A Busy Halloween Weekend

I had a pretty busy weekend. The end result is that the bedroom is ready for the trim to be nailed up and painted with a second coat, and the floor cleaned — then it will finally be DONE until the very end of our second floor renovations, when we’ll have carpeting put down. There’s no sense in doing it now, as there will still be renovating going on up there.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, the upstairs room was successfully repainted from yellow to lavender, as were the closets, and the trim got a coat of semi-gloss white — and I may or may not have done it entirely by myself. I plead the fifth. Let’s just say my impatience is legendary, and even more pronounced thanks to the massive amounts of hormones currently circulating throughout my body.

Saturday night was our costume party. Instead not dressing up at all and being a “Debbie Downer,” as my husband lovingly refers to me in instances such as this, I went with the second-easiest course of action: jeans, sweater, leftover devil ears and tail, and cat makeup. I felt ridiculous, but eventually forgot about the extra goop on my face. We didn’t get home until 2:30 a.m., which is a record for me in the past few months. We brought a nice bottle of wine for the hosts and I enjoyed the impressive spread put out.

Where I wasted money was on the five bags of Halloween candy I’d purchased for the holiday — we only got TWO trick-or-treaters, even though it was a Sunday. While it’s officially our second Halloween in our current home, we weren’t home last year, so I had no idea how many kids to expect. Next year, someone remind me that one bag will be more than sufficient.

On Monday I’ll be doing my invoice billing for October while waiting for the utility company to send a guy over to repair a gas line I had capped last summer. Our all-season porch room has its own gas heater, but last year we discovered the gas line was leaking. Since I wasn’t sure what we were going to do with the heater back there, I just had the guy cap the line, but now I want it repaired. I should have had them fix it the first time — now this guy will have to crawl all the way back in the storage space under the room to do the repair. But I’m going to want to keep that room warm once the baby comes. In the case of a C-section where I can’t really do the stairs, I can use the room as a bedroom, thanks to the futon we have back there. And in general, it gets really cold back there, since the ductwork for our main forced-air heat was never extended into that room.

I’ll also have to squeeze in some grocery shopping. Then it will be nap time and yet another late shift at work, starting at 5 p.m.

The Worst Halloween Treats, Ever

As an adult, I just can’t get behind Halloween. Sure, I go to costume parties almost every year, but the holiday just doesn’t have the same allure for me that it has for many others who start getting excited about it when September rolls around (my husband is included in this bunch). As a kid, it’s a time to play dress-up and beg for the candy you’ve been deprived of all year — and then eat it with reckless abandon until you either fall into a diabetic coma or your parents come to their senses and take it away.

But some of the “candy” — well, it was absolutely useless. Mere filler in our trick-or-treat bags (yes, we used bags. I believe they glowed in the dark, too). Here’s the worst of the worst, from what my poor memory allows me to remember.

The Crappiest Halloween “Treats” of the 1980s

Necco Wafers. If I wanted a chalky, near-tasteless wafer, I’d go to church and receive communion! C’mon, now.

100 Grand. In my entire life, I’ve never seen anyone go out to the store and pick up a 100 Grand bar of their own volition. This nasty candy only comes out of the woodwork at Halloween — probably because it’s on sale and people are trying to buy the cheapest candy they can find.

Mary Janes. What were these? I don’t think I ever ate one — I knew they weren’t chocolate! Wikipedia tells me it’s a taffy-like “candy” made of molasses and peanut butter. And… wait for it… they’re made by NECCO. Well, that explains it.

Chunky. A hunk of chocolate (so far, so good) with peanuts AND raisins. #candyfail

A stack of pennies — wrapped in tape. We had a neighbor up the street who was nice enough, but when it came to trick-or-treaters, she decided handing out pennies was the way to go. But we had to give her props for taking the time to put them in nice little stacks kept together with Scotch tape.

Circus peanuts. I’m pretty certain I received some of these, loose, on one or two Halloweens. Ew.

Apples. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just plain ol’ apples — not even the candied kind. If we wanted healthy snacks, would we be out begging for candy? Luckily for us, all those myths (and some actual instances here in New Jersey) of sickos putting razorblades and pins in apples saved us from this Halloween indignity.

Boxes of raisins. Same thing as the apples. I put raisins on my cereal as a kid, so they had a healthy connotation. These were also left in the trick-or-treat bag to rot.

Treats I loved

Rollerball pens. Back in the 80s, I thought this was a super-cool alternative to candy. I didn’t know this neighbor well, so I don’t know what he did for a living. Maybe he was a dentist and abhorred the idea of giving out sweets. No matter his reasoning, I applaud his ingenuity, and love this type of pen to this day.

Bags of chips. Further up the street, about 2 blocks away, was the house where they gave out the snack-size bags of chips. Naturally, by nature of their larger size (but not weight, of course), we thought we hit the jackpot. To this day, this family owns a popular grease truck from which they sell hot dogs and these blessed bags of potato chip goodness.

Full-size candy bars. Perhaps these neighbors were just trying to outdo the rest of the block, but as kids, we thought they were the bee’s knees.

I’m sure some of you can scare up some horror stories about your Halloween trick-or-treat booty. Let’s hear ’em!