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Every day is Halloween

Last night we went to a Halloween party a friend’s house. My husband’s work is nearer to their house than ours, so he decided to ride his bike straight there, and thus ended up arriving before us. When I walked in, it would be an understatement to say that he was shocked. I’ve never been big on dressing up for Halloween. But for some reason I decided to go [almost] all out. (I didn’t get around to doing my fingernails.)

But the costume was the reason everyone else was surprised. They didn’t get why my husband was surprised because no one at the party has known me more than a few years. These days I affect a “harried California mom” look — jeans, t-shirt. Lately I’ve been attempting to wear more interesting clothing, but the years of spit-up and playing in the mud pretty much did in any attempt to be as interested in fashion as I used to be.

When I met my husband, however, in 1986 (boy, that was a long time ago!), I was in quite another state. I was what is now called a “goth.” At that time there was no general acknowledgment of the style — those in the know called us “deathrockers.” I had weird haircuts; I wore black, some of my clothing was very old-fashioned, some very modern. In fact, what I wore last night was vintage 80’s.

Halloween witchSo when I appeared at the party like this, everyone was a bit surprised at the change from “harried California mom” to witch, but my husband was recognizing a ghost from the past. OK, for sure I didn’t usually put green eyeshadow around my eyes in the daytime, and I generally wore my hair flat rather than teased, but otherwise that’s pretty close to the state he found me in when I got my first job out of college at a computer company in Palo Alto.

It’s interesting to really shock one’s husband, especially in a good way. And I got to do it to my kids, too, before the party, when I called them in one by one, saying “Can you come in and help me?” and they came in to find me like this. My daughter, who adores dress-up, was highly amused, and wondered if I could tease her hair too. (Not really.) My son looked shocked and amazed and a little frightened (a bit like his dad).

So today is the real Halloween, and I don’t feel the least bit inspired to do it again. It was fun to revisit my past, and maybe I’ll do it again someday. The one regret I have is that my Mrs. Peel boots are too small. Bigger feet is another thing my kids did to me, along with spit-up, muddy clothing, and the lack of time to care about whether my clothing is reflecting my true inner feelings.

And besides, my true inner feelings have changed. As a young adult, I felt it necessary to show how alienated I was from the world. Now I’m alternately amused, saddened, shocked, and in love with the world. I’d need too many changes of costume! So tonight I’ll probably go as I usually do each year, as a “harried California mom.”

Besides, who’s left to shock?

Posted in Culture, Parenting.


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