Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How To Not Stand Out On Halloween

If you're a little kid, simple, wear a costume.

As a kid, every Halloween (or Friday if it fell on the,weekend), my school planned a parade.  Every kid was supposed to dress in their favorite costume to show off during the big parade that went around the playground.  I don't remember candy being handed out during these parades, but there were awards for best creations: scariest, funniest, homemade, creative.  I won twice!  I did not want to win.  I did not want to wear a costume.  I didn't want anyone to see me.

I did not like costumes... unless they came in a cardboard box with transparent lid that revealed a fantastic plastic face mask with tiny eye, nostril, and mouth holes cut into them, and a thin stretchy band to hold the mask in place, along with a coordinating highly flammable cape, or gown, or cover-alls, all nicely folded beneath each mask.  Yeah, that's the only kind of costume I'd wear.  But we were poor, so no store bought, boxed, toxic paint fumes smothered mask and highly flammable woven fiber material costumes for me.  The only thing I understood was that my mom was mean for not buying me one of those boxes.  Every store had stacks of those boxes... one for every kid in the U.S.A.  This is how you win a best costume ribbon at the school Halloween parade, right?

I have only two memories of those school Halloween parades.  Third grade, my mom made me a princess costume.  She brought out my first holy communion dress and shoes, and made me a wand out of a stick wrapped with tin foil.  I hated dresses.  I had bad memories from the only other day that I wore this dress... I had an "accident" mid-way through that special First Eucharist EVER mass.  Amen... sigh.  Anyway I walked the parade circle in a white dress carrying a stick.  Big deal, it could have been any old day, you know, if I liked wearing dresses. So the rest of the school day, we sat and watched all the other classes have their turns.  I don't remember a judging committee, but apparently there was one because I won in the "prettiest costume" category... and everybody was looking at me.

My other memory was from the fifth grade.  But first, an explanation:  I grew up in East Los Angeles. I had the scariest (in my opinion) walk to and from school.  The neighborhood where we lived seemed to be where a few gang territory boundaries were drawn.  Police helicopters and ambulance sirens alerting arrivals at the very-close-by hospital emergency room entrance were the norm.  Scary gang members and impressionable youngsters "in training" were everywhere - males were referred to as cholos; females, cholas.  All this was very frightening to me.  Now, back to Halloween and school parades.

In fifth grade, mom insisted that I dress up as a mummy.  She bought extra rolls of toilet paper, made me stand still and cooperate as she wrapped my arms, legs, torso and head with the very delicate, easily ripped apart strands of butt wiping tissue; red food coloring took care of bloody gore effect.  I remember it was warm that day, and by the time we headed out late for school I was done with Halloween.  Mom and I reached the bottom of the hill, a quarter of the way from school and I was pretty much "paperless."  I still had to walk the playground parade circle - in green shorts, white tank top, and sandals (the style popular with girl gang members).  Oh, I also had random red splotches all over me.  I won again.  I have no clue in which category... probably the one most scary for me.  Everybody thought I went dressed as a chola.  My name was called, ribbon pinned... while the entire school watched... sigh.

So, tips on how to not stand out on Halloween:

  • Just give in and wear a costume; nothing dazzling.  Or...
  • Fake sick close to school parade time; or at home first thing in the morning.
  • Remember, in the end there is candy. Got it... CANDY! If you do it right, loads of candy.
  • Lastly, if you hated Halloween as a kid, you're gonna love it when you have your own kids.  I sure do.
Do you have your costume ready?


Click here to view enlarged chart.
One of my favorite online catalogs is Title Nine, and I found out on Twitter that Ain’t No Turkey 30 Day Strength Challenge is underway, and I'm doing it... in the beginner category, of course.  Here's a little more information from Time Out With Title Nine blog:
  • For a PDF of the above chart, please click here.
  • Hashtag your progress using #AintNoTurkey, and share your story and photos on their blog.
Fun, right?  Let's do this.  Two minutes... here I go!

Day  1:  11:58 pm; 30 seconds - wall sits!  Whoa.
Day  2:  10:30 pm; 30 seconds - wall sits.  Ouch.
Day  3:  11:53 pm; 46 seconds - wall sits.  Whew.
Day  4:
Day  5:
Day  6:
Day  7:

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