Halloween is the one time of year when kids are allowed to devour as much candy as their stomachs can handle. When I was a kid growing up in an urban area of New Jersey, there weren’t too many times we were allowed to go trick-or-treating—mainly because of religious reasons. But on the rare occasion when we were allowed to indulge in the “devil’s holiday,” as my grandmother often referred to it, she took us to richer neighborhoods to trick-or-treat.
We left our area and ventured to places like Livingston and Short Hills, because why? Because rich people gave out better and more candy. No one ever questioned who we were or why we were in that neighborhood, probably because no one cared. They were happy to throw handfuls of candy into our pillowcases and wave us on our merry way.
But apparently that’s not the case with everyone. Take, for example, this rich woman who had the audacity to write into The Root’s sister publication Slate’s Dear Prudence column. This Scrooge McDuck has an issue with kids she assumes are not from her area. One has to actually wonder how she knows this. Does she keep a running head count of every kid in her immediate area? Does she take a census every year? Take a look at her letter:
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more "modest" streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
—Halloween for the 99 Percent
As I read her letter, all I could think was, nothing upsets me more than a rich stingy person. Would it kill you to grab a few more bags of candy from Wal-Mart to give to these kids? Use your rich-people privilege for good instead of complaining about giving out a few extra Now and Laters.
Thankfully, “Prudie” felt the same way. Take a look at her response below:
In the urban neighborhood where I used to live, families who were not from the immediate area would come in fairly large groups to trick-or-treat on our streets, which were safe, well-lit, and full of people overstocked with candy. It was delightful to see the little mermaids, spider-men, ghosts, and the occasional axe murderer excitedly run up and down our front steps, having the time of their lives. So we’d spend an extra $20 to make sure we had enough candy for kids who weren’t as fortunate as ours. There you are, 99, on the impoverished side of Greenwich or Beverly Hills, with the other struggling lawyers, doctors, and business owners. Your whine makes me kind of wish that people from the actual poor side of town come this year not with scary costumes but with real pitchforks. Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of the kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 percent live.
This woman will probably never write into Dear Prudence again with her selfish questions.