Today I want to start with the fact that I know our Country and World is aching from recent events and tragedies. I do not want to come across flippant and I don’t want anyone to think that I am unaware of what is happening. The truth is I am very aware and I urge anyone who reads my blog that if you are hurting please reach out to someone you love or a professional. If you feel alone, please reach out to me. The truth is that moments like this are difficult to process and we all need one another to pull us through. I also believe in God and I know that his plan for us is good. During turmoil it is difficult to sit and wait upon the Lord. If you cannot sit, go for a walk in nature and watch how the animals move about with trust. Help someone else in need. Please do not suffer alone there are people who can help.
I like to laugh when I am feeling a little unsure. I hope that this story puts a smile of your face.
My story today is Trick or Treating 1970’s version. In the seventies Trick or Treating was different from it is today. Or maybe it only was for me. I have mentioned that we did not have a lot of money. Trick or Treating for a kid with very little money is like begging without shame and dressing up so no one recognizes you. We never bought costumes we simply wore what we had lying around the house or could borrow from friends. My sister and I took dance lessons so we were fortunate enough to plenty of sequined pieces to choose from. However we lived in Massachusetts and Halloween in Massachusetts is cold. In fact I think that is where the term “colder than a witch’s tit!” came from. If you haven’t heard this expression then I have to point out that my mother’s colloquialisms aren’t always well know, but I grew up with them and think that they are a thing that people in general say. It’s what makes me quirky. I say my mother’s homespun colloquialisms and come across as strange.
So we are less likely to wear our sequins costumes out on Halloween night because they are too flimsy for the cold Massachusetts air. Also a part of me didn’t want to get a terrible case of “Witch’s tit!” because I never truly understood what that saying was warning me about. I didn’t know if I got too cold I would develop a deformity and have to go to the doctor. “I think I got too cold and now I have Witch’s Tit” They are green and fly around the room on a broom. Due to the fear of catching “Witch’s Tit” I typically would be dressed up as a “housewife!” my costume was incredibly insensitive and downright offensive…because I was in pajamas, a house coat, slippers and curlers in my hair. I currently am a housewife….which we now call “stay at home mom” probably because of little assholes like me ruining the images of hardworking housewives everywhere. But that’s besides the point, I just wanted to wear as many layers as I could so that I didn’t catch a cold or something way worse (you know what that is).
Also I would like to point out that apparently when we were kids we were always surprised by Halloween. We didn’t think about our costumes until that night. Like “Oh today is Halloween? Let me scrounge around my closets and find something that could pass off as a costume.” Now that we were dressed up in our home made…that isn’t the right term…home searched? Thrown together costumes? I don’t know clothes that we layered on so that we could beg for candy without freezing, was actually the accurate term. So anyway we look at one another and there is me as the “housewife”, my sister as the “kid going to bed” (which is similar to mine but she has pigtails and a stuffed animal), my brother the mechanic (wearing regular clothes and carrying a wrench) and my other brother a musician (regular clothes carrying a guitar case because that’s where his candy is going). I had two older brothers but they didn’t Trick or Treat with us. They partook in mischief night instead.
As we are leaving the house with our older brothers babysitting us, my mother would give us the rules:
“Don’t go to houses with the lights out because they don’t believe in Halloween!” (wait, what? they don’t believe in Halloween? what does that even mean? according to my older brothers that means they get their house egged and toilet papered)
“Make sure you wait up for Becki. She is small and can’t walk as fast as you.” (My brother would always end up giving me piggy backs because he would be impatient with me. I always had to check my candy for razor blades after I got it. I wanted to make sure I could tell the cops exactly where I got it.)
“Don’t forget to bring the flashlights.” (I didn’t get one because we only had three and they flickered because they were shitty and the batteries were usually going dead.)
“Don’t walk in the road. Make sure you go in the grass instead.” (we never listened to this one. The grass was always wet and I was in my slippers. We always walked in the road until a car came then we would jump in the grass in case they knew our mother and had tattle-taling in their hearts.)
And last but not least! And now that I am an adult I laugh and laugh about this last, but very important rule…. “DON’T GO TRICK OR TREATING AT THE HIPPY HOUSE!”
The hippy house was brown and set off the road a bit. I don’t really know why my parent’s called it the hippy house or how they knew that hippies lived there. But we were on no uncertain terms allowed to go near the hippy house. If we were in an apocalypse type situation and the Hippy House had Jesus outside calling me in I would kick him in the shins and run away because let’s be serious Jesus (at least the versions I grew up with) looks like a hippy. Hippies were bad.
Now I don’t know what my parents thought was going to happen. I mean I suppose they could be handing out pot brownies or something. Or worst yet all in the house super paranoid from the pot they smoked. Halloween was probably amazingly horrifying for those poor high hippies. “Dude, someone’s at the door! It’s a cop and he came with Frankenstein and a cowboy. I knew we were going to get busted!” (Cheech and Chong style)
Off we went on our Trick or Treating excursion and I saw that my black cat named Kitkat was following us. My brother says “Becki go bring Kitkat home before the witches take him.”
I was told this every single year. I was so afraid that Kitkat was going to have witches waiting around for Halloween night just to take him for their own. I don’t know why they couldn’t take him any other night but I thought that they only have powers on Halloween night. But Witch’s tit is like herpies and you have that shit for life. I take my enormous black cat back home and he purrs all the way home. Kitkat had distemper when he was a kitten and he couldn’t meow at all. He was quiet and his purr was magical. It warmed my soul to hear it.
Now that my cat is safe I have to catch up to my siblings who continued with out me. My second oldest brother waited for me. He put me on his back and off we went. We went to all of the houses that we knew and to be honest that was about ten (at the most) houses and then we went back home. We would trick or treat at our house last and my mother would give us a handful each. Then my mother would check our candy for razor blades and injection holes. I already did this but she insists on doing it again.
That night we were allowed to eat one candy….I always chose Good n’ plenty because there was always good n’ plenty, meaning that it was the most bang for the buck. One snickers bar was not as profitable as one box filled with good n plenties. Oh by the way in the seventies there wasn’t “fun size”. We got full size candy. So I would get full eating my candy and have to put them away for later. Another good choice was neco wafers, there was a lot of those too….except those tasted like pepto bismol and chalk. I always gave those away. We also would separate our candy to see who got the best candy….The most highly coveted candy was thousand grand bars. That was like having money. I would keep mine until everyone else’s candy was gone and eat them in front of them. The problem with this plan is that I would feel bad and share. One year someone stole all of my candy. I blame the hippies. Or the witches. These are the bad guys in my Halloween tale.
As for the Hippy House….It burned down when I was older and the entire neighborhood smelled like (skunk, I thought it was skunk. I was told that it was ‘wacky tobacky’ by someone. But I didn’t know what that meant. Then I was told that it was skunk cabbage and so I told everyone at school that the hippy house burned and that they lost their crops of skunk cabbage and wacky tobacky! because I was helpful like that.) I also remember my parents telling us to not breathe when we were outside during that fire because the smoke was bad for us. Could you imagine the poor fire fighters on the scene of that fire. I don’t know if they used air filters back then or if that would help in a massive marijuana blaze. But needless to say the Hippy house burned down in a toxic blaze and they never did rebuild. I never found out what happened to the poor hippies that lived there. My mother said that all made it out safely because I asked constantly about the hippies. “Mom, what about the hippies, did they burn up in the fire?”
“No, they made it out safe. You need to go to bed now, that fire was a month ago. You need to stop worrying about the hippies, Becki.”
“Okay. You are sure they made it out safe?” she nodded and told me to go to bed.
addendum: no hippies were harmed during the making of this story.
Moral of my story: The seventies were a strange time. People were told to be afraid of “Hippies” truth is labeling to dehumanize groups still happens. My parents were just trying to be good parents they didn’t want us to be harmed and they could only go with the information that they had. For all of you hippies out there, I apologize for insulting you, I also apologize for insulting housewives, and witches and their tits. (I’m sure your tits are warm and lovely) Also spending money on costumes seems like such an extravagance these days….I went trick or treating in my pajamas for years and every year I got candy and I was ready for bed when I got home. Be safe trick or treating and check your candy for tampering. Also don’t egg and toilet paper people’s houses that is not nice.
Until next time 🙂