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When is Enough Enough?

Trick or treat night brings out irrational fears that have nothing to do with ghosts and goblins.

I wish I enjoyed trick-or-treat night. I have the easy job. I sit on the porch, hand out candy and "ooh" and "aah" over the costumes.

It's not relaxing. All I'm thinking is, "I hope I have enough candy."

Our first Halloween in our house had me sending my husband to the store 30 minutes into Halloween night. I don't know where all those ghosts and princesses came from, but they descended on our house in droves. I made the rookie mistake of letting them pick what they wanted. Not only did this cause a back-up of undecided costumed friends (“Should I pick the Skittles or the peanut butter cups?"), but we also had plenty of scoopers who grabbed an entire handful.

I quickly learned to keep the bowl up and toss the candy into the bag with a "Happy Halloween" for a distraction.

One year I was so happy to discover a local grocery store that offered to buy back any unused, unopened Halloween candy. Perfect for a neurotic like me! I bought tons of candy and had no worries that we would run out. The next day I brought back my unopened bags to the store. As the cashier handed me my refund, she tossed the bags into a large trash can.

Me: “Uhm…what are you doing with that candy?”

Cashier: “Oh, we have to throw it away. By law we can’t put it back on the shelves in case someone tainted it.”

Me: “But I didn’t taint anything. It’s perfectly fine. I’m just obsessed about having enough candy. I know it’s irrational and probably has to do with my deep seated fear of not having enough, not being enough, not good enough I mean..."

She had already moved on to the next customer.

I left the store thinking I should have just eaten the darn candy because I would have gained less weight on my hips than the 10 pounds of guilt I was carrying on my shoulders for being so wasteful.

This year I got a giant 5.75 pound bag of assorted candies. Plenty of Laffy Taffy, Nerds and Skittles to go around.

Or so I thought.

The old worries started creeping in Halloween Day. What if it’s not enough? What if I run out? As the sun began to set, I went through my pantry pulling out back-up treats. Packages of cheese crackers, small pretzel boxes and even the individually wrapped fine dark Ferrero chocolates made it into a “just in case bag.” I told my kids to walk one side of the neighborhood and then drop off their treats before heading back out so the bags weren’t so heavy for them to carry. I am not above borrowing and recycling it if necessary.

I also had a 10-pack of Easter pencils in case I got really desperate.

But, it turns out that 5.75 pounds was just fine. Whew! Another successful trick-or-treat night.

Maybe I should freeze the leftovers for next year?

Kidding!

Those fun-size Snickers and Hershey bars won’t make it past next week in my house.

Even frozen.

MaryKat November 02, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Joanne, I always enjoy your point of view. This one made me chuckle. (Not to be confused with Chuckles... whatever happened to Chuckles?!)
Joanne LaSpina November 03, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Thanks Mary Kat! What did happen to Chuckles? I also didn't find any Good & Plenty, Sugar Daddies or Chunky Bars in my kids' trick or treat bags. I miss those! Here's a fun website where you can buy all our old favorites: www.oldtimecandy.com.

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