Our Friday night grocery shopping trips on, or near Halloween were the best because it was then that I was able to go to the special Halloween aisle and pick out my mask. With such care, Mom always placed it on top of everything else so it would get crushed by the canned goods. I really loved those plastic masks, even though my face would get all sweaty from wearing it. They never did seem to fit perfectly; sometimes they'd slide down my face and after a bit, the rubber band holding it on would begin to itch, or bother me. Whenever I'd lift up my mask outside, a blast of cold air would hit my face like arctic ice.
Some kids would even bring their masks to school to show everyone, but I was never allowed to do that. Halloween was such a grand holiday when I was growing up; it never represented any type of evil in the world, just a fun night of dressing up, and going out trick-or-treating for candy. I used to go so far out into the neighborhood that I sometimes used a pillow case instead of a paper bag for my candy. I always had my big brother Pat with me, so I was perfectly safe from getting my candy stolen.
Every now and then I'd get a really cool costume from the store. I used to really look forward to wearing it, and was literally counting the days until the great night of candy collecting. I really loved those shopping trips; outside of the store windows was darkness; inside were grocery shoppers bustling about pushing their metal carts. On the racks where the Halloween masks hung other kids with their moms or dads were picking out a special mask. Mom always made Halloween a very special night in our house. There was always some sort of special dinner, like hot dogs or something festive with appropriate Halloween colors.