My hairdresser made me do it. Not really, but the costume idea came to me when she lightened my hair much more than usual. I crossed over the line from brunette to blonde while sitting in her chair.
On Halloween we planned to go to a friend’s house to pass out candy. Well over 300 kids came to their door each year. They needed at least two people passing out candy on the front porch at all times. The extra hands allowed for bathroom breaks while keeping the kids happy. It was also a nice excuse to get everyone together and have a little party.
My daughter assured me that she was too old to go trick or treating. She said she’d go over to our friend’s house and hand out candy after school when the really little kids started their rounds. Our daughters had been good friends since they were in diapers so I agreed and said I’d see her there.
With a little time on my hands, I tried out an idea for a costume. In my late 40’s, I was a little insecure about my looks and my weight. That midlife crisis mentality seeped in from somewhere. Anyway, I felt like I had a little something to prove.
I pulled out a dress I hadn’t worn for at least five years and slipped it on. Not only did it fit, but I thought I looked quite good. So, I brought up pictures of Marilyn Monroe from the web and went to work on my makeup. I still wasn’t super confident, although I was willing to go out in public.
When I showed up at the party, Kay wasn’t there. She and her friend gave in to the allure of free chocolate. They tossed together costumes and went out before I arrived. This was a very creative crowd so I always looked forward to seeing how they dressed up.
The man on the porch beside me had an incredible costume. He removed the insides of an 80’s boom box, painted it green and put it on his head. The addition of small battery-driven lights in each of the speakers made him look like a very menacing insect with red eyes. The children came up the walk, saw him, and quickly move over towards me. I doubt any of them knew who I was supposed to be, but they clearly felt safer getting candy from a human than a six-foot-tall bug.
Before the night was too late, Kay and her friend came back. As the girls went past me up the steps into the house, Kay said quietly, “Kind of slutty, Mom.” She passed so quickly, she didn’t see the huge grin that broke out on my face. Did I just receive a compliment from a teenage girl? I didn’t care what she intended. After that, I felt less like an old lady and more like Marilyn Monroe.