Every Halloween, my sister and I always had great costumes. Well, except the year that I was a lumberjack. Imagine a 13 year old in a flannel shirt with dark denim overalls, boots, a hat and a coffee grounds beard. Yes, you read that last part right. My mom saw on the Today show that you could put Karo syrup on your face and then press coffee grounds in it to make a realistic looking beard. Too bad none of my middle school classmates wanted to be around me all day because I stunk like coffee!
My mom always had costumes taken care of, so I spent my pre-Halloween days thinking about strategy. Candy loading strategy.
We never fooled with those cute little plastic pumpkin candy carriers. We carried pillow cases. You could throw them over your shoulder and truck it to your next stop. Really, I don’t think my sister had much thought behind how much candy we got or what our strategy was, but me, being the older, wiser and one with the biggest appetite for chocolate, led the way.
The goal was to go to as many houses as possible in the allotted time. It might have meant having my mom drop us off at one end of the neighborhood where it was easier for us to make one straight line back home. Or it may have been avoiding cul-de-sac's to avoid too much walking and minimal candy stops on the street. Main drags were the best, but often they gave out less candy because they had the volume of trick-or-treaters to deal with. The path changed slightly every year based on who I learned was stingy who I learned actually gave out FULL SIZE candy bars. They were the gold.
Once we schlepped back home with the pillow cases full of candy, we had the great candy exchange. I would give up the “bad” candy (anything not chocolate- think Smarties, Tootsie Pops, Blow Pops, etc) for chocolate. Snickers and Reeses were my favorite. My sister would then go to sleep and I would steal some candy from her and put it in my bag before I went to sleep. Bad, right?
Consumption of Halloween candy was also different between older (and fat) sister versus younger (and stickly) sister. I would have all my candy eaten within days. My sister could go over a year without finishing all her candy. I would learn where she hid the candy and would steal it piece by piece throughout the next month. After that, it was getting noticeable that the stash was getting smaller, so I quit.
What's weird is, looking back, I have no idea why I operated this way. Why did I feel I had to get the most candy? Why did I feel like I had to eat it all, and then steal from my sisters stash? I didn't know other kids who did these sorts of things. Was it a genetic part of my fatness coming out? A pre-disposition to overindulgence in chocolate covered treats? Why, at such a young age (really as far back as I can remember), was it so much a part of me to want to hoard food like this? Food for thought (bad pun intended).
As I write this now, it is during my city's trick-or-treat time. I am the mean neighborhood lady who isn't giving out candy. I'm hunkered down in my basement and my upstairs lights are turned off. There are no pumpkins on my front porch. I did this selfishly so I didn't have to be around all the candy, and also for the kids, because they would be greeted at the door by a crazy lady in her workout clothes with a chocolate-smeared face and caramel stuck to my teeth. No one should have to see that. Plus, using my fat kid logic, I am on a short cul-de-sac that isn't as convenient as staying on the main drag.
I'll leave you with a picture of me the last time I dressed up for halloween. 2006 while in grad school. About 315 pounds. On the bottom I had cuffed jeans with fake Ugg boots. Oh how Britney has changed since then!