So I think that as kids, we never understood the true meanings and reasonings of Halloween. It was a relatively simple idea, dress up and ask for candy. Eventually, if you stepped outside of main stream white washing, you’d find out about a couple other world references but really. It was about the candy and costumes. It was about spending the whole month excited about Halloween and building up to it and getting so stoked on candy until finally, after seeing it in stores for a month, you got to spend one night gorging to your heart’s desire, gallivanting like some sugar spun winged monsters through the neighborhood.

No I think that actually Halloween centers around the parents. Around adults in general. ( I almost wrote, in all seriousness, adults at large but then I realized it was a pun and a mean pun, and while I love a good pun, I don’t love mean ones). But adults of a very certain caliber. Halloween centers around all those grownups with their own grocery budgets, when for one month out of the year grocery budget becomes synonymous with “candy allowance money”. Grocery stores start showcasing their best bits and treats, flashing fun sized packaging almost as revealing as some of the saucier grown up costumes. I know this because I am one of those adults. David and I are those adults together.

From a few years ago, Decadent Sunday in February with my family. It shows our love of indulgence pretty well, I’d say

When it comes to just about everything, including food, David and I are really easy on another. We have a strictly enforced no-judgements policy, which isn’t always the best when it comes to using Get Out of Gym cards but is of vital importance when you share less than 450 sq ft of living space. { tangent/ We try to balance it out by playing The Game, only where once you lose, the punishment for losing is to do 15 push ups, but in true The Game style you get to announce it out loud and the other person loses and does 15 push ups too. It’s not just keeping us active, but reminding us to listen to each other occasionally, even when we don’t want to /tangent }

Which is to say, David and I have a careful equilibrium of candy buying through out the year. I won’t judge him his donuts in the same way that he doesn’t judge my coffee habit and need to occasional annihilate a box of Gobstoppers. It was getting harder, though, because at the bank the entire teller line at one point was made up of candy junkies, all of us jonesing for the bags of Lemonheads sold at the drug store at the end of the block. It was a terrifying period of time that only added when the acidity finally gave us all the dangerous beginnings of canker sores. My current coworkers don’t really talk to each other enough to have that kind of problem, not that I’ve noticed yet.

The equilibrium holds up, though, and pretty marvelously. We get maybe one thing of ice cream every month or sometimes must every other month and we usually manage to get to the gym at least three or four times a month. It’s not a lot, but it’s surprisingly consistent, which we’ve decided works for us.

This all disappears though each time October runs around. It started after going out for dinner with our family, when no one* wanted dessert. Our eyes met across the table and I mouthed “ice cream?”  while he leaned forward, confused “hey I don’t know what you just said but do you want to swing by the store for some ice cream on the way home?”

Seriously, this is why I’m with him, in case anyone was wondering at this point. My sister and her husband join us and we’re all in the store with David in the lead, except while I’m distracted chatting with Carol I can’t help but notice our group swerves as David starts walking away from the ice cream aisle smack dab in the middle of the store. “Where’s he going?” my sister starts to ask, but I think I’ve got it figured out. He’s heading towards to the Halloween candy display. I catch up to him and he turns, confused. Isn’t the ice cream this way? He gestures loosely towards the booze aisles. No, I tell him, it’s in the middle. We redirect and he shrugs, “I guess I just always assume when we come to this grocery store we always get booze and ice cream. Hey while we’re here, you want to get some Halloween candy?”

I hand him a bag of snickers and of twix (our universal compromise on candy, negotiated a few years ago) and we head to go get ice cream. This is pretty standard for us. Then at work a few days ago, when he wasn’t in the parking lot when I got off work, I asked him if he was running a little late or something. I looked at my phone and saw a text message, letting me know he was at the store depositing his paycheck and “picking up groceries”. I go to find him standing in line, holding an oversized bag of fun sized, single sticks of KitKats. Because that’s what grocery shopping is during October–it’s nonjudgementally grabbing bags of candy and the going home and eating said candy. Shamelessly. For dinner. More nights than we’re willing to admit to.

Halloween is what some really smart parents invented to do with all the crap they were eating during the month of October, that final garage sale of chocolate where you pawn as much candy as you can bear to part with onto other people, other families. Time to make space, you know. Next month it’s the turkey’s turn. You might say you’re stocking up for Halloween, but if you’re the right kind of person, the smart kind of person, it’s more about getting rid of your leftovers.

*Except my sister. Yes, Carol, you were right and we should have ordered dessert. This all could had been maybe prevented by dessert. At the very least, dessert would have made things that much sweeter**.

**Hey Carol go show that pun to your husband. I want to picture him smacking himself in the forehead judgmentally over that pun.


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