Halloween – October 31 - All Hallow’s Eve
What fun we used to have on Halloween in the 1950s! Running around the neighborhood, knocking on doors until they opened and yelling, “Trick or Treat!” We loved the people who gave us full size Hershey bars, although you didn’t have to say, “full size” then because there was only one size. On the other hand, we couldn’t understand the people who gave us apples and insisted they were good for our health. We thought that was just peculiar.
This year, it seems like it’s going to be pretty cold for the kids. Cold like it was the year I decided to be a mermaid. And what a disappointment that was. It was bad enough that mother and daddy refused to pull me around in a wagon so that the illusion of a tail fin could be maintained, but the costume that mother had come up with to keep me happy and make a pretense of me being a mermaid was a long green skirt with the outline of a tail fin drawn on it. Needless to say, I was totally disgusted and humiliated that this ridiculous excuse for a tail fin was being placed on my body. Adding insult to injury, I was supposed to be gracious about it and wear it with a smile. Very hard to do when one is so emotionally encumbered.
This was before Walt Disney’s Little Mermaid, Ariel, but somehow I had channeled the image of a glorious fish tail with real scales and the ability to move my legs as one to make it fan and flip, which would have been relatively easy if I had been in my wagon like I wanted and was being pulled along like I was supposed to be. But no, there I was, a bipedal self embarrassment in a long green skirt with a fish tail drawn on it, shuffling along with a pillowcase of candy, glad that it was dark so nobody could see it, but then alternately mad that it was dark so nobody could see it to realize what I was being put through. The sympathy vote might have been worth a couple extra Hershey’s Kisses, after all.
But actually, the worst thing about that Halloween night, long ago, was that it was cold. So cold, I had to wear a coat over my mermaid costume and the top half of me was the only redeeming feature of the ensemble. I forgot to mention that in my haste to tell you how stupid the bottom half appeared. Mother had done pretty well with the top half and wasn’t it a shame that nobody would see it because it was too cold and I had to wear a coat?
Well, you might be saying, trying to make the glass half full and pull victory out of the jaws of defeat, at least least I didn’t have to wear a hat.
Oh NO! You would be wrong! Of course I had to wear a hat! This whole thing is happening in the 1950s when sensible children with sensible parents were always dressed appropriately to the weather. That night it was cold, and if a coat was needed, then surely a hat was needed, therefore, a red knit peaked hat with a pompom hanging on a chain stitch piece of yarn from the peak that bobbed to and fro was required before I could even think of leaving the house. It was a nightmare come true. There was no hope except the glimmer of truth that no matter how I was dressed, I would come come with a pile of candy. That was the only thing that kept me going.
And so, this Halloween, if any of your children are dressed like a decent mermaid with a shiny, slithery, sparkly, scaled mermaid tail and you are pulling them around on a wagon to create the illusion that they are half fish like they want to be, may I reach out and shake your hand to tell you what a great parent you are? And if you live in Florida so that they don’t have to wear coats on Halloween, may I congratulate you on your unselfish foresight? You have transcended all obstacles while holding down a day job to make your child’s dreams come true.
And may I say, “Bravo! You won’t regret it.” And you won’t have to read their blog fifty years from now to see the trauma you caused them and beg them for forgiveness.
What a great Halloween you will have, with many more to come.