By Trina Machacek
I have a favorite…fill in the blank. Color, actor, song, tree, bubble gum? Yesterday I noticed in the Halloween candy isle everyone has a favorite candy. It was really fun watching people choosing candy—to give away. Wink, wink. Is this the start of a great time of the year or what!
In a very short narrative, some believe Halloween is the night when the lightest part of the year, summer ends and the darkest part of the year, winter begins. The worlds of life and death are the closest and families can invite departed love ones into their homes because the two worlds are so close together that dead guys can come through a barrier back to this world. But! Yep a “but.” But also at that time bad dead guys from the “nother” world can also get ya! BOO! So that is where costumes come in. To scare the bad dead guys away from your home. Remember that’s the short version. There is much more about religion/boogie men. Want to know more? Goodness sakes just Google: origins of Halloween. I however know what I believe. I am more of a go with the candy side. I don’t try to teach anyone how to or not to celebrate any certain time or the year. Life is way too short to try to fix what will be fixed in the end by someone much bigger than little ole me. Enough said? You bet.
So I do buy candy at Halloween. I have a favorite go to selection and I am certainly not alone. Aisles some 40 feet long are piled…well let me see. I am 5’8” and I can reach to about 6’6” so shelves are piled at least six foot high with candy. That’s easily tons of candy to choose from. Pushing my cart already having made two passes up and down the aisle just looking, (ya right!) I pushed my cart to the opposite side of the aisle and just watched for a few minutes. What a show.
Around 11 a.m. there are no children, just grown-ups. I say that lightly because when candy is involved there is no grown up in grown-ups. Even at eleven in the morning there are several pick-a-treaters. I zero in on an older guy, maybe mid 70’s. He’s only interested in chocolate. He goes for just plain good ole chocolate bars. Little ones. Four bags worth. A little grin and off he went. Next there was a true mom. Grabbed three of the biggest bags of mixed everything. $19.98 each. Throws them in her cart and scurries off. No wait! A second stop at the end of the aisle. The bags are much smaller $2.98 each. She puts her finger to her chin squints her eyes just a touch, her head is moving side to side—up and down. Then the discovery! Tiny bite sized peanut butter cups. Her demeanor lightens as she drops two bags of what is clearly her favorite in her cart. Oh she is so going to hide those when she gets home.
Finally I focused on the last one. A woman and a man, married I would guess, and just as they turned up the aisle he lit up like, well like a jack-o-lantern that just had his candle lit! She tried to put the cart in reverse, I think I might have even heard some gears grind! Too late. He was already in sugar heaven. No way was she going to get him out of that aisle until he got something with sugar, nuts, caramel, cookies, nougat everything into their cart! The hunt was on.
He picked up one of the “everything” bags. Twenty bucks. No said the wife. Next he grabbed a bag of chewy pink gum. Sticks to your teeth she said. Suckers? No, she was adamant. They were sour apple with a dot of caramel in the center. Again she said, “They stick to your teeth, remember last year??” Well apparently those memories were pretty gruesome because the suckers quickly went back on the shelf.
Then he hit on it, peppermint and chocolate. He held up a bag and she beamed. I could see this was a dance these two had done for several years. Him grabbing and pouting at her no, no, no-ing until he picked up what he knew she loved, peppermint and chocolate. He grabbed two sacks put them in the cart and off the floated together. But at the end of the aisle she stopped, reached behind him and grabbed two bags of Peanut M&M’s—for him. Hey now that is what I call trick or treating.
So BOO! There’s no such thing a celebration just for kids. Happy Halloween.
Trina lives in Eureka. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org