While on vacation, I exchanged a couple more emails with the President (a nice guy who lives a few doors down) about the Halloween issue. He indicated that the change was due to the School Night issue (and I believe him as they are one of the only other atheist families I know of in the neighborhood). They wanted to make things easier on parents and kids getting up for work and school the next day.
I recognize that the decision was well-intentioned, I really do. Still. The School Night Reason does not fly.
So I wrote him back. In addition to the other well-reasoned logically sound points I'd mentioned before, I noted it's not within the scope or duties of our HOA to make things either easier or more difficult for parents. It is not for them to get involved in what is essentially a parenting issue. If a parent does not want her child out late on a school night, then that is for the parent to decide and limit. What is the HOA going to do next? Set recommended guidelines for how many pieces of candy each kid should eat, or how long he ought to brush his teeth, in order to make dentist appointments easier on everyone?
Besides, let's face it--trick-or-treating for the kids in our neighborhood (the ones who are actually T or T aged--I'm not counting the teenagers who still beg for free candy) is typically over by 8pm. Maybe a little late for a School Night? I dunno. If it is, then it is the job of the parents to get their kids inside and de-sugared in time for nighty-night. NOT THE HOA'S CONCERN. Not even one little bit.
I reiterated that even though trick-or-treating takes place in our neighborhood, the holiday is a cultural event, not a neighborhood-sponsored event.
He then wrote me back and basically told me that yes, they realize this change had been poorly communicated AND not done in a timely manner. But they're going to keep the change because:
"At this point, to switch it back to Sunday would upset a whole new group of people as they have moved their plans to do it on Saturday."
So it's apparently just fine to upset the rest of the neighborhood who made their plans based on 12 years of personal history in the neighborhood, not to mention however many years of being aware that Halloween falls on the 31st of October. There was absolutely no response to my point that School Nights fall within the realm of parenting, let alone the completely illogical nonsense of the School Night issue in the first place (because it's never ever a problem to trick-or-treat on a Wednesday night!).
And no acknowledgment of the fact that their terrible communication WILL result in two T or T nights for our neighborhood.
Ridiculous. I gave up after that, as it was plain that even though they acknowledge their error in communication, no amount of good reasoning was going to sway them.
And it doesn't actually matter if they reverse themselves or not.
Lots of neighbors are planning to T or T on the 31st despite the HOA, and our party will take place as planned. If fewer homes are open, oh well--less candy for the kids, which some parents might view as a silver lining, I guess. :) Because of the peanut allergy, my kids trade in all of the candy they collect anyway for a more reasonable amount of peanut-safe candy, so it will have absolutely no effect on them--it's only our guests that might come away with less candy. (I hate it though, our neighborhood has always been rocking awesome to T or T in--people come to us from other neighborhoods for the experience!)
And there can be no sanction against us for not going along with their decision (further proof that they are acting beyond the proper scope of their responsibilities). It's just more random stupidness that other people try to thrust upon us for no reason other than it's more convenient for them (have I mentioned that the Pres is a school teacher?).
After doing my very best to point out the ridiculousness, there's nothing else left to do other than move on with my life. As Originally Planned.
The real burning question I now have is: how many of my neighbors are sheeple? Probably too many.