A man purchased a home in a neighborhood dominated by families, thanks to the presence of an elementary and middle school within walking distance. However, the man was childfree, and he would soon discover that this would prevent the man from fitting into the neighborhood in a bizarre way.
The Beloved Smiths
The man explained that the previous owners of his house, “The Smiths,” held a special place within the neighborhood’s heart. “Mrs. Smith was the elementary school librarian and, Mr. Smith was a middle school health teacher and announcer for high school football games. When they retired, they named the high school football field after Mr. Smith. The couple were well loved.”
A Commemorated Tragedy
“The Smiths’ story didn’t stop there”, the man explained. “They had a young daughter who was tragically killed by a drunk driver and it was a huge thing – the high school theater is named in her memory.”
Halloween Enthusiasts Extraordinaire
Adding even more to The Smiths’ legacy, the couple had a remarkable trait – a passionate love for Halloween. They dedicated themselves to creating elaborate, themed haunted houses in their garage every year. Sometimes, they even extended the experience into their home, allowing children to walk through during Trick or Treat.
A Community Project
The Smiths involved the entire community in their Halloween planning. Mr. Smith spent the entire summer crafting structures and props and would accept suggestions from the neighborhood’s kids. Together, the community would choose a Halloween theme for the house.
An Unwelcome Revelation
For the man, this rich history of the Smiths and their Halloween festivities was largely unknown when he purchased the house. However, the neighbors wasted no time in filling him in on this celebrated tradition, encouraging him to make an effort.
Making an Effort
Eager to make an impression, the man decided to distribute cans of pop when Halloween rolled around, a gesture he remembered fondly from his own childhood. Adorned with a witch hat, he set up a display with his dog, dressed as a dragon.
Outdone by The Smiths
Unfortunately, it soon became clear that the man’s efforts didn’t quite match The Smiths’. “All night EVERYONE was commenting about how amazing the haunted houses used to be”, he remembered. “Some visitors drove in from other neighborhoods because of this haunted house and they were so disappointed it was no longer there.”
The man felt bittersweet about his first Halloween experience in the neighborhood. “This probably sounds stupid, but I was feeling kinda melancholic by the end of the night”, he explained. He had put in a lot of effort, but it was clear that he had disappointed his visitors.
A year later, the man’s neighbors had been inquiring if he would continue the tradition of the haunted house this year. One neighbor even posted on social media, urging the community to come together, citing the absence of the haunted house. Even his mother suggested that he follow in the footsteps of The Smiths.
An Internal Debate
The man found himself in a dilemma. He was happy to make an effort as he did last year, but it was clear that his neighborhood expected something far bigger. He was reluctant to go to the extreme measure of turning his garage into an immersive Halloween experience, and he felt rather out of his depth.
Venting His Sorrows
The man headed to an online forum, expressing his wish for this Halloween pressure to disappear, asking readers if he was being insensitive to feel this way. “That’s a lot of work and money and quite the commitment”, one reader pointed out. “If they love an elaborate haunted house so much they can do it themselves.
He Was Not The Smiths
Everyone felt sorry for the man and encouraged him to go with his gut. “It’s your house, and you are not the Smiths”, someone pointed out. “Do whatever you want with it, and don’t be bullied into doing things because of what others think.”
The Smiths Ran Away
One popular comment poked fun at the situation to help cheer the man up. “I’m starting to think the Smiths moved to get out of this obligation!”.
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