halloween memories

my favorite memories of halloween are those i was challenged to create my daughter's choice of costume. from the time she entered nursery school until she abandoned me for a higher education, her decision for each year's disguise was a big deal. not only because her desire would command a custom made costume but because her decision was always so delinquent. 

after a few frantic all-nighters gluing green rhinestones all over tiny canvas keds (tinkerbelle's shoes) and sewing scarlet sequins on mary janes (dorothy's ruby red slippers) i began to prod her for 'the halloween plan' right after i put away the costume she had just worn. i would continue to ask until she answered which was never earlier than two or three days before she was to be adorned in the attire. 

it was difficult havin' a child whose costume decisions took so much deliberation. it left little time for preparation but somehow i was able to deliver her determinations each year and watchin' her prance proudly in the halloween parades would make me forget the frenzy it took to get there.

my worst halloween memory is also costume related. i was five. while shopping with my mom and siblings i spied a mighty mouse costume and declared it was exactly what i wanted to wear halloween night. all three heads shook negatively. my mother explained that i couldn't be mighty mouse because he was a boy and i was a girl. the cart kept rollin' with no further discussion.

once in the chevy headin' home i pouted. i didn't understand. everybody pretending to be something they weren't that night so why couldn't i pretend to be a super hero that was a boy even though i was a girl? my little brother could tell i was unhappy and told me when i turned into a boy i could be any super hero i wanted. he said this because i believed - and had informed him - that you were born one thing and later turned into the other and then decided which you preferred. it made perfect sense to me - and to him.

during dinner it was decided i would be a witch. afterwards i laid on the floor next to my mom's sewing machine with my eyes closed, imagining myself flying door to door as a mighty male mouse. my day dreamin' ended when the sewing ceased and i was handed my much older sister queenie's outgrown once black dance leotard with a piece of black net gathered up for a skirt. i hated it. i asked what i was going to do for a broom and hat. mom said i couldn't carry a trick or treat bag AND a broom and that we'd see if we could find something to use as a hat at the dime store. what was she thinking? i had two arms, each with hands. one could certainly function as a candy bag carrier while the other branded a broom. of course i didn't say say any of that to my mother. nor did i say with disgust that i knew that 'find something to use' meant being forced to use something that isn't close to what you really want and being told it is perfect as if you are blind. 

within days we went to the dime store - where there were few things costing a dime - looking for something to be 'used' as a witch's hat. as we pushed the empty cart up and down the aisles my mom picked up objects nothing like a witch hat, chipperly saying with each 'look mo. this would be perfect' and with every item she waved at me i became more and more disenchanted with my beloved mother and any participation in halloween. but the thought of my siblings having bags of tricked for treats and me having none was unacceptable. so the bad ideas continued. i grew weary of the useless hat hunt especially because just a coupla' aisles over sat that oh so perfect mighty mouse costume.  

just when i considered my first public tantrum - something only montrous children did to mortify their mothers - i saw a real witch costume in a beeeeyoootiful cardboard box complete with a real witch hat and a fancy plastic mask that would make me look like a real witch! if i couldn't be mighty mouse i would at least be a REAL witch. i grabbed the box, carried it to the cart, pitched it in and heard someone say to my mother, in a voice i would never use but that was somehow coming out of my mouth, 'we're buying it'. no one in my family had ever had a store bought costume. my siblings were as shocked at my demand as they were by my tone and their faces were scary looking. 

my mom didn't say a word, the pretty box with the real witch costume was purchased and for a coupla' days my sister and brother treated me with the great respect i had always deserved. 

a few nights later i got what i deserved for my attempt to punish my mother for wanting me to be a wonky witch instead of a manly mouse. wearing the cheap polyester costume and the plastic mask on the texas october night was like being sealed up in a zip lock bag. before i was able to beg for candy from the porch of the closest house i was soaked with sweat. by the time we got home i was so sick that instead of a supper of sugar with my siblings and an episode of the jetsons, i went straight to bed. 

i'm sure my failed effort to be mighty mouse made me exuberantly embrace mini's many male costume choices. they included winnie the pooh, woody and the tin man and being such a clever girl, she did many with a twist - there was harriet potter, petra pan and everybody's favorite, sponge betty square skirt - all fondly remembered.

i'll now add to my halloween memories as a sweaty witch attempting to mulct my mother and those sewing from sundown to sunup as my daughter's a costume couturier the terrifying halloween of twenty-twenty. with the election looming and the disease daunting, this is the scariest halloween i've sustained. nothing i've experienced so far compares to these simultaneous suspenseful occurrences.

my dear departed mother would say - so often i wish it wasn't too late to apologize to her for my annoyance at it's repetition - 'this too shall pass'. she was usually right so i remain hopeful.

i'll sum up this sequel by thanking you for continuing to pass by my blog even when the same blahblahblah appears for too long. please stay safe, always hopeful and wear a mask when you leave the house even when it's not halloween. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome, just flat out awesome!