Monday was churning out to be a good day. Hubby was off from work and we decided it was the perfect day to put on a pot of homemade Vietnamese Pho (Beef Noodle Soup) and decorate the house for Halloween. Hubby, Punky, and I were enjoying ourselves as we hung the ghosts, skeletons, and spider webs. Upon completion it was determined that the yard needed something ‘new’ this year so we hopped into the car and went on a Halloween quest! We weren’t sure what we were looking for; it was just that the yard needed something more.
As we perused the aisles of the last store we tried, there were rows and rows of Halloween costumes on sale, surprising I thought since we still have three weeks until Halloween. I must confess that I have never in my entire life had a store bought costume. Ever. I had really cool, handmade ones as a little child and then as I got older it was whatever I could throw together (bum, ghost, gypsy, etc). I am *not* complaining. My childhood did not suffer for having never had a store bought costume. Now, Punky on the other hand, has never had a handmade Halloween costume – if you remember from my initial post (go read it now if you haven’t yet, it’s ok, I’ll wait)………So, I am **not** that mom. I don’t sew. Punky has had the opportunity to select her store bought Halloween costume ever since she was old enough to clearly express what it was she wanted to be for Halloween. I only got to pick out the first two costumes (keeping in mind Punky was born in middle October) and the decision has been hers ever since. I digress.
So, Punky was in minor shock when it came out that I had never had a store bought Halloween costume. Hubby never did either. He grew up his first 8 years in Vietnam and I’m not even sure they did Halloween. I don’t think he Trick-or-Treated until he was in the States and I’d bet my lunch money that he and his four brothers threw together whatever looked like a costume and hit the streets. Hubby found a deeply discounted Pirate costume last year after Halloween and surprised me by bringing it home for him to wear this Halloween. Punky had been saying for a while that I needed to buy a costume, I just never have. It’s not that I don’t love Halloween *I do* and I own a spectacular Witches Hat (it deserves capital letters) that I don ever year for Halloween – hey, it blinks and stuff too, ok?
This brings us back to aisles of costumes on sale. The three of us are looking through them all and hubby and Punky tell me, ‘Buy one!’ I’m hesitant. I think part of the reason I never had a store bought costume wasn’t because my parents wouldn’t or couldn’t have bought me one, but because I was a chunky kid growing up in a skinny world back in the 1970s. I suspect that they didn’t make costumes ‘in my size’ when I was a kid. I went on to be a plus size adult and later an obese adult and even with the introduction of ‘adult plus size’ would never have dared to look for a costume. In the last three years I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and while I’m never going to be thin, I’m more in the normal size range of women now and so I began to think perhaps I would be able to fit into a costume. After a diligent search we found a witches costume (I really do love my Witches Hat) that I felt looked like it would fit and still hide flaws I’d want hidden. We all couldn’t wait to get home so I could try it on!
We returned home in just enough time for Punky and I to get our stuff together and hurry off to 4H Drama Club (which I and a couple of other moms lead). Now, right before we left the house we had taken a phone call from the Director of the Theatre Show for which Punky had auditioned. She’s been cast! This was HUGE news to us as this is the adult community theatre production of ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ and Punky auditioned more for the experience than thinking she’d get a part. She’s been cast as ‘ensemble’ and it doesn’t matter, we are *thrilled* and the adult musical productions from this theatre are FANTASTIC (says the hard to impress Inappropriate Homeschooler). It was time to call Grammy and Poppi and tell them the big news!
It was that phone call that brought my day crashing down around me. My mother, who is very ill from an auto-immune illness that I can barely pronounce, let alone spell, had been in the hospital yet again and their home – which we have long suspected is poisoning her – had become so toxic that my parents had to move out. I won’t bore you with all the details, just suffice it to say that I suddenly had a huge issue with which to deal and was going to be leading a Drama Club in less than 15 minutes. By the time we returned home and I filled Hubby in on what had happened I was exhausted. I jumped on the internet and began doing searches for home inspectors in Florida where my folks live as well as trying to find my mom a Pure Allergy hotel room. My mind was a swirl of all the issues we’d have to tackle now, including finding a place for my parents to live near me so I could be more directly involved in their care.
I was *not* in a good place. I admit it. I can handle crises usually, but this just felt so out-of- the blue and urgent especially since my mother, who is usually so stoic, was a basket case. I needed hubby’s support in this moment and while I’m not saying he wasn’t being supportive, he would ever 20 or so minutes ask me, ‘Are you going to try on your Halloween costume?’ After the third time he asked me I sort of flew off my broom stick and verbally jumped him with comments about how he was not being supportive, how this was not the appropriate time to be trying on a freaking’ Halloween costume, and the like. He just looked at me and said, “Try on the costume.” Fuming probably best describes me in that moment. So in a fit of pique, I tried on the damn costume. “Put on the accessories, too”, said hubby. Yep, fuming I put on the hat, the stockings, the boots, and even the crazy lipstick.
Walking into the living room in full regale, Punky declares, “Oh my gosh, you look fantastic! But, um, it shows some cleavage, Mom, maybe it’s a little inappropriate?” I turn and look into the large mirror and I am amazed and how awesome this costume is, and that I look pretty cool in it! It’s not inappropriate at all, I think. For the first time ever I am wearing a decent, if a bit sexy, store bought Halloween costume. Hubby starts paying me compliments and cracking jokes, while wiggling his eyebrows at me saying, “It’s not inappropriate at all.” I begin to laugh and twirl and cackle like a witch, really getting into it now. I sit down to start removing the boots and hubby says, “See, I knew it was appropriate to try on the costume. You needed this. You needed a change of perspective from what was happening.” Damn, that man. But he was right. It was exactly what I needed in that moment and for Halloween; an inappropriate costume.