‘How many more days until Hallow’een?’ rings out on loop in our house from about 1st of September each year. With breezy summer holidays sneaking into the distance, excitement about the next celebration mounts. Hallow’een is just that: the perfect half way house between the start of school and half-term, the end of summer holidays and Christmas.
As soon as the orange and black decorations appear in the shops, DD commences her own version of torture: begging me to let her decorate the house, planning her fright night costume, egging me on to buy tonnes of ghoulishly wrapped candy all whilst plotting her ‘trick or treat?’ route to ensure a bigger candy haul than last year! Against this background of diligent planning it feels like we are sufficiently prepared to welcome the spirits for a 3 week vacation and not just the one evening they are usually granted to move between our world and theirs!
Somehow this year was different. The first week of October came and went without any festive purchases. The second week of October mirrored the first week. Knowing I had a wealthy stash of decorations stored at the back of a dank, dark cupboard, I didn’t feel the need to whizz around the shops to pick up a ‘fresh look’. But by this stage DD was practically having kittens. In her eyes, Hallow’een is as much about the month of preparation as the night of ‘trick or treating’ itself. At least every other day should involve doing something to honour the spooks. I think she was beginning to believe one of her favourite celebrations would be cancelled in our house this year. To persuade her otherwise, we went costume shopping on the third weekend and my crypt master and ninjas were born.
All that was needed was the ‘trick or treaters’ candy. Feeling calm, I didn’t think I needed to concern myself about this until the last minute.
31st October. 4PM – Assumed I had enough time to shop to fuel sugar crazed kids. Treating is unquestionably better than facing the alternative of being tricked!
As I sauntered into the local supermarket, I was taken aback by the number of customers busily filling their trolleys. Making a beeline for the candy aisle, I felt a slight rise in my blood pressure. Faced with a scene straight out of Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, DD observed in a high pitched shrill ‘there’s nothing left, Mummy’. It was as if Dubai had declared a state of emergency and the shelves has been raided by people planning to live in security bunkers for weeks. And no one told me!!!
‘How? Why? Where has all the candy gone?’ I whispered.
A few lonely packets of Werther’s Originals and liquorice hard boiled sweets were left strewn across the cream, metal shelves.
‘I can’t give excited kids hard boiled sweets that gummy grandads suck’ I thought as I watched a 10 year old girl be lifted onto her dad’s shoulders to retrieve the only remaining, exciting looking candy from the 2.5 metre high top shelf.
The situation required quick thinking. Trick or Treating was due to start at 6pm. The kids needed time to get ready. That left about 45 minutes to avoid candy catastrophe chez nous!
Assuming the next nearest supermarket would not be as thronged DD and I made the emergency 5 minute dash and 15 minute loop round for car parking. I have to admit, I offered up a little prayer on my trot to the candy aisle. Apparently the powers that be do not respond to such harried/selfish/irrelevant/unimportant requests.
Another supermarket. More bare shelves. But this time, the pricey chocs were left on the top shelf. What choice did I have?
AED250 (Euros50, £41) later I skipped my way to my car……’who is going to be the neighbourhood’s favourite candy house now????!!!’
Premature celebration alert…..when you take your kids ‘trick or treating’ for 1.5 hours, you kinda miss daring the kids to trick you!
AED250 divided by 2 guests……that’s one expensive Hallow’een!
(Just finished this post with a word count of 666….now feeling very scared!)