Dear Abby: Since Halloween is nearly here, I have a question about trick-or-treating. Last year on Halloween I was sitting down for an early dinner that was planned for 5 p.m. so we wouldn’t be disturbed by trick-or-treaters.
Suddenly the doorbell rang. When I answered, I was bombarded with requests for candy from three boys who live down the street. It was still light outside.
I told them to come back later, when I wasn’t eating dinner. I wanted to teach them that they shouldn’t overextend the holiday and disrupt other people’s lives. An hour later I received a call from the boys’ mother scolding me for sending them away.
I was just trying to get a bit of peace and quiet before the festivities. Was I wrong not to give them candy and ask them to come back later?
– Treat Cheater in Concord, Calif.
Dear Treat Cheater: I think so. The boys’ mother may not have wanted them out after dark, which is why she started them on their rounds early. Halloween is the day for trick-or-treating, and part of the “treat” is seeing the children’s excitement and their costumes. To have expected peace and quiet with kids in the neighborhood was unrealistic. Think back to your own childhood and, when the doorbell rings, answer it and be welcoming.
Disabled cousin unwelcome
Dear Abby: We have two family weddings coming up soon. One of our cousins has Down syndrome, among other medical problems. He’s a grown man, but he has the mental capacity and manners of a 7-year-old. His parents don’t discipline him and he is out of control. He screams and talks loudly and will jump around on the dance floor and run into couples while they are trying to dance. His parents bring him to special occasions, even when it’s “adults only.”
The upcoming weddings will have receptions afterward and adult-only dances. Don’t his parents have any common sense? This family has the attitude that if he isn’t invited, then they won’t go. I have reached the point that it is fine with me. How do we make it clear that he is not welcome? It would be a shame to pay thousands of dollars for a wedding and have it ruined by his behavior. Most people probably won’t understand my point of view. What do you think?
– Nervous in Utah
Dear Nervous: Regardless of your cousin’s age, because of his parents’ inability to control his behavior he should not be invited to the weddings. Because they have the attitude that if he is not invited they won’t go, that’s their choice. Make your wishes clear, and your problem will be solved.
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