Daily Archive for October 31st, 2010

“Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)” – Year Seven–even though I somehow missed Year Six

Another Halloween and in going back to copy and paste my annual Halloween post, I just realized that I somehow missed posting this last year. So it has been two years since I last posted this slightly updated version of the original “Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)” post made in 2004.

I think I might have forgotten to post this last year, because I actually planned to go to my friend Dave’s Halloween Bash and was worried about putting a costume together: Miss Scarlet from Clue. But in reality, the costume wasn’t that difficult to put together because, I was just trying to find another reason to wear that ugly red dress I wore to the first Blogger Prom and all I had to do was to convince Yoshi to let me buy (and carry around) a red pipe wrench all night.

This year finds me crowned as the reigning Blogger Prom Queen (Hey! Can I just wear my tiara and call that a costume?!) and living next door to annoying neighbors– #neighborhooddrama or #neighborhooddorama! I’m a little scared to be at home for Halloween because I really don’t know what this neighborhood has in store for us tonight. I may wake up and find the front of my house egged or TP’d. If only being Blogger Prom Queen meant that I could live in the Official Blogger Prom Castle, but alas, the Blogger Prom Kingdom was rocked with subprime mortgages last year before I took the throne. Last I heard, the Castle is in the midst of being foreclosed upon. Bummer.

Actually, I was supposed to meet up with EB in Vegas for Halloween, but I canceled the trip, seeing as I’ve been traveling almost every weekend since Labor Day. I also got sick last night, so it’s probably a good thing I didn’t fly to Vegas on Friday night as planned. But since I had not planned on going to any parties in L.A., it means I’ll probably be sitting inside the house, hiding in the dark from the trick-or-treaters since I didn’t even bother to buy candy this year…

Nonetheless, I am taking a couple of moments to post my annual Halloween story in honor my Mom, who is in Taiwan (again) this fall.

Happy Halloween.

Joz at the pumpkin patch in 1984.  I like how my eyes are closed in this shot.  (How did 20 years go by so quickly?!)When my brother and I were kids, we learned about most American traditions for the first time either on television or in school. Since our parents had come from Taiwan to the United States only a couple of years before I was born, they pretty much learned about American holidays at the same time my brother and I did… and that was usually when I came home from school talking about something I’d learned in class.

Of all the various American holidays we’d learned about, Halloween was especially exciting because my Mom had fun with “dressing us up.” Although she claimed that she didn’t know how to sew, she always came up with costumes for us… like the year my brother was a cowboy with a little red cowboy hat and matching vest, and I was an Indian squaw complete with feathers in my hair. Having costumes meant that we were sufficiently prepared to go trick-or-treating and to come home with a bag full of candy that we weren’t actually allowed to eat, since it would “rot our teeth out of our mouths.”

My mother has a background in medicine, having gone to medical school in Japan and then becoming a pharmacist in Taiwan. Although she liked getting us in costumes and taking us trick-or-treating, she never allowed us to eat the candy we brought home because it was full of sugar and artificial flavors and colors. Since we weren’t allowed to eat the candy, the strategy was to take us out early & to give away the candy that we had received earlier in the evening. We didn’t mind having our candy passed back out again; Mom had scared us about the dangers of sugary treats and really, the candy wasn’t important to us… we just loved the costumes and going door-to-door.

One year, my Mom informed us that our cousins were planning to come to our neighborhood so we could all go trick-or-treating together. We would be going at later time than our usual “early shift.” Since our cousins actually kept their candy, Mom decided that rather than re-distributing the candy my brother and I got via our front door, instead, our lucky cousins would go home with a double-bounty of candy, theirs AND ours! That also meant that Mom would actually have to prepare treats in advance for Dad to pass out while we were trick-or-treating.

And since I was starting to have neighbor kids in the same classes with me, I started becoming concerned about exactly what candy was being given away at our front door. I still remember the day Mom returned from the supermarket, proudly announcing that she had purchased “the BEST trick-or-treat goodies” for the neighborhood kids. My brother and I excitedly went through the grocery bags but we didn’t find any Smarties, M&Ms, little Snickers bars, or even candy corn.

“Mom?” I asked, combing through the groceries. “Where are the treats?”
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