Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy halloween!

Everyone reading this dresses up tonight, right, and goes trick or treating? Or stays home to treat the tricksters--in costume?

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was a kid, I convinced my mother that we had to begin three days early so we could visit all the houses in our somewhat rural neighborhood. I had three costumes, one for each night. Rather than stocking up on candy, I just wanted to be able to celebrate for longer than just one day.

Three nights prior to Halloween, my mother would drive me to the far reaches of the neighborhood. A typical scenario went like this:

I knock on a door. The light goes on and someone answers. They see me, alone, in costume, at their doorstep.

"Trick or treat!" I say, and hold out my bag.

The homeowner (nobody rented back then, not in our neighborhood) looks confused. "Is it Halloween?" he or she says.

"I begin early so I can visit everyone," I say.

"Oh...well....let me see what I can find." Inevitably, they throw change or a piece of fruit into my bag. Few are ready, yet, with candy.


My mother had no idea, and I suppose I didn't either, that trick or treating was only done on Halloween. My mother was raised with eight siblings by parents who were from Italy, who never even learned English, and couldn't have known the ins and outs of the American custom of Halloween.

These days I only dress up on the 31st, instead of two and three days prior, and so does Bry. We accompany Travis trick or treating. My costume tonight: a plastic surgeon. I bought an emergency room doctor's costume and plastic wrap to wrap about my body, here and there.

Should you dress up but stay home, try writing while in costume. See how it affects your writing. Or become the character you are dressed up as and write from that character's point of view.



~jolene said...

Barbara, I am laughing out loud about your Halloween costume ... in our town no doubt people would trip over themselves to the door to make an appointment with you if you looked anything at all like a plastic surgeon!


Leslea said...

Oh, that is such a charming story of how you used to trick-or-treat early to see everyone. I wish we had a little more Old World charm in Modern Suburbia.

Deborah said...

Loved your story Barbara, and again you ask a question that immediately brings to mind something...

One year, in Mt. Vernon New York, I took my children trick or treating to their godmother's neighborhood. Toward the end of the evening, we stopped at a house and none other than Phylisha Rashaad (cosby show fame) comes to the door dressed in a far eastern outfit with ballooned silk pants and slippers that turned up at the toes.

"Oh look Marcus, Ms. Rashaad is dressed as Jasmin from Aladin!"

Girlfriend rolled her eyes, tossed candy in the child's bag and shut the door.

"What'd I say?"

Marcus' godmother tells me that Phylisha only dresses like that, that she is into some new age, far eastern religion and that's how she dresses!

"Dag." says I

"She looked liked Jasmin to me."

Costumes aren't always costumes...

Anonymous said...

And she always seemed so friendly on the show. Hmm......