The Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween

It seems like the Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween should be some old man dwarfed by a rigid arm chair, scowling at the crackling fire in an otherwise dark room. Or a bent-over, white-haired crone, savagely sweeping her front porch, barking at the noisy neighbor children who dare to venture near and offer a tentative, “Happy Halloween!”

It’s not either of those stereotypes. The Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween is me.

“Dad. Please don’t.”

That was my response to Dad reaching for a bag of candy the size of which only Costco can provide. It’s not that I don’t like candy. On the contrary, my plea was prompted by spying two of my sweetest weaknesses – Butterfingers and Peanut Butter Cups – in the bag (which was big enough to go trick-or-treating itself). But this is an unfortunate year. Not only is Halloween during cross-country season, but it is the day before Districts, the most important meet of the season. Speaking from personal experience, chocolate-coated sugar and a 3.1 mile run mix like the yellow, orange, and white of a candy corn – not well.

Halloween as a teen can be tough. Long-honored Halloween traditions are carelessly forsaken. Well, not carelessly. It was agonizing to solve linear equations instead of watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or study the anatomy of the ear instead of carving pumpkins. And even though I firmly believe that teens need to call it quits on dressing up and collecting candy, it’s hard. I remember the camaraderie of dressing up and walking the neighborhood with my sister and cousins. Memories of my childhood and acne of my teens have me (and my sweet tooth) wavering.

So, what are my plans for Halloween? Shut all the blinds and tape black paper to the window on the door? Give out poisoned, razor-embedded candy? (Or worse, apple slices and carrot sticks?) Compose a scathing letter to the Homeowner’s Association about the joyful noise and constant doorbell-ringing, suggesting that next year all trick-or-treaters be boiled in a vat of chocolate and a sharpened witch’s broom stuck through their heart? (If you caught the obscure Christmas Carol quip, I applaud you.)

Nope. My plan: after cross-country practice, distribute the candies that my sister hasn’t eaten from the monster bag, wear plaid pajamas that no self-respecting Florida girl should be caught dead in, and watch an Alfred Hitchcock film. Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, not Psycho. That would be way too in the spirit of Halloween.

Candy. Jack-o-Lanterns. Halloween. Bah! Humbug.

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