Sunday, November 2, 2008

Avoiding Halloween

My mother says it's not right, our avoiding Halloween this year. Last year we carved pumpkins, handed out candy, enjoyed the fun of the night. But this year we didn't carve pumpkins. We watched as our neighbors sat their pumpkins outside, some carved, some not. We drove over the bits in the days before the holiday, as the bored teenagers (we politely call them hoodlums) had seemed to throw them in the streets, smashing them to bits. Buying a pumkin that costs more than 10 dollars and seeing it end up in the street didn't sound like any fun, so we declined.

And then the trick or treaters, how nuts! Last year I was thrilled! Our neighborhood is fairly small, so I wasn't expecting more than maybe a 100-150 kids, if others from the various neighborhoods on base came. Boy was I ever wrong! At about 7 p.m. last Halloween I got knocks. Cute little fairy princesses, witches, ninas, and animals. It started with a knock every couple minutes or so (I turned our doorbell off, my husband was desperately trying to get sleep before having to go into work). Eventually though, it became a stream so steady that I literally didn't close our front door for 2 1/2 hours straight. Except at one point when I woke my husband up to run to the store for more candy, and I hid in our house with the lights all off, terrified of the sound of a knock on the door.

We had been warned ahead of time it was crazy, but I never imagined that crazy. You see, the people who live off base bring their neighbors British kids on base to trick or treat, and that accounts for quite a few kids. Ditto for British people who work on base. And then add in the teenagers who are, in my opinion, way too old to trick or treat. In my parents house the cutoff was 13 or 14. I think nowadays it would be easier to say the cut off should be when you are old enough that you don't think it's cool to make any effort, or you make an effort but it's one to look either "sexy" or "terrifying". I had one too many teenage girls in short skirts and fishnets last year. We went through 12 bags of candy, and after that I refused to buy anymore, so I shut the lights of and waited for it to stop. There were trick or treaters still out when I closed my door.

This year we decided to avoid the holiday madness. We made reservations at Cafe Rouge, a nice little place in Bury St. Edmunds, asked for our favorite table, and left the madness as quickly as possible. We had a wonderful meal, with 3 courses, 4 if you count our coffee course at the end. I had a beautiful steak, the first time I have had a steak in months and months. My husband had an amazing meal of Toulouse sausages with new potato salad and thyme jus. It was delicious. We ordered a bottle of wine, we chatted with a neighboring table. We relaxed. And as we were finishing our coffee up (the best cafe au lait I have managed to find so far) we realized we had been there for nearly 2 1/2 hours. Quite well done, we were proud, knowing we decided to spend some great time together. And by the time we got home, for all intents and purposes, Halloween would be over.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday, to whatever degree you participated! I'll leave you with a picture from our night out.

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