31 October 2007

The Evolution of Halloween

If you’re looking for the history of Halloween and landed here, you’re going to be disappointed. Go to Wikipedia.

If you are looking for The Evolution of Dance you’re my kind of person, but he’s here.


Yesterday Country Girl and I were talking – actual face-to-face communication – about her kids plans for trick-or-treating today, when we started comparing our own childhood experiences.

I was amazed by how completely different those experiences were simply by virtue of the fact that I was, literally, a City Child and she was a Country Child.

In the City, thirty-odd years ago, we sported winter coats over our costumes, roamed freely in packs like wolves and hit every house on every well-laid-out north-south/east-west street in the ‘hood. A few parents tagged along to keep the peace, but we basically ran wild until dinner. It was also, curiously, the only day of the year when Public neighborhood kids commingled with Parochial neighborhood kids. They had cooties. Except for Patrick Egan who was my first crush. He was Parochial. But that’s another story.

Anyway, you never, ever ate anything from your bag until your parents checked it for pins and needles. It’s sad, I know, but we never kept anything homemade or unwrapped. Every year on the ten o’clock news you’d see at least one story of a willful child who ignored the rule and bit into a popcorn ball-encrusted straight razor.

In contrast, Country Child trick-or-treated only at the homes of people she knew and as a result got to eat everything that was given to her. The down side to this is that when houses are set on acres and acres of land, you’re really limited as to how many people you can shake down before your little legs give out. So the take, overall, is much smaller but the quality of treats is dramatically increased.

It makes me sad to see modern trick-or-treaters chauffeured from door to door, visiting only friends and family. Obviously this new mode of candy reconnaissance evolved from the Country way of doing things, and I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just…different. Too different for me.

Don’t say it, don’t SAY it: Rejection of change is the first sign of aging, I know. Well, actually, the inability get to your job after an all-nighter is the FIRST sign, but this is a close second.

:: sigh ::

1 comment:

Comet Girl said...

Your experience mirrors mine more closely than Country Childs as I was also, mostly, brought up in the city, albeit, not a very big one. We roamed like wolves hitting every house in the neighborhood, sometimes twice if they had the good stuff. We couldn’t eat anything unwrapped or homemade either. We even let the Mars Hill crowd (our version of Parochial) tag along (this was before Truck-or-Treat was invented).