My apologies to the trick-or-treaters on our road between 6 and 7pm tonight, who were disappointed to get no candy from our house. Let me explain.
We live on a relatively short cul-de-sac, with 22 houses and dozens of small kids. For the past few years, most of the parents and kids would trick-or-treat on the street together, with the parents at the upcoming house running ahead to be there to answer the door. While we were all out, we’d leave our trays of candy outside the front door with a sign, in case anyone came by and we missed them. At least 12 of the houses had trays loaded with candy in front of them at some point.
This year, a couple of high-school kids caught on, and almost every single tray on the street was emptied while we were out. As we were all returning from the far end of the street, I overheard another family complain “another house with nobody home and no candy!” I felt terrible as I ran in the back and headed to answer the door, where our tray was completely empty. My 3-year-old was not to happy with me grabbing a handful of her candy to hand out – I had to make a couple hasty promises that I’m sure I’ll regret. Later I raided the kitchen for raisin snack packs to fill the tray, and while most kids were good-natured about it, I’m sure a few won’t be back next year because they didn’t get candy.
Mostly, I’m ticked off. I brag that I live in a neighborhood where the neighbors all know each other and look out for each other, and we can more-or-less leave the door unlocked. When something like this happens, as small as it is, it reminds me that the real world isn’t like that. Bummer.