The rules of trick-or-treat­ing

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

It’s that time of year again when the tacky cob­web dec­o­ra­tions are up and over­priced bags of “fun-size” candy flood every gro­cery aisle’s end cap. As I pre­pare for this Hal­loween, I’m won­der­ing what your opin­ion is on some­thing that’s been bug­ging me for years now.

My neigh­bor­hood civic league has rules re­gard­ing trick-or-treat­ing. It’s to oc­cur be­tween the hours of 5 and 8 p.m., and only chil­dren 13 or younger may par­tic­i­pate.

Of course, every year, there are a hand­ful of teenagers, prob­a­bly 15 or 16 years old, who show up on our doorstep ex­pect­ing candy. I tell them sorry; they’re too old to be trick-or-treat­ing. I didn’t make up the rules — but I do agree that trick-or-treat­ing should be left to the lit­tle ones.

Also every year, there are the stragglers who come ring­ing the door­bell at 8:15, af­ter I’ve shut off the lights and put away the candy, and I refuse to an­swer.

Ap­par­ently, some neigh­bors think I’m ornery. I’m just fol­low­ing the rules. I don’t want to have to buy ex­tra candy so I can hand it out to every high schooler who de­cides he wants some Snick­ers. And I don’t think they should be ring­ing my door­bell af­ter 8 o’clock, ei­ther. It’s rude. What do you think? — Hal­loweary

As for the 8 o’clock cut­off time, you’re en­ti­tled to shut things down promptly (pro­vided you don’t slam your door in any sad lit­tle Spi­der-Man’s face). It’s bet­ter to en­cour­age an early cur­few on Hal­loween night any­way, be­cause it can be dan­ger­ous to have kids in the mid­dle of the street af­ter dark.

When it comes to the is­sue of trick-or-treat­ing teenagers, that all de­pends on their ef­fort level. If they aren’t even dressed in cos­tumes and sim­ply show up on your doorstep look­ing for a hand­out, set them straight. The same goes for ones wear­ing sar­cas­ti­cally half­hearted cos­tumes, such as just a sheet over one’s head.

But if these kids are trick-or-treat­ing in earnest — wear­ing cos­tumes they put real ef­fort into — then loosen up and give them some candy. Em­brace the fun, play­ful spirit of this hol­i­day, and let these chil­dren be chil­dren a lit­tle while longer.

“Play­ing games” isn’t my thing. Women need to be more straight­for­ward. I’m tired of be­ing led on or given the “hard to get” rou­tine. Re­cently, I went out with a woman, “Stephanie,” who works at a restau­rant that’s in the same shop­ping cen­ter as the re­tail place where I work. We al­ways chat­ted when we saw each other in the park­ing lot and were what you might call “sim­patico.”

We got happy-hour drinks at a bar across the street re­cently, and she seemed into me. We got on re­ally well, and I was crack­ing her up. We ended the night with a hug. The next night, I texted her, ask­ing whether she wanted to go out to din­ner some­time. Af­ter an hour of no re­sponse, I sent a fol­low-up text. She texted back and said she would love to get din­ner some­time but spec­i­fied that she only wanted to be friends and didn’t want to give me the wrong idea. Ugh. I told her thanks but that I didn’t need her pity friend­ship.

My ques­tion to you is: Why did she go out for drinks in the first place? Why didn’t she just turn me down from the getgo? And I’d also like to point out that she had no prob­lem let­ting me pay for our drinks at the bar.

— Too Nice

This woman is not in your debt. She sim­ply wasn’t in­ter­ested, and she did you the cour­tesy of let­ting you know that quickly, which is pretty rare these days. And you re­turned her kind­ness by spurn­ing her friend­ship? Yeah, real nice.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ators. com.

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