My hairdresser made me do it. Not really, but it all began when I had my hair lightened quite a bit more than usual.
We were invited to a friend’s house to pass out Halloween candy. They had more than 300 kids come to their door like costumed locusts with parents reminding them of their manners. There needed to be at least two people with candy bowls on the front porch at all times. It was a nice excuse to get together and have a party, but it also gave everyone a chance to have bathroom breaks.
My daughter assured me that she was too old to go trick or treating and was going straight to the house after school. I agreed that I’d see her there with my friend’s daughter. The two had been close since they were in diapers.
Since I had a little time on my hands, I tried out an idea for a costume. In my late 40s, I was feeling a little insecure about my looks and my weight. You could call it a mild midlife crisis since I felt like I had something to prove.
After searching in the back of the closet, I pulled out a dress that I hadn’t worn for five years and slipped it on. Not only did it still fit, but I thought it looked quite good. I pulled up pictures of Marilyn Monroe on google and set to work on my makeup. No matter what I did, I still wasn’t super confident. Finally I decided that good enough was good enough and left the house.
When I showed up at the party, Kay wasn’t there. She and her friends couldn’t resist the allure of free chocolate, had tossed together costumes, and gone out. I took up my post to pass out candy.
The man on the porch beside me had an incredible costume. He removed the insides of an 80s boom box, painted it green, and put it on his head. The addition of small battery-driven red lights in each of the speakers made him look like a very menacing bug. The children would come up the walk, see the giant bug, and quickly move over towards me. I doubt any of them knew who I was supposed to be, but they felt safer getting candy from a human.
Before the night was too late, Kay came back. As the girls slid past me up the steps into the house, Kay said quietly, “Kind of slutty, Mom.” She passed so quickly, she couldn’t see the huge grin that broke out on my face. I must have looked pretty darn good if she felt she had to give me a dig. I’ll take that as a compliment from a teenage girl.