Originally published in the October 29, 2010 issue
For escapists, Halloween is the greatest day of the year. It’s the perfect excuse to dress and act like an idiot with no remorse. For pranksters, it’s a defense against doing annoying – and usually not funny – things involving eggs or toilet paper.
For me, someone who would essentially eat chocolate-covered anything, Halloween has always been about the candy. When we were younger, my sister and I used to swim in Halloween candy for months after the fact, and when all that lingered in the bottom of the bin were Bit o’ Honeys and Almond Joys, I wept, knowing Halloween was officially over.
Even today, I love when candy first starts to pop up in supermarkets. Do I ever buy my own candy? No, that would be ridiculous. Instead, I make my friends listen to me complain and whine about how I wish I could still go trick-or-treating.
Something about the whole process just makes the candy taste better and the idea of eating my body weight in chocolate less disgusting. I’m not ashamed to admit, although I probably should be, that I even went trick-or-treating in high school. It was fun, goofing around and dressing up with my friends, and I scored pounds of candy. And today, while I love Halloween parties, sometimes I want nothing more than to run house to house like an idiot and obnoxiously yell “Trick or treat!”
How old, though, is too old?
Unless I was walking around with a kid I was babysitting, there is no way a college student could get away with trick-or-treating without looking like a pervert. Even high school is pushing it, though still doable, as I did it.
Is Halloween like believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, that after some time it just loses its appeal and magic? I think so. As you grow up, Halloween becomes more about being the coolest-looking person in the room and less about the candy.
Even though it pains me to admit it, there should probably be a maximum age placed on trick-or-treating. It doesn’t have to be abandoned once you hit grade school, but if you can drive door to door instead of walking, you should find other plans.