This Halloween was my very first ever Halloween as a homeowner and I cannot possibly overstate how excited I was about this. But I'll try.

Remember when you heard they are doing a Netflix season of Full House and Kimmy Gibler is coming back? You guys. I was FOUR TIMES more excited than that.

I was excited about this because I have always wanted to give out candy to Trick-or-Treaters from my very own home because I have always known that I would be SO good at this.

I would say all the right things. I would compliment every child's costume. I would play spooky sounds and decorate the entryway of my house with creepy decorations. I would make sure the aroma of baked pumpkin goods wafted out of my home. WAFTED you guys!

I learned all of this from watching Bob and Cathie for so many years turn their place into the house to avoid if you don't want to get stuck on someone's front porch for ten minutes while the female part of Bob and Cathie (dressed as a witch) forces you to pose with your friends for various pictures and the male part of Bob and Cathie (dressed as a white dad) makes every possible joke he can think of about your costume.

I was TOTALLY ready to harass children while dressed as a white dad from within the comforts of my very own home!

I set up my entryway with good candy and candles.

I carved a pumpkin to place on my front porch so everyone would know I was participating in Halloween.

And then, I waited.

I had invited several friends over for dinner before heading out to some parties later in the evening. I made borsch and homemade bread and set out various Halloween-appropriate candies. We sat down to eat and I was on pins and needles.

I wasn't sure what time the kids would be coming to Trick-or-Treat, but the sun had set and it seemed like surely this was probably when it would all begin. Surely the onslaught would happen once the sun set.

I walked out to the front yard every few minutes to observe the scene, wondering if there was something unwelcoming about my home. I noticed that The Perfects's's'ess's'es' lights were all off and it looked like no one was home WHICH MEANS The Perfects were not participating in the neighborhood Trick-or-Treating. And this has prompted my latest theory about The Perfects and that is that The Perfects are Jehovah's Witnesses and they don't celebrate holidays.

Note: literally the only evidence I have that The Perfects might be Jehovah's Witnesses is that their lights were turned off on Halloween.

And now that I think about it, they had the best Christmas decorations on the entire block last year.

I currently have no active theories on The Perfects's's religious beliefs or practices. We are back to square one on this.

Anyway, after I noticed the lights were off next door, I noticed that the whole street was dark. Nobody had pumpkins out. Nobody had spooky sounds playing through their front door. NOBODY was even trying to be the best Trick-or-Treating house on the block.

I walked back inside, defeated. My friends, none of whom understood the importance of this, nor possessed the tact to not to make fun of me excessively for my undying enthusiasm, tried to sooth me in my time of need.

And then, finally, there was a knock at the door.

I jumped to my feet. I started running to the door, but then stopped myself, saying under my breath "play it cool, Eli. Not too eager."

I opened the door. Standing on my front porch was a girl, probably about 11 years old. What looked like her mom was standing on the sidewalk, patiently waiting.

Girl: Hey.

Eli: Well hello there!!!! . . .  sorry. I mean, hey yourself.

Girl: Um . . . happy Halloween?

Eli: What do you say?

Girl: Um . . . please?

Eli: No. That is not what you say. I mean, generally yes. That is what you should say. That's a very important and polite thing to say. [Then directing the next part to the mom] YOU ARE BEING RAISED CORRECTLY. But, what else do you say?

Girl: Um . . . thank you?

Eli: Oh my gosh, seriously? "Trick or treat!" You're supposed to say "trick or treat!"

Girl: Oh . . . um . . . trick or treat then.

Eli: Well not with that tone. And are you even dressed up?

Girl: Yes. I'm superwoman.

Eli: You look like an eleven-year-old girl in a coat to me.

Girl: Well it's really cold. And my mom said I had to wear a coat over my costume.


Girl: Um . . . so . . . trick or treat?

Eli: Ok fine. You're the only kid that has come by so, here, take several handfuls. And if you see any other children will you please tell them to come trick-or-treating at my house. I have been preparing all day for this and these kids are ruining this for me.

I was relatively pleased with the exchange. Then I shut the door and turned around and all seven of my friends who were at my house were staring at me in absolute silence and with looks of horror on their faces like they had just lived through the prom scene in Carrie.

~It Just Gets Stranger