I've got a baby face. Sometimes it's awful, specifically when I want to buy a bottle of wine at the grocery store and the cashier thinks my ID is fake because I don't look a day over sixteen. But, there are times where looking like a child has its perks. Halloween is one of those times.
Trick-or-treating had been one of my favorite Halloween activities ever since I was a little child. I went every year dressed in a homemade costume and roamed the streets of my hometown with the promise of free candy. I trick-or-treated until college. I thought, “I’m still a kid, so why the heck not?”
I stopped trick-or-treating the year I attended school in Chicago. My campus wasn't near any neighborhoods great for trick-or-treating. They were all high rise apartments and businesses.
It also didn't help that things were different in college. Everyone is striving to become a real adult so quick the transition is daunting. I felt the need to prove to my peers that I was grown up now. I was ready for the “real world.”
Since we were all adults now, we didn't go trick or treating.
We went to parties. We went school events. Trick-or-treating was for kids.
I had four more Halloweens of parties and bar hopping until I met my friend Sam who convinced me to go trick-or-treating this year. When he brought up the idea, I thought he was joking. Adults don't trick-or-treat! That's for kids! But he was serious. “Will they let us?” I asked as if candy givers checked IDs of trick-or-treaters. Now, this brings me back to my first point about passing for someone not a day over sixteen. I realized I could easily pass for a teen. They have no idea that I was a twenty-two-year-old college senior on their way to becoming the next best selling author or something. So it was settled then. On Halloween, I would go trick-or-treating for the first time in five years.
On the night we went, I dressed as the dancing pumpkin meme and my friend went as David S. Pumpkin from SNL. We walked from his dorm to the neighborhood which had been more upscale. The houses had elaborate decorations and large yards. Sam said he had a good feeling about this neighborhood. We stopped at every house with an open gate and a lit porchlight and not once did someone ask us, “Aren’t you a little too old for trick-or-treating?” No one questioned us once. I felt like a kid again. Memories of trick-or-treating with my friends flooded back to me as we went door to door collecting candy. After the night was done and my pillowcase was full of candy, we dragged our hauls on the CTA back home.
I had the best Halloween I've had in a while. I didn't need to go to a party. I didn't need to get drunk. I felt happy with my bag of candy.
I think what I learned is that I don't need to grow up too fast.
I've only been an adult for five years. I've got plenty of time to figure things out and plenty of time to enjoy myself and enjoy being young.