Just in case you were wondering, Ebenezer Scrooge is alive and well. Apparently he exists in the form of a woman who lives in one of “the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country,” just blocks away from “billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls” and the like.
A woman who referred to herself as Halloween for the 99 Percent wrote a letter to Dear Prudence complaining that children from other neighborhoods were coming to hers to Trick or Treat. Ms. Halloween for the 99 Percent complained that, in her estimation, this particular holiday was turning into a “free for all” where parents vie for the best candy for their children.
Although she admitted that her opinion made her “feel like a terrible person” she likened giving candy away to children from other neighborhoods to an act of charity. An act of charity which she should not have to participate in, because she already paid significant taxes that went toward what she deemed legitimate social service efforts.
The opinions of Ms. Halloween for the 99 Percent got me thinking. And what I learned is that I am pretty clueless. Or maybe I just think differently, because I struggle to wrap my mind around this type of thinking.
First of all, how can this woman tell whether costumed children are from her neighborhood or not? Are the costumes of lower quality? Are the children from her neighborhood costumed as doctors and lawyers and the outsider children dressed in blue collar costumes? I mean, I guess it’s pretty obvious if kids come piling out of a car, but otherwise, how do you know? Is some kind of Halloween profiling going on?
Maybe she comes from such a tight knit community that she is familiar with each and every one of the neighborhood children–even in costume. Perhaps she believes that her hard earned candy needs to “stay in the family.” But unless you live in a gated community, how can you enforce such a ridiculous idea? Will you begin carding your trick or treaters?
I imagine something like this:
Children: Trick or Treat
Homeowner: May I see some identification please?
Anyway, I am hoping that my sarcasm is beyond evident here, because, frankly, this kind of thinking leaves me scratching my head. In a world where people want for safety, water, clothing and shelter, isn’t it a relief that the dilemma with which you are faced is having to give candy to the less fortunate once a year. Sounds like a nice problem to have.
***And by the way, Prudence put her solidly in her place.