When I was a kid, back in the 60's, Halloween was the bomb. It was a night to live for.
My Mom would sometimes take me out to purchase a costume, but more often than not she helped to make it. But the night itself was pure fun. I'm sure that my Mom must have accompanied me on Halloween up to a certain age, but I have given it much thought and I really can't remember it. But I'm sure it must have happened, at least until the age of 8.
After that, I was on my own...and I worked a solid 2 square miles. Pilloowcase in hand, I would fill it up once, go home to drop off the booty, head out again to cover the next quadrant, rinse and repeat, until, quite literally, I had a pile of candy spilled out upon the living room floor that Fat Bastard from Austin Powers could have rolled around in. It was an astounding amount of loot.
In the 70's I was either in High School or college, and Halloween took on a different character. It became more hedonistic, for one thing. Less about dressing up than dressing down, if you know what I mean.
In the 80's Halloween began to change seriously. It became less of a neighborhood event than it was a workplace event. We were all footloose and single in the 80's, and weren't much thinking about the kids anyway. The real fun was dressing up at work, and going to an adult Halloween Party later. It had already, at this point in history, lost a lot of its childhood roots. It was also in the 80's that people my own age, not single, and with kids, suddenly began seeing the world as a howlingly, hair straightening, cringing, blood curdling horror house of stranger danger. The world that they had populated not 15 years beforehand had changed so indelibly, so irreversably towards the godawfull hell in a hand basket terror that Halloween used to make fun of, that Halloween itself could no longer be celebrated in the same way that they had.
By the 90's...there were still a few kids who made the rounds, although by this time they were accompanied at a much older age than I can ever remember, or would have ever put up with. I would have been mortified to be accompanied by parents at the age that most kids were, in sullen acceptance, by the time the 90's rolled around.
By the end of that decade, even those kids were mostly gone. Not only had stranger danger become so firmly entrenched in our collective consciousness...but the concept of neighbors and neighborhoods had eroded to the point where the stranger was no longer the guy 3 blocks away...it was the house to houses away.
For the past 8 years we get very few kids. You know what we get?
We get 16 year olds who are high, and don't even bother to put on a costume.
The girls wear torn stockings, too much mascara, and slutty miniskirts. Which is to say...they are dressed for school. The guys are a little more creative. They wear football jerseys and dress up like drunken athletes. Clearly, they have no athletic ability...so in that sense it is more of a costume.
But I grew tired of handing out candybars too drunken teenagers about 5 years ago, without having more than two knocks on the door by genuine children.
That's how I fell out of love with Halloween.