Our family moved to this lovely community seven years ago. The following autumn, I started a fun little game. You might have heard of it. It's call a Boo. Or a Halloween Phantom. I'd print up a cutesy poem explaining that they had just been "boo'd" and now it was their turn to find another family to give anonymous treats to, thereby spreading the fun and calories around. The first year, I really made an effort. I got a trick-or-treating bucket, filled it with candy, homemade cookies, and a couple decorations. I cackled with glee every time I passed that house and saw the little ghost in the window, indicating that the house had already been boo'd. More of those little ghosts began to haunt the neighborhood! It was really cool to see my game spread. However, I couldn't help but notice, when skeletons were reburied in storage and the sugar buzz wore off, we didn't get a ghost.
The next year, I sent around two buckets, slightly toned down, as it might be intimidating to continue my awesomeness. Our neighborhood was growing and there were more people to share in my game. Same poem, same picture. Same results. Nobody boo'd us.
I carried on the tradition for two more years, always secretly hoping that every after-dark ring of the door bell would bring a ghost bearing a plate of goodies. It gets hard. The rejection starts to get personal when it happens so many years in a row. I wondered why we were never picked (was I too short? maybe too awesome? were we really part of some form of the Truman Show and my little game wasn't figured into the script and no one was allowed to contact us?). So I stopped. The past two years, I didn't try. I saw ghosts going up in windows so I knew someone else had picked up the torch, but they didn't pick us.
Tuesday night, it came: an almost-bedtime ring of the doorbell. A tinfoil covered plate of love sitting on our steps, with instructions on how to continue the game. I tried not to cry. It was finally my turn, like being asked to sit with the cool kids at lunch. Such a small thing, really. Nothing that would ruffle anyone else's feathers but to me...that ghost in my window is like a seal of approval that I've applied for year after year and was denied. But not this year.