In my house, we don't really get all crazy-excited about Halloween. Sure, we (and by that I mean "the royal we"...aka "just me, really") simply adore anything edible that includes the word "pumpkin" somewhere in the name. And of course we (and this time I am actually referring to the whole family) enjoy traipsing around our local nature store to carefully choose future jack-o-lanterns for the porch. (Husband and boys take care of the carving; then we all chow down on the roasted seeds....yum!) Oh, and let's not forget the extremely important issue of purchasing sufficient amounts of candy...to hand out to the approximately ten hardy (or sugar-obsessed) trick-or-treaters who manage to make it all the way down to the very last houses on our dead-end cul-de-sac and request goodies. (I've learned to make sure I buy stuff we like, since it'll most likely end up in our dessert stash...and really, there's no downside to this scenario, is there?) My kids used to dress up when they were younger, but this tradition has fallen by the wayside in recent years.
As for me, I've always had a bit of difficulty with the whole "costume" thing. Even as a child, I never wanted to wear uncomfortable clothes...fussy accessories...or masks... (Yeah, I probably gave my poor mother fits as the end of October approached each year.) Also, while I'm a creative person in my own way, this does NOT extend to "visualizing and/or creating clever Halloween outfits". Sooo ...(yes, this is leading somewhere, I promise) this weekend my dance-class-ladies were getting together for a little party. Yay! Special grown-up time! With delicious food! And adult beverages! However, a few weeks before the event, the hostess sent the entire group of us into a panicked tailspin when she casually announced that "costumes would be required". Gulp. We bombarded her with impassioned protests, but she firmly stuck to her rule and refused to budge. The next several times we convened, the conversation--in between plies and chasses--inevitably returned to the same topic: what was everyone planning to wear to the shindig? The level of hysteria steadily increased, the closer we got to the date. I shared the same concerns everyone voiced, namely 1) no freakin' clue how to concoct something from items already in my wardrobe; 2) not willing to spend money on a pre-made getup; and 3) see earlier complaints, which still apply to the adult me.
As time marched on, I began wandering around the house, seeking inspiration in the oddest and most unlikely of venues...my sons' bedrooms...the garage...the downstairs storage space. Nothing jumped out (literally or metaphorically...thank goodness for that, I guess...) until I randomly opened Husband's closet and found my salvation (a little dramatic? Did I mention I was desperate by this point?) in the form of: an Orioles jersey. (An engagement gift from my sister oh-so-many years ago. Bless you once more, sis!) It even has my name on the back, lending it a nice authentic touch. (Because, you know, I could SO pull off the appearance of a Major League Baseball Player in terms of age, build, height...um, gender...etc...if I only had a shirt with my name on it, right?) I exhaled with a gigantic sigh of relief and felt my tension dissipate, as the image came together in my mind: black pants, baseball cap borrowed from...well, from whichever boy has one to offer that's not totally sweat-infested...and for the finishing touch, Derek's orange-and-white braided "energy necklace" that so many ballplayers sport these days with their uniforms. And...D-O-N-E!
I was completely comfortable, I looked reasonably cute, and I had fulfilled the demands of my hostess-friend. (Now she'd have to let me in the door...and allow me my well-deserved snacks and libations!) As it turned out, all of my classmates acquitted themselves quite well, running the gamut from traditional to think-out-of-the-box brilliant. In the end, though, it was all about the camaraderie, the laughter...and perhaps the pumpkin pie! (And don't think I'm not throwing on the exact same ensemble for however many more Halloween fiestas I get invited to....for the rest of my life! Shhh, don't tell!)