Trick or Treat

I like Halloween.  I don’t know why.  Certainly, there are no happy childhood associations, though one year my mother did get a pumpkin.

Of course, we only got to watch while she did all the carving.  She wasn’t into collaboration.

If we had been of a Jesus-related faith, I’m certain we wouldn’t have got a Christmas tree.  It’s not like there would have been any presents to put under it.

In the unlikely event we did get a tree, well, I’m sure she would’ve decorated it all by herself while we were at Hebrew School or something.

Anyway, we only got a pumpkin that one time because it got smashed.  Maybe that’s just the fate that awaits all but a few lucky pumpkins come All Hallow’s Eve.  Or maybe we would have had better luck if she wasn’t always yelling at the neighborhood kids.

But still, costumes and chocolates, what is there not to like?

So, when the time came that I was both grown up and coupled up, we moved to California, to a beautiful neighborhood in Old Palo Alto, and set up a holiday-friendly home.

That first year, I was really looking forward to the Trick or Treaters.  I had done my research and knew which candy was the most prized.  I bought five times as many pieces as we could possibly need.  And none of that cheap miniature or corn syrup crap.

When evening arrived, we waited and waited, but our doorbell did not ring.  It seemed odd.  Our lights were on.  Our decorations were up.  Maybe they start later out here, I thought, we just need to give it time.

The time did pass, but our house remained unhaunted.  We tested the doorbell and resumed our watch.  We heard children running and laughing in the street.  Were these the sounds of mere spirits and not flesh and blood boys and girls?

We went outside to investigate.  No, these princesses and pirates were real live kids.  But they were skipping past our address and flocking to the surrounding abodes.

See, ours was a very posh precinct, the neighbors included Steve Jobs and Steve Young as well as other Steves less note-worthy but equally net-worthy.  Though darling, our place stood out, in a Section 8 kind of way.  In truth, many of the nearby garages dwarfed our modest home.

This was prejudice in its purest form.  The treats from our cozy cottage were just as good as the sweets from the stately mansions.  Even better!

Books!  Covers!  What are they teaching in the schools?  People, please!

© 2015 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.