November 1, 2010

Lessons I Learned This Halloween

My wife was sick yesterday, so it was my first time being in charge of giving out candy to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Here were my lessons learned.

Lesson #1: I wanted to learn my script - exactly what to say when the ankle biters arrived at the door. (I'm a writer). My wife thought I was crazy, but since we had an assortment of candy, I wanted to give the kids their choice. My idea was "Choose 1 of your favorites." Kat told me this was a bad idea and that the kids wouldn't just take one. But, I remembered getting to choose when I was a kid, and loved it, so I gave it a try. Big mistake. With those exact instructions, 60% of the first group took 2 or 3 candies each.

Lesson #2: So, I quickly gave up on this idea, because we would assuredly run out of candy if I continued my sociological experiment to test the etiquette of these neighborhood miscreants. So, I switched to my brilliant wife's originally recommended strategy. "Just pick one and give it to them." So, I did this. And 90% of the kids, after they received their candy, looked into my bowl of assorted delights to see what they would have been able to get if they got to choose themselves.

Lesson #3: Kids are cute, and rude. Least favorite line of the night. "Are you kidding me?!! Just one butterfinger???"!!"

It's easy to say, "Kids suck these days." But, I'm more curious in the reality. Because I was polite when I was a kid. I nicely said "Trick or treat!" And I always said "Thank you!" And there were a whole bunch of kids like that yesterday who came to my door. So, was I simply unaware of the bad-mannered kids from my generation? Or, since I live in a lower-class area than where I grew up, is there a socioeconomic correlation to etiquette?
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