31 Oct 2011
I was born with a sweet tooth. Correct that, I was born with sweet teeth. You see, my dad is a dentist, which virtually guarantees that I will have a love for anything that sentences me to time in the dentist’s chair. My first love as a child was Halloween. I remember being introduced to her by my parents at a very young age. She sounded like something that could only happen in my dreams. A full day devoted to exchanging, consuming, and storing mass quantities of candy. Really?
Our first date was when I was four years old. Halloween had a singular focus for me – candy. I wasn’t interested in tricks. I wasn’t interested in costumes. These things were only means to an end. My costumes consisted of wearing a striped shirt calling myself a “Yankee”, or carrying a baseball bat suggesting that I was a professional baseball player. Halloween and I had a loving relationship. We dated until adolescence, when most of my friends were breaking up with their Halloween lovers, finding new passions. I still enjoyed the candy and refused to give up on the relationship. Instead, my lazy costumes turned to purchasing a random mask from the drug store, calling myself a “monster”. The best part of masks is that it disguised my rapidly aging face. Instead of being 17 years old, I was a tall 9 year old.
My final year of high school was a difficult time for me and Halloween. We still loved each other, and I wanted to continue to see her. The holiday approached, and in spite of being ridiculed by my friends and family, I put on the rapidly deteriorating mask, and used my highest voice possible to extract candy for the winter season. Remarkably, my best friend also still was in love with his Halloween and decided to join me. We selectively chose neighbourhoods with the highest density of families, with an expectation that this would be highly correlated to better quality candy. We started early, and we went late. Nobody every questioned us – they called our costumes cute and remarked at how big we were for being in grade 4. If anything, it resulted in more candy to help nourish our relatively more needy bodies.
The night was romantic and wonderful – as always. Until the unthinkable happened. Part way through the night, we knocked on a door, only to have our teacher answer. Our breath stopped. In spite of being protected by our masks, I nervously uttered “Mr. Mac” – and we were exposed. “Wiser” he said, as I took my mask off. The next day in class was pure torture. Yet in spite of this, I had months of supply of the freshest and most delicious candy imaginable.
Halloween and I broke up that night, but she continues to be my first love, and one that I still cherish and think of when I sink my teeth into some arbitrary chocolate covered nougat.
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