The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

UMW Too Old For Trick-Or-Treat?

2 min read


“You’ve heard about fury and a woman scorned? …well that’s nothing compared to the fury of a woman who’s been cheated out of tricks or treats.”

Wise words from Linus Van Pelt, the blanketed prophet from “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

This sentiment rang truer than ever this Halloween. This, my junior year of college, was the first year I didn’t go trick-or-treating.

Yes. Not only did I trick-or-treat all throughout high school, but also while everyone else was grinding the night away at Houston’s my first two years of college. I was frolicking around College Heights dressed as the Morton Salt girl, begging for instant gratification with a peanut butter filling.

What can I say? I like free candy.

Contrary to popular lore, Virginia has no legal age limit for trick-or-treating. Anyone of any age can go door to door in costume, provided they’re willing to risk some weird looks and maybe even accusations of pedophilia.

Freshman year, I actually inadvertently trick-or-treated at one of my professors’ houses, only to have him announce to the entire class the next day that I prefer my Hershey’s without almonds. Despite minor ridicule, I kept my head up.

This year, I came to the flawed conclusion that I’m officially “too old” to trick or treat. This semester, I am working at a daily newspaper, living in an apartment and buying clothes from Ann Taylor Loft. My Gmail signature reads Susannah M. Clark, Reporter.

I am officially an adult.

Or so I thought.

Succumbing to the college stereotype, Friday night was spent party-hopping. As I watched my costumed peers take body shots and argue about the rules of “Kings,” I longed for a stained pillowcase filled to the top with Twizzlers and Tootsie Pops.

While drunken Sarah Palins made out with plastered Batman characters, I sat in the corner dreaming of slightly stale Swedish Fish. I wanted Butterfingers and Smarties, not Budweiser and Smirnoff.

I made a point to go to Giant the next morning and stock up on half-priced Halloween candy. While that eased my sugar fix, I felt cheap. The candy was not earned by braving the suburban sidewalks, it was bought, just like it could be any day.

My childhood became a distant cavity; I felt trapped in an adult world of Listerine and calorie counting.

Despite her hiatus, my inner-trick-or-treater is still there. To make up for my missed opportunity for immaturity, on Sunday I endeavored to catch a matinee showing of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.” When Disney-fied dreamboats Zac Efron and Corbin Bleu finished their epic junkyard dance-off, I high-fived the seven-year-old sitting next to me. The fountain of youth flows on.