Monday, October 22, 2012

Trick Or Treat

Halloween is next week. As a child, I loved dressing up and foraging for candy. I made a mental note of which lame house gave out tooth brushes or apples. That house would get skipped the next year. Halloween night in Utah is very cold, like most of the country. My mother was super practical, so we were not allowed to have a costume that didn’t involve dressing warmly. I remember seeing a girl dressed like a genie, including a bare midriff and see-through harem pants. I thought that shivering girl was so lucky. Her mother obviously saw the value in authenticity. That year my mom had actually worked hard on a really good costume. I was Raggedy Andy to my friend’s Raggedy Ann. We had matching outfits and red wigs made out of mops. Then, our mothers made us wear our coats. We had to yell “Trick or treat” and open our coats for the viewing of our awesome costumes. I felt like some kind of pervy flasher, without knowing what that was. Most years my mom would say “Hey, why don’t you be a hobo?”, like it was the first time she was suggesting it. This was in the days before the term “homeless” was invented. Hobos were funny, dirty guys who carried their belongings in a handkerchief on a stick. The family hobo costume centered around old pants that belonged to my elderly great uncle. Dirt or coffee grounds smudged on our faces were used to give the look of a five o’ clock shadow. I remember thinking “God, not the hobo costume AGAIN”. I knew Mom had kind of thrown in the towel the year she bought my sister a Casper the Friendly Ghost costume at the grocery store. It had a picture of Casper on the chest, as well as his name. Even though I was only about 8, I knew this was beyond dorky. No self-respecting ghost would wear a picture of himself on his chest. Jeez! So now, I’m all grown up and my mom is gone. If there’s Halloween in Heaven, I’m sure Mom is lounging happily not answering the doorbell. Wonder where the hobo pants went...

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