Saturday, October 29, 2011

Don't Be Tricked by Treats - The Early Years

 The first year I was old enough to understand what Halloween was all about I was too sick to trick or treat. I had bronchitis and a raging ear infection and had to stay home. I turned five that week. I did not yet know that Halloween meant that you knocked on people's doors and they gave you candy and that it only worked on that one day of the year. If I had know that I would have never allowed my mother to take my temperature and find it was 103.2 F.

I still wore my costume - actually three costumes. I had a princess dress, a pirate's patch on my head (to help with my ear pain) and a gypsy scarf. I thought I looked beautiful but thinking about it now, I must have been a riot. Unable to go door-to-door for candy I watched my parents carefully make dozens of candy and caramel apples. They let me dip a few apples-on-a-stick into hot caramel and then set the apples aside to cool and harden. My parents gave these to all the older kids who came to our apartment door. The younger kids got a tiny gold foil, stapled packet with five shiny pennies or a nickel inside.

By evening, my father angrily reported that the teens had ripped open their apples and made a mess with candy wrappers, apple cores and sticks in the large building's stairways. He was the superintendent of the building and he had to clean the stairways all that night. He had been tricked by the treats. 

When I was ten years old and went trick or treating I came back with a large bag filled with candy. We never ate anything before coming home because my parents wanted to check everything for pins, razors, and any other type of tampering. Anything that was not sealed they tossed: raisins, doughnuts, apples - all out. The next morning all the candy was gone. My parents claimed that bugs had gotten into the candy overnight but of course (a) they ate it or (b) they wanted to keep their fat daughter from eating it. I got tricked out of my treats. 

This continued during my time living under my parent's roof. In Part 2 of Don't be Tricked by Treats (posting later today) I will explore what I did for Halloween as an adult in my own home, with my own family and with a full-blown food addiction.

That's right: It's Halloween Nightmare Before Weight Loss time!

Did your childhood celebrations of Halloween shape what you did when you first became an adult, responsible for your behaviors and actions? 



Cathy said...

I guess I don't have too many unusual memories of Halloween. In general, there was not much candy around our house during the year, so the treats I got at Halloween were a big deal, and I was allowed to eat them as I wished. Kind of the way it should be, I think. We have lost the meaning of the word "treat" in the past few decades.

Maren said...

I like reading about Halloween experiences since we don't have it. The whole concept is pretty strange for me, but it's quite fun to look at :)

Fatoutofskinny said...

Being born and raised in England, I really didn't have the candy problem because Halloween is not a really big occassion over the there!

Caron said...

I never went trick or treating but we always had a big party with candy and cupcakes and performers and dancing. When my children came along, I could see nothing great about letting them head out the door to beg for candy, so we also did group things at church mostly. They always had a costume, lots of candy and it was fun for all of us.

I think they kind of feel they missed out somehow by not going from house to house getting candy but I would not change it if I could.

I think it is sad that your parents took your candy. I personally think that having too much candy once a year will not do much harm.