Thursday, October 30

I Don't Get It

I'm about to type a string of words I NEVER thought would even cross my mind. It almost hurts to say it. Actually, it DOES hurt to say it. Real, physical pain.

North Dakotans do Halloween right.

Now, I am NOT one to give North Dakotans credit for anything. There's a reason I ran from that place as fast as I could when I was 17 and barely glanced back.

It's weird there.

But, after tonight, I'm beginning to see the advantages to the weirdness.

North Dakotans are a special breed. They are exceptionally polite. They look out for others. They are extremely trust-worthy. They are honest. They aren't in a hurry. Just a tiny example, you can leave your car running while you run into Wal-Mart there. Without locking the doors. You'll still have a car when you get back. You might even come back to find that somebody has brushed the snow off your car because people there just plain look out for one another.

There is, of course, a downside to this. People look out for one another. In other words, everybody is always all up in everybody's business. Since the place is seriously lacking in population, that means that EVERYBODY knows EVERYTHING that you do.

I suppose that lends itself to why Halloween there is kick-ass. Ain't nobody getting away with putting razor blades in candy when EVERYBODY knows exactly who is handing out the snack-sized Snickers bars. No kids are getting kidnapped when EVERYBODY knows who is walking down the street and when they are doing it. It's like Big Brother is everywhere, and really that can be pretty darn useful if you are the parent of small children.

The other thing they do right is LOTS of organized opportunities to trick-or-treat. Sure, you can totally set kids free for a few hours in a neighborhood, but you can also manage to hit three or four good complexes/organized candy orgies in one night. Of course, it helps that Halloween is ON FREAKIN' HALLOWEEN.

I don't know if it's a Pittsburgh thing or what, but I had to actually look up when Halloween is in our little township. The schedule for Halloween all over the greater Pittsburgh area? ALL OVER THE PLACE. Depending on where you live, it could have been Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday.

What is this thing where Halloween is scheduled for some night that is not Halloween? And WHY IS IT SCHEDULED?

Can't we just go out on October 31st and select the time based on what is appropriate for our kid? I mean, the little kids go while it's still light out and the bigger kids get to stay out a little past dark and the really big kids wrap up the night by staying out until 9 or 10:00.

We can't be trusted to do that? We HAVE to trick-or-treat at the assigned time on the assigned date? Really?

Please explain this to me. I am confuzzled.


(Photo is from gymnastics on Tuesday. The kids were allowed to wear costumes and Alexis decided to sport the Snow White gear after having worn Minnie Mouse to no less than three Halloween events already.)

39 comments:

  1. I wish I could help you with that.I can't.I am also confused by that.When we lived in Indiana if Halloween fell on a school night they would have it on a weekend night.Halloween being one of my favorite holidays this made me very angry.You can't have fun if its not really Halloween dangit.

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  2. Anonymous1:04 AM

    When I was little, Trick-or-Treat was always on the 31st and usually started when it got dark. Everything has to be on a schedule now. America is OCD.

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  3. I love having different things scheduled over a few days. I'm all about stretching out the time that we dress the kids in their cheap ass store bought costumes over and over so I get my money's worth!

    I'm a little bitter over not getting to make their costumes this year!

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  4. Can't explain it. Because that is just weird.

    Round these parts, organized candy orgies are called Trunk or Treat. Best Halloween invention EVER. Its fast, effective and easy. And after we hit the Trunk or Treats in the area, Jon is taking the big kids trick or treating.

    Because you can never have too many fun sized snickers.

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  5. Like Cecily, we've got the whole Trunk or Treat thing going on here. The struggle is making the teenager wear a costume if he expects to get candy.

    I think he's decided to go to the movies, instead.

    And? Alexis is just about the most darling Cinderella EVER.

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  6. I like the word confuzzled. And I would be too if I had to plan my trick or treating by a schedule!

    We are headed out tonight, on the regular Halloween night to collect as many snickers as we can. Not that I don't have 3 bags of my own just in case we get a trick or treater. Because we live down a very dark driveway in a neighborhood with one family with kids, we won't. Guess who wins all the snickers? Mwahhhhahahahah....ME!

    Oh and could your Snow White be any cuter?

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  7. Ah, the beauty of living in the country. Drive 50 miles here and there, visiting friends and family members, go any night you please, and love the fact that there are homemade goods in their buckets.

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  8. Anonymous7:37 AM

    never got the whole halloween on a different night thing, either. i do however like the scheduled thing just so i know exactly what time i have to man my front door and don't have to expect my doorbell to ring at 10pm after i've got it all packed up. that's annoying.

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  9. The ONLY reason that I like the scheduling thing is when it happens that our scheduled time is different from that in my parents' neighborhood. Double score! This year, not so lucky.

    BTW, it wasn't ALWAYS this way in the Burgh. That goes hand-in-hand with the paranoia that's run rampant since I grew up (not BECAUSE I grew up, just since).

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  10. Halloween should be the 31st. Period. I hate all this PC organizing business. I understand some people may not celebrate it, but you know what? They don't have to dress up and go trick or treating. I mean, I don't celebrate Easter for what it stands for, and yet I don't get upset when other people do. I wish we could all just live and let live.

    Our poor kids are being stripped of some of the fondest memories I had growing up because everyone is so afriad of pissing everyone else off.

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  11. Kathy8:02 AM

    I am a Pittsburgher who currently lives in Ohio and it is really bad here, they schedule Trick-or-Treating on Sun from 3-5PM. It isn't even dark out! And probably one out of every 5 homes participate. We actually usually make a trip to the 'Burgh on Halloween to visit relatives and Trick-or-Treat on the 31st there in the dark in a neighborhood where almost everyone is partipating (Pleasant Hills). I thought it was ironic when I read your post because I am quick to tell everyone here how great Halloween is back in Pittsburgh.

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  12. Anonymous8:24 AM

    I don't understand it either! Why would a town sit down & decide to trick or treat on a Wednesday when Halloween is on Friday? I can maybe understand the whole concept of not trick-or-treating in the dark (if you have ever tried to navigate Bloomfield in the dark with little goblins darting between the cars, you understand) but why not on the actual day???

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  13. I know in my neighborhood, the high school football game is a big deal. so they never do halloween on a Friday. I like the scheduling, I must admit, because I like knowing when to expect people, and when I can stop. I think part of the scheduling is the safety issue. I know it's been taken pretty far.

    We handed out candy last night, and tonight we are going in a nearby neighborhood so DearDR can join us. Best of both worlds!

    ciao,
    rpm

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  14. Yep... it is odd, although it certainly came in handy last night. We took the boys to the Children's Museum for their 'Spooktacular', fully expecting some kind of Halloween party. Nope... just extended hours. When it was clear that there would be nothing outside of the regular exhibits, my husband mentioned that they were trick or treating in Ambridge, and that his folks (who live there) were disappointed they weren't going to see the kids in costume. Hello! Thanks for mentioning.... 45 minutes and a quick stop at McDonald's later for pre-candy nourishment (cough, cough), my kids were doing the Halloween thang...

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  15. RPM got it right - HS football is king around these parts, so Trick or treatcan't interfere with that. We had ours last night, too.

    Also - I am sitting at my desk right now, wearing the same coatume as Alexis. She looks much cuter.

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  16. I've never understood the Halloween scheduling thing either. Why make life more complicated than it already is?

    She looks adorable.

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  17. Google Toms River Halloween Parade. It's the 2nd largest Halloween parade behind the village in NYC. That parade is on Halloween night, so all of Toms River goes trick or treating the night before so everyone can go to the parade. I've never been, have no desire to go. I heard it's freaking crazy.
    I never heard of any other place (besides TR) trick or treating any other day but Halloween. Weird.

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  18. I grew up in Ohio and then spent some years in the Burgh (living on a hill so no kid ever come to our door and I was forced to eat the candy myself every year). So I am used to the scheduled thing.

    This year I kept looking in the newspaper for trick or treat times. Nothing. Hmmm. So I turned to my mom's group and sent out an email asking if anyone had heard when trick or treat was scheduled for our town. I got a lot of baffled responses - they all said it was on Halloween and started around 6ish and just turn off your light when you run out of candy. But they said it in a way that I knew they thought I was a little dense. Then someone clued me in that it is always on Halloween day here. They apparently tried to move it once because it was a Sunday and everyone threw a hissy. Huh - what a concept.

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  19. @michellesmiles has got it right. I don't remember ever needing to know when to expect the kids because you just turned your porch light on when you were open for business and turned it off if there was no candy to be had. As kids, we knew to skip the houses that weren't lit.

    It was a big help for the houses that got tons of traffic. The owners didn't have to say "no" or scrounge for more stuff.

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  20. What ever did happen to just good old fashioned trick or treating?? We go to a thing at our church called "Trunk or Treat" partly b/c my boys are so young. I hope to be able to let 'em loose someday though just to go door to door. Maybe where they're 18...

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  21. It is very strange how Halloween has morphed into some organized event. I have heard that no one even goes trick or treating around here anymore. I grew up in a small town in Mass and we went all over the neighborhood (with parents at a respectable distance). I miss that!

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  22. Halloween starts at 3 in our neighborhood. Who in the world is home from work by 3 on a weekday. Kids who show up to my house for candy at 3 will be very sad because there will be no one there.
    I grew up with the lights on, lights off concept too. It worked for us, I'm not sure why it wouldn't work now.

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  23. you need to come over to my neighborhood! T or T is always on the 31st. From 6-8, but the big kids keep coming until about 9. The whole different day thing is just, WRONG!

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  24. I understand having Halloween on Sat. if it lands on Sunday, but to just change days for no reason is INSANE!!!!

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  25. That is weird, I've never heard of that before.

    Happy Halloween!

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  26. Are you fer real? How bizarre! Here in the heartland we trick or treat when we like and where we like. And if there are razors in our apples, so be it.

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  27. Scheduled Halloween? I mean, it's already SCHEDULED and has been since the beginning of time on Oct. 31?

    Weird.

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  28. I don't get that either! When I was young, we went on Halloween, door to door!

    This is maybe the 2nd time since my oldest, who's 8, was born that we are going on Halloween!

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  29. anglophilefootballfanatic.com3:40 PM

    I guess I was under the impression October 31st was the same date every year? And, I'm still waiting for the news from Minot column from about 18 months ago.

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  30. anglophilefootballfanatic.com3:44 PM

    Also, I died a little inside just now while perusing your blogroll for new entertainment and discovered my address WRONG. I am your fiancee and this is how I'm treated? You are dead to me.

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  31. I don't get it either. My guess is someone wanting to go trick'r'treating more than once so he set up different nights for different areas and then he could go everywhere ;)

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  32. Wow, I've never ever heard of organized halloween... that's crazy!

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  33. From what I've heard, some neighborhoods have it on Saturday daylight, because they feel it is safer. Some had it Thursday this year because they had high school football games on Friday and heaven forbid you mess with that. Ours was tonight, (Friday), in spite of high school football. I like it being at night, but I'm not going to have a clue who all my new neighbors are when I see them during the day.

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  34. Granilla's lame-assed neighborhood used to schedule Halloween - as in Trick or Treating was only allowed between certain hours. I don't know what the penalty was for failing to abide by the Halloween schedule, but there used to be one. Now there isn't, anymore.

    I just want to throw it out there that I think Granilla is totally lame for turning off her lights before 9:00 pm tonight. WTF is that about.

    Anyway, at least Sumo went Trick-or-Treating in his wagon. He wanted to stay out longer but Granilla whined so we had to come home.

    *pout*

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  35. in the city proper it's always on Oct. 31, 5:30 - 7:30. It would be nice if they either started it at 6 or extended it until 8. the traffic to get home from work in time is always insane.

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  36. Now that's really weird...It's Halloween socialism!! *KIDDING* One year in SC Halloween was on Sunday so for whatever reason people were having this big controversy as to whether they should trick or treat on Saturday instead...weird. I'm takin' my kids trick or treatin' on Halloween no matter which day it falls on. I turned away all the kids that came on sat., the day before Halloween, and told 'em to come back on Halloween 'cause you know good & well they would have hit me up two day sin a row otherwise!

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  37. We've always had Halloween on Halloween, but I know it's becoming a new "thing" to schedule it for a different night. I don't understand it at all...

    (Sorry in advance for the multiple comments, I was a complete slacker all weekend, and I'm trying to catch up.)

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  38. Scheduled? Really? Weird.

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