Author Topic: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating  (Read 16533 times)

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AylaM

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2012, 10:41:58 AM »
I don't see where the letter writer told the kids to come back after dark.  She said after they were done eating.  Different.  It may be dark by that time, but the LW did not specify that.

The county I'm in has had ToT from 6-8 in the past.  At five I am not ready and not really expecting ToT, but might be expecting my cousins who drop by unannounced.

If there were set ToT hours and the kids fell outside of them, then I can't say she was wrong to send the kids away without candy.  She probably shouldn't use a thing like dinner being over as a good time to come back though.  She should have either cited the set ToT hours, told them she just wasn't ready and to come back in a little bit, or just given them candy.

The mom on the other hand was way out of line.

magicdomino

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2012, 10:48:53 AM »
As far as I know, there are no set hours in my neighborhood.  Sometimes a little one will appear while it is still light outside, but many people aren't home from work yet at 5:00, much less set up for trick-or-treaters.  Most TOTs come between 7:00 and 8:30, and I close for business at 9:00.

I'll be putting last minute touches on my Halloween decorations at 5:00.  However, I can stop and grab some candy for a little visitor.  I agree that the letter-writer should have either ignored the door, or gone ahead and passed out the candy.


As far as how I've always "advertised" my house as welcoming TOTers, the most decorating I've ever done is the occasional Jack-o-Lantern. Typical in my neighborhoods has been light on = welcome, light off = please don't call.

Somehwat off-topic:  None of my immediate neighbors celebrate Halloween, leaving me as the one spot of light on a dark block.  If I don't decorate the heck out of the yard, the kids won't bother to come.  A jack-o-lantern or two won't cut it.  Fortunately, I enjoy decorating the heck out of my yard. 

Knitterly

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2012, 10:50:00 AM »
I've never heard of set hours for trick or treating. 
5pm does seem a little early, but we are taking Little Knit out around 5:30.  We're only going to be doing a few houses, but her bedtime is at 6:30-7ish, and I want her to be able to enjoy it and not have it be stressful.

We usually start getting ToT-ers around 5:30 in my neighbourhood.  I think my earliest was a little one around 4:45 last year.

I'm curious to know how the kids are supposed to know when the LW is "done eating".  Mr K and I usually have dinner around 6:30, as do a lot of people I know.  I couldn't expect the neighbourhood kids to know that.  I think the LW was being a bit unfair.

Sharnita

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2012, 10:56:37 AM »
I gotta say, depending on where you live, it can start getting dark not that long after 5.

lowspark

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2012, 10:57:45 AM »
Op might want to add to her post that it was intentional for the mother to turn them away to teach a lesson.  Especially adding this bit: 

I told them to come back later, when I wasn't eating dinner. I wanted to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives. An hour later I received a call from the boys' mother scolding me for sending them away.

This changes my view considerably.  Taking the OP's post at face value I think the complaining mom was overreacting.  However with actually reading the letter (thought the OP was thorough) the mom was indeed rude.

Although this does establish the OP's motives, i.e. "to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives", I still read it as saying that the only part of that she verbalized was to come back after she ate dinner. Which, of course, is just plain silly if she expects them to know her dinner hours.

But again, if I were the mother, I would just tell my kids to not worry about what that grumpy lady said and hey! what kind of candy did you get, anything good? (In other words, bean dip.) I can't imagine what possible gain can come from calling the OP up to complain.

Zilla

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2012, 11:03:46 AM »
Op might want to add to her post that it was intentional for the mother to turn them away to teach a lesson.  Especially adding this bit: 

I told them to come back later, when I wasn't eating dinner. I wanted to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives. An hour later I received a call from the boys' mother scolding me for sending them away.

This changes my view considerably.  Taking the OP's post at face value I think the complaining mom was overreacting.  However with actually reading the letter (thought the OP was thorough) the mom was indeed rude.

Although this does establish the OP's motives, i.e. "to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives", I still read it as saying that the only part of that she verbalized was to come back after she ate dinner. Which, of course, is just plain silly if she expects them to know her dinner hours.

But again, if I were the mother, I would just tell my kids to not worry about what that grumpy lady said and hey! what kind of candy did you get, anything good? (In other words, bean dip.) I can't imagine what possible gain can come from calling the OP up to complain.

Thinking that all parties are "reasonable" I have a feeling the letter writer might have said something more to that effect of her lesson she was determined to teach them.  It's one thing to tell them to come back later as they are eating dinner and another to think therefore influence your words to teach those boys a lesson in interrupting them!

HermioneGranger

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2012, 11:19:52 AM »
In my neighborhood, you won't get any candy before 6, as most people get home from work between 5 and 6.  I've had kids banging on my (locked, storm) door at 5:30, when the porch light has also been out.  No parents, either, to tell them there is obviously no candy yet if the door is locked and the light is out.   ::)

RegionMom

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2012, 11:23:22 AM »
Well, I might not eat dinner till after 8pm, and not be all cleaned up till after 9pm, so the ToT'rs are just out of luck!!  Neener neener!!

Yeesh...these two women must have really easy lives, to be so rude to kidlets in costume. 

I like to sit in the driveway and watch the costumed ones go buy--my porch light is wonky, and I like the fun atmosphere of being outside.  The kids like the few less steps they have to take to get a treat from me.  No candy, too tempting for me.  But I do give wax fangs or lips, and spider rings!  Once I had squishy eyeball balls.   ;D
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

O'Dell

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2012, 11:34:00 AM »
I think the LW is silly. If you aren't ready to give out candy, you leave the porch light off and don't answer the door if someone comes. When you are ready, you switch on the light and keep your shoes on. :P

I think the woman who called was silly too. In the end it's really just candy. I agree with Sharnita that the woman probably called because the LW implied that they did something wrong, but most neighborhoods have a grumpy neighbor or 2. Best just to teach kids that they are that way and to not take them too seriously.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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Betelnut

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2012, 12:52:47 PM »
Although I would never call someone to complain about them turning my kid away, I can totally understand why the Mom was upset. 

Picture your kids, all dressed up, excited, gung-ho to trick-or-treat.  At a certain age, this might only be the second or third time they've ever even done it!  It is sort of scary to go up to a house and ring the doorbell--scary but thrilling because the people will be happy to see you and give you candy.

Then you come to the house that looks like WILL give you candy.  You ring the doorbell, you shout, "Trick or Treat!"  And, instead of a chuckle, a "how cute!" and a piece of candy, you get scolded and sent away.  This a complete downer, sort of scary but in a negative way and turns you off to the whole experience.  The LW basically sh*t on the Halloween experience for these kids.

"You'll shoot your eye out kid!"

The LW should be ashamed of herself.
Native Texan, Marylander currently

Hmmmmm

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2012, 01:52:36 PM »
I really believe the letter writer must have said something very pointed to the boys to try to teach them a lesson.  The reason I feel this way is first, the boys remembered the exchange enough to comment about it to their mom.  I know after an hour of trick or treating my kids couldn't have told you which houses they had visited let alone who gave them candy and who didn't. 

Second, for the mom to make a point of calling the letter writer, what her boys told her had to be more than "Mrs. Grumpy said to come back after she was through with dinner."  It had to be at least "Mrs Grumpy said we were trick or treating too early."

If she didn't want her dinner disturb she shouldn't have opened the door. 

Sharnita

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2012, 02:02:52 PM »
Actually, I wonder if the kids were so upset they quit trick or treating and went home and it took mom a while to calm them down before she called.

I was struck by the LW's phrasing - "When I answered, I was bombarded with requests for candy from three boys who live down the street."
I assume that bombarded with requests for candy means that she opened the door and the kids "trick or treat"  - which is protocol for somebody opening the door to trick or treaters.  She seems really unreasonable.

snowdragon

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2012, 02:52:46 PM »
We have set hours here.  5-8pm.  We get callers as early as 3:30, when most people here are at work. I've had neighbors comment on it both ways.  ( IE: Why can't people just be there, this one day for the kids? and Why do kids come that early?) and they seem to get here earlier each year.  There is one family that starts as soon as the kids get home from school and if there are cars in the drive the kids are encouraged by their parents (?)/caregivers(?) to just keep ringing the bell til they get a response. 
   I don't think the LW was very nice, but really if there are established hours and you go outside them, you can't expect to get candy at every house - decorated or not.   As to why she answered the door, perhaps she was expecting a delivery or something. ( I have a delivery from amazon, that I will have to sign for scheduled that day latest delivery time here is 5pm, so I can see it)  I would not expect early TOT'ers if that were not the way things were done. Heck I might not be set up until 4:59 and would not be wanting to take the time from my dinner to get candy out for early folks while I was eating. Asking them to come back during the established hours would be OK -- doing it nastily would not be.

violinp

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2012, 03:12:59 PM »
We have set hours in our hometown to trick or treat, but if kids show up early, we just give them the candy. It's usually very little ones (as in, need to be helped to toddle up the stairs), so I figure there's no harm.

I think the woman was rude to lecture the kids. It wasn't like they knocked at her door on purpose to specifically bother her or something; it's Halloween trick or treaters. True, they were a bit early, but if she was so against kids coming early, shouldn't she just have not answered the door? It's not like the kids would've waited at her house banging on the door until she opened it.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2012, 10:32:34 AM »
I think our town sets hours, but I'm in the camp of "how long does it take to hand out two bits of candy?" Course if other people are out and see you're handing it out, that may get three more people out at five looking for Halloween candy before the TOT hours, and it would be an organization. Then you may get fifty people, and it would be a movement!  (joke)

Seriously though, don't know if anyone handled this right.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata