Trick-or-Treat OR Grab-and-Go

Yesterday, as trick-or-treaters came to my door, I noticed how the youngest eagerly held up their goody sacks then cautiously said, “Trick-or-treat.” Almost all of them said, “Thank you.” Some even wished me a happy Halloween or a good night. Most took one bag of chips from the huge bowl, but some hesitated, unsure what to do because I’d stuffed fake – scary – rats in among the assorted treats.

Some… grabbed as many as they could with nary a please or thank you.

I’m exaggerating.

ONE trick-or-treater did this and he was at least 15 years old – perhaps older. I couldn’t tell. His “costume” was a bandana over his nose and mouth, like a bandit.

It’s sad, really. Not that he took FOUR bags of chips in his huge greedy hands, but that at his age, an age when he’s close to adulthood, he’s that greedy, that arrogant, that ‘entitled’.

It’s also sad that with all the adorable and well-behaved kids that came around yesterday for treats, the one who behaved less than stellar is the one who stands out – like the class clown, the class screw-up, the class diva.

Why we’re wired to note and record bad behavior is a puzzle to me. Shouldn’t we dismiss those who act poorly and give thought and time to those who treat us well? Who are polite and considerate? Why is it, I wonder, that acting out – being the noisy wheel that gets the oil – is the attention whore, while good behavior, which should be commended and shown as appreciated, is shrugged off because it’s how it ‘should be’?

You car may run great – for example – but instead of taking it in for regular maintenance, we wait until it acts up. Bad behavior gets the attention. Good behavior is ignored. Maybe we need to show more appreciation for the good things people do. Maybe then, we’ll see more of it – even if there’s no more of it than before.

8 Responses to Trick-or-Treat OR Grab-and-Go

  • We had one trick or treater (10-11 yo) who said, “huh, is that all?!” My husband asked him if he’d prefer a kick in the butt (we know his parents) LOL. I try to thank servers and customer service people who do a good job, but I think the reason we usually don’t is because we expect it. (Note to self: car needs oil change!)

  • LOL! I LOVE your husband’s response!! But you’re right, we expect it so it goes unnoticed. Still, I wish the negative didn’t hold as much weight as it does. My car needs a whole winter checkup before the real cold weather settles in. I guess it’s true what they say, old habits die hard.

  • What an insightful post, Debora! I agree with your conclusion entirely. I have mentioned to my family that they only seem to notice the laundry I do when I don’t do it and they are missing something! But I’m the same at times, not giving kudos to people for their kindness. Thanks for the reminder.

    • My pleasure, Julie. It was just something I felt badly about since the one ‘bad apple’ in the group made the biggest impression. Maybe, in a way, that’s a good thing because poor behavior is so out of the ordinary that we have to notice it. Maybe? I don’t know. I love your laundry analogy. Perfect. Just as we don’t always notice the good people do, they don’t notice how much we do until we don’t do it. We’re all guilty of the same thing to varying degrees. Thanks for commenting!

  • Debbie, we didn’t give out candy this year. We live on a cul-de-sac of 7 houses. As this area gets more and more populated, we get fewer and fewer trick-or-treaters. From the main street, it looks dark down here. People probably don’t want to bother coming down here on the off chance there might be candy.

    Notice I said we get few trick-or-treaters. The ones we get are older kids who may or may not be in costume and who are usually rude. Last year, we got a lady who said, “At least y’all are giving good candy out. You wouldn’t believe some the cheap crap we’ve gotten tonight.”

    So, yeah, I get where you’re coming from. 😀

    • WHAT?! A grown woman actually said that to you? I guess that explains the bad YOUNG apples in the bunch, doesn’t it? Sheesh. Incredibly rude. I think the worst part about her comment is that she clearly thought someone she’d never met before – you – would agree or at least see it as a compliment. Imagine? That’s sad. And you see how her comment sticks in your mind even after a full year? Wow. Really rude.

  • You make a very good point, Debbie. Although, I see the “good” get their accolades too. The misbehaved lends to the balance, I suppose. This is the 1st year my 15-yr-old opted OUT of going to the door and thought he was too cool for T/Ting.

    • My husband was as excited about trick-or-treating as my 16 year old. 🙂 He was a my Jack Sparrow and she was Janis Joplin. lol. What an odd pair they made.

      I guess the ‘good’ do get their accolades. The same way their thank you’s make us feel good, I’m sure our smiles, ‘you’re welcome’s’ and ‘good day’s’ make them feel happy.

      Since posting this, I’ve been noticing more and more how many people are polite and respectful. It’s heartwarming to see – and to have it proven – that the rude among us are few and far between.

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