelle

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