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Words from a wallflower

Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry

Halloween used to be a big deal to me. I would rush home from school to get my costume on before the sun even went down and impatiently wait until my parents told me it was time to go out with my friends. From the time I was one until now, a bee, two Disney princesses, the Mad Hatter, several 60s girls, and my favorite, the genie from Aladdin have made their way into my costume repertoire. Although I don’t remember what I dressed up for this particular year, I remember one small detail from it that has stuck with me. 

When my friend and I were in elementary school, we would trick-or-treat in each of our neighborhoods that were within walking distance from each other with our moms closely following behind us. We had wandered over to my neighborhood and made our way to my dad’s house with our pillowcases becoming heavier with candy. 

My mom gave me the idea to ding dong ditch my dad. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t want to upset him, but it didn’t take much from my mom to convince me. So, being the “brave” kid that I was, I walked up to my dad’s front door, rang the doorbell, and sprinted around the corner of the entryway to hide by the garage. I heard the door open, which was then followed by my dad muttering “fucking teenagers,” cursing my innocent ears before starting to close the door. 

At that moment, I inched out of my hiding spot and said, “Hi, Daddy!” A smile replaced his scowl, and he dropped to his knees to give me a hug. He gave me and my friend several handfuls of candy before we left. 

I can’t explain why this memory has stuck with me since it seems so insignificant. Perhaps it’s because it involves my dad (I’ll expand more on that in another column). 

My dad decided to get his payback the next time I spent the night at his house. He put on the werewolf mask he bought for that same Halloween, turned all the lights off in the house, and jumped out at me when I came looking for him. I didn’t feel guilty anymore for pulling a small prank on him.

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