There are some issues I just won’t discuss unless I’m with people I know agree with me. Abortion. Immigration. Gun control. Universal health care.
But never did I think trick-or-treating was a hot button issue.
Until last week, when trick-or-treating got moved from actual Halloween to the Friday before because of the threat of bad weather on Saturday. This seemed like a fine solution to me. I didn’t have any real plans on Friday and two Halloween parties on Saturday, so I welcomed the change for purely selfish scheduling reasons.
But from a general parent’s perspective, this was also a good idea. My kids look forward to Halloween all year, and they are right in the thick of their trick-or-treating prime. Ruby probably has, at most, three more years of trick-or-treating left, and it would be pretty depressing to have one of three rained out entirely. On top of that, her Nana has been working on her costume since August. I hate to think of all that work just going to waste.
So when I got the news that trick-or-treating had been officially moved, I was happy. My kids were happy. My in-laws (in whose neighborhood we trick-or-treat) were happy. I didn’t understand why everyone wouldn’t be OK with this as a solution.
But the nay-sayers came out of the woodwork, commenting on Facebook and news websites. “Kids have to learn about disappointment,” they said. “You can’t just change the date of Halloween,” they said. “Kids today are so coddled that they think they government can just change the dates of holidays so they don’t have to get their feet wet,” they said.
I certainly understand that kids need to learn about disappointment, and I don’t have a particular problem with big government but I agree that Halloween should stay on Oct. 31.
Then again, I had a friend with an outdoor wedding planned on what turned out to be a rainy day, and she didn’t just cancel her wedding entirely or have a small civil ceremony because of the weather – she had an alternate rain site. My high school’s homecoming alumni tailgate, which was scheduled for tonight, was moved up to yesterday due to the threat of weather. Outdoor events for adults get moved or rescheduled all the time. If it’s feasible – and bumping trick-or-treating up a night was totally feasible, especially given that it was just moving it from one weekend night to another – then why not do it?
Some events can’t just be moved or rescheduled. Ruby has certainly braved the rain on Fat Tuesday and been crushed when a favorite parade wasn’t able to roll due to weather. Hell, I’ve seen multiple grown women cry over Muses getting rained out. So it’s not like Ruby or any other New Orleanian I know is unfamiliar with the concept of the weather screwing up your plans or making conditions less than favorable for celebrating. We get that here more than pretty much any city in America.
I’m sure there were people on Friday who refused to take their kids trick-or-treating to teach them a lesson about how the world works. I’m sure there were people who kept their porch lights off because they disagreed on principle about changing the date of Halloween.
Me? I took my kids out trick-or-treating on a lovely Friday night – and then stayed inside, all cozy and dry while the rain poured outside, on Halloween night, drinking wine and eating all of their Skittles.