A hollow Halloween

October 10, 2020 — by Jason Cheng

It’s that time of year again, and after years of experience, I’ve grown accustomed to collecting bags and buckets of candy on Halloween night, only to reluctantly pass on hundreds of Skittles bags, Milky Way bars and Hershey’s kisses to my friends since I can’t eat them.

The reason: a severe dairy allergy that has limited my food choices my whole life. The most miniscule drop of milk or a thin flake of cheese forces unprecedented vomit out of my pale face, so I’m better off avoiding that fiasco. 

And especially due to COVID-19 this year, my already limited choices are being cut down even further.

Now, that’s not to say that I’d be stuffing my face with pizza and ice cream if my allergy didn’t exist — my health-conscious self would never allow that. What hits me the most is the thought of missing out. 

And that’s exactly what happens. After hours of trick-or-treating, my friends and I dump all our candy into a massive pile on the floor and we sort through all the sweets. When we’re done, the candy is split evenly — well, evenly for everyone else. 

I’m usually left with one or two lollipops and the occasional unwanted Starburst, and at this point, my appetite has completely vanished. 

To say the least, Halloween isn’t a high point of my year. But it’s not just about the candy; it’s the experience that matters. There’s nothing like a night out with friends, knocking on strangers’ doors and begging for piles of candy. 

Sometimes, the idea of candy undermines the true meaning of Halloween. We tend to associate Halloween with candy, but for all of us with unfortunate allergies, we have to look past that. It’s hard enough to miss out on amazing sweets, but at least enjoy the everlasting tradition of trick-or-treating.

I think I’m better off without the candy anyway — the fun’s enough for me, and that’s why I just can’t Reese-ist.

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