Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Flashback

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  And it is not just because it falls in my birthday month and when I was born the nurses at the hospital decorated my crib with black cats and pumpkins, which they did.  When I was little, I would get so excited about trick-or-treating that I would make myself sick with anticipation.  It was the one day a year when I was allowed to wear make-up.  The entire world changed on Halloween night - sidewalks were crowded with princesses, ghosts, witches, vampires and cartoon characters.  Porches were lit aglow with grinning yellow and orange jack-o-lanterns.  The fallen leaves made spooky noises as they skittered across the sidewalks while I ran door-to-door with my increasingly heavy plastic pumpkin bucket.  And there was free candy.  FREE CANDY.  One of the most tragic memories of my childhood was the year a blizzard cancelled Halloween in Omaha.  I was devastated.

Last night Paul and I had a conversation that lasted all the way from Provo to Salt Lake about what Halloween candy we loved and what Halloween candy we hated.  We both agreed that Jolly Ranchers were the worst.  We also discussed candy trading strategies that we employed on our siblings in order to get the ideal mix of desirable candy.  For example, I knew people liked Butterfingers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (which I never cared for) so they were pretty valuable for extorting the Kit-Kats and Almond Joys that I wanted.  My mother always made us combine a portion of our haul to fill a huge "family" bowl.  I always threw in my Tootsie Rolls and Dum-Dums which I hated anyway, but I'd also add the peanutty Baby Ruths that I knew were my parent's favorites. 

When Paul and I got home last night, I went to the basement and raided my mother's jumbled and dusty boxes of photographs looking for Halloween photos.  Turns out my parents weren't so big on taking photos because I could only find a couple of Halloween photos, and I was a pirate in almost all of them.  But I also remember being Little Red Riding Hood, a Light Princess, a cheerleader, and a greek goddess.  The Light Princess costume was a response to losing my brother one year while trick-or-treating when practically every little boy in America dressed up as the 1989 Jack Nicholson version of the Joker from "Batman" and my brother ended up following the wrong Joker around the neighborhood all night thinking it was the friend we were trick-or-treating with until he finally came home on his own.  The next year my mother bought me a costume laced with Christmas lights and a battery pack so I looked like one of the Main Street Electric Parade floats walking around and was impossible to lose. 

Anyway, I have to confess that one of the things I look forward to most about when Paul and I actually have kids is being able to dress them up for Halloween and take them trick-or-treating door-to-door.  And I will take loads of photos.  And I plan to dress up too.  But, since we don't have kids, how about a Halloween flashback of yours truly?  (And yes, I do know this is super nerdy of me).

Me as a witch in 1983.  I had just turned three.  That's my mom on the right behind me holding my little brother Seth.

Me as a pirate in 1988.  I had just turned eight.

Same year with my best friend Toby who dressed up as a goblin.

Paul is supposed to stop by his parent's house today and look for some Halloween photos of himself.  If he finds some, you can expect an update.  Happy Halloween!


  1. I don't remember the Halloween you lost Seth, or the one you dressed up as a light princess. I wish you had pictures of that one, because I'm not quite sure what a light princess is.

  2. Am I remembering this right? Didn't we dress up one year when you were visiting in CA? I think we were 15 or 16 and we dressed up as Zorro and a safari women and went trick-or-treating. We went to the Neilans and all the boys from the ward were there and we were totally embarassed!

  3. Carrie, you are so totally right. I couldn't remember what I dressed up as that year. That was awesomely embarrassing. Do you have any photos from that year? Because if so, I would love to see them! Do you guys dress up to hand out candy and take Isaac around?


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