I've become that house.
You know the house.
The house on Halloween that doesn't want to play along anymore. The house on your street owned by the older parents who don't find Halloween nearly as amusing because their shuttered, dark hearts won't allow for such amusement anymore.
The house that turns off the lights on Halloween.
Oh, such a cruel twist.
There was a time that I, the Dark-Hearted One, raided Michaels for the latest in artsy skulls, crafty witches and jumpy skeletons. I played scary organ music from a hidden Boom Box, propped up a life-sized coffin on my front stoop, and dressed as Dracula if you can imagine Dracula as the tallest, meekest suburbanite whose voice was a cross between Pee Wee Herman and Darth Vader.
I gave out good candy -- bars and bars of it. None of this two-items-per-kid nonsense. I let all those sticky fingers dive in and pillage. Sure, I ran out of candy in 20 minutes and had to run back out to the Rite Aid. Sure, I quickly invoked a one-item-per-kid rule resulting in scattered tears. I was still Mr. Halloween.
"And what are you supposed to be?" I'd kindly ask all those young, adorable trick-or-treaters. Their answers were often precious and surprising.
But the question began to haunt me as the years bled on.
"And what are you supposed to be?" I'd kindly ask street-clothed, 17-year-old miscreants who looked like the guys I advised my daughters never to come within 50 feet of.
They did mean things to my pumpkins.
No more candy for them!
For now I lurk in partial darkness, a prisoner in my home, clutching my stash of Milky Ways, mine I tell you, all mine. I close the shutters in the front so the little and big ones can't see me hiding behind my HBO, my candy wrappers mounding on my belly, and my glass of red wine for re-enforcement.
Younger parents have replaced me and so be it. Other parents, to my horror, who have their own ideas about Halloween.
This year Halloween falls on a Thursday. No problem, right? It's more of a treat to have Halloween on a school night. One of the universal laws of the universe has been and should be Halloween is celebrated Oct. 31. But again there's an effort to postpone trick-or-treating to Saturday.
On my street, I was asked to support Saturday trick-or-treating. I did not. And I believe my side lost.
So come Saturday, tricksters might hear the sounds of spooky music or see broom-flying witches impaled face-first into trees or meet a neighborhood Dracula with an equally bad impersonation.
It just won't be my house. Unless, maybe, I can find something awesome at Michaels.
I heard Miley Cyrus costumes are hot this Halloween.