For parents, Halloween is fraught with tough decisions and more than one serving of guilt.
Halloween is my least favorite holiday. It's when ghosts, goblins and skeletons emerge, dangling from the most innocuous places. It's not the evil undertones of Halloween that disturb me. It's the amount of candy that I, as a loving and caring parent, am annually compelled to consume.
You see, my six kids have never trick-or-treated, yet I stockpile candy for those who do. Yes, I continue to leave the porch light off, but children these days come armed with glow sticks. No porch is too dark. And besides, mine is an East Indian home in which every visitor must be fed - stuffed, really - and my porch is part of my home.
I have considered alternatives. I could hand out boxes of raisins or "edible Styrofoam," a.k.a. rice cakes, or hard-boiled eggs from free-range chickens, all-natural, biodegradable, tamper-proof packages of nutritious protein. But, I don't want to be that lady. You know the one, that lady from your childhood? The one whose idea of a treat was a fat, red apple that plummeted into your sack and pulverized the Smarties. The same apple that took up valuable space meant for even more candy!
But, I digress. Invariably, I buy too much candy, fearing that I'll run out early. Following Halloween, I could ration a piece or two when my kids have been perfect, but this would still leave an immense candy hoard.
I can't throw it away because I've seen those hunger commercials. So, I'm left with just one choice. For weeks, I eat candy every night after my children go to bed. It's the epitome of maternal sacrifice, yet I feel guilty. What's a mother to do?
I've got it! Whoppers!
If I'm going to buy and then eat the candy anyway, I should choose the candy I buy more wisely. Whoppers keep well in apron pockets and I can push them between my teeth and cheek if someone inconveniently intrudes and wants to converse.
Does anyone know if Whoppers come in gallon-sized jugs?
Vineeta Ribeiro is a columnist for The Fauquier Times-Democrat, Weekend Edition in Fauquier County, Va.