Once per year, my dad, who was an extremely private person, let his guard down for at least a few hours. It’s not that he was happy about it. I mean, it meant having to get up and down all night as kids, dressed up in costumes, would come looking for candy.

Honestly, I don’t know how he held on so long while waiting for me to outgrow the annual trick or treating spectacle.

As a side note, he certainly wasn’t getting any help from my mom as she too, liked to dress up and go out.

I remember the first year I stayed home. It was then that I found his secret to tolerating such a night. Certainly, he could have demanded, as I heard some guy in a Walmart recently that they were keeping their lights off. But, he didn’t it.

It was after the third group of trick or treaters that I caught onto to his pattern.

For every group of that came by, he got one Almond Joy for himself. I loved this and pictured him secretly playing this with himself in years past as we were all out.

I know now why there was an expectation each year that when mom went shopping for Halloween candy, a bag of Almond joy was a must.

Quite frankly, if my memory serves me right, I don’t think we even handed out one Almond Joy to anybody in all the years I stayed home with him.

It was like, here is the bowl for the kids and here, yeah, over here… here is my bowl. In a way, it was very Frank like from Everybody Loves Raymond.

Maybe this is why I love an Almond Joy candybar to this day.

So, if you come by my house to trick or treat, don’t expect any.