Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Final Time I Went Trick-or-Treating as a Kid


The Final Time I Went Trick-or-Treating as a Kid

I was 12 years old, just a few months in to junior high school, and I was starting to feel like I was too old to go trick-or-treating.  I still loved Halloween, candy, horror movies, all of that, but I just felt like I was getting too big for the door-to-door trick-or-treating stuff.  Bare in mind, I had developed physically a lot faster than the other boys my age.  I was taller, more muscular, and hairier than any of the other boys my age, and people were always asking me if I was older and had been held back.  Sometimes, if a teacher that didn't know me saw me on the campus, they would stop me, thinking I was a high school kid who was causing trouble at the junior high.  By the time I was in high school, most of the other boys had caught up with me, but for a few years, I looked a lot older than my age.

The year before, at the age of 11, I was already getting comments from the adults whose houses I was trick-or-treating at, like "aren't you too old for this?"  Plus, when I was 12, I had just recently moved to a new neighborhood, and didn't know any of the kids that well to go trick-or-treating with them.  So, I had been planning on skipping it that year.  But unbeknownst to me, my mom and step-dad had made plans to get together with some friends of theirs on Halloween, and had arranged for my to go trick-or-treating with their son, who I was kind of friends with, in his neighborhood.  When I talked to their son, he told me he knew a couple of girls we could go trick-or-treating with, so it would kind of be like a double-date.  Suddenly trick-or-treating again sounded kind of awesome!

To sweeten the deal, even further, my Dad-Dad (real dad, not step-dad) said he would make me a homemade costume to wear.  Up until then, I had worn store-bought Ben Cooper Batman costumes pretty much every year.  And I'd always been jealous of the kids who had awesome looking homemade costumes.  So I was really excited to finally have a homemade costume of my own.  I also figured I'd do something a little different this time.  This year, instead of being Batman, I would be another one of my favorite comic book characters.  I would be The Flash!

So, I'm not sure if my Dad had been working on the costume until the last minute (or, more likely, didn't start it until the last minute) but I ended up not getting the costume until the 31st, about an hour before I was supposed to go out trick-or-treating.  My Dad had to drive in from out of town to bring it to me.  I had visions in my head of how cool I was going to look, in a professionally sewn and put together superhero costume, like something out of a movie or TV show.  I was really looking forward to impressing the girls that we were supposed to be going with that night, too.  And then I saw the actual costume.

It started off with red tights.  Next, was a red sweatshirt, with yellow cardboard lightning bolts glued to the sleeves.  Then, there were some yellow socks, with yellow cardboard lightning bolts stapled to them, that I was supposed to wear over my shoes.  Follow that up with a red felt ski mask, with yellow cardboard wings attached to it, to wear over my face.  This wasn't exactly the awesome, professional looking costume I was anticipating.  Why I had thought my dad could actually make me an professional costume in the first place, I don't know.  It's not like I'd ever seen him sew anything before.

If you think the costume sounded kind of lame so far, though, get ready, because I've saved the best part for last.  That would be the Flash lightning bolt insignia on my chest, and the superhero shorts.  My dad had bought me a set of The Flash Underoos, to wear on the outside of the costume.  I remember looking at this costume, and my mind boggled.  I just couldn't believe it.  But, I didn't really have time to question it, and there wasn't any time to get another costume, either.  So I wore it.

I had been hoping to impress the girls I was meeting for the first time that night, with my awesome looking costume.  Instead, the first thing one of them said when I met them was, "are you wearing... underwear?"  Then they both started laughing.  That question then got repeated, over and over again, at every door we knocked on that night.  A lot of the time, people were angry about it, too.  Most people didn't see some poor little kid whose parents had saddled him with a terrible costume.  In their minds, I was a teenager, to old to be trick-or-treating, who was wearing his underwear on the outside as some kind of weird Halloween prank.  And after awhile, I started to see myself that way too, and went from being embarrassed to thinking the whole situation was kind of hilarious, and actually had a lot of fun that night.

Not so much fun that I ever tried trick-or-treating again, though.


  1. Wow. That is quite the tale. I am sure he thought he was doing something cool for you. No pic to share? Would be the Halloween pic of the year!

    1. No, I don't have any pictures from Halloween when I was a kid. I'm not sure why. I don't think I would have been too eager to be photographed that year, anyway.