Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Memories

Halloween is so different as an adult.  Now it means hayrides, and decorating my desk at work.  But I remember a different time, when Halloween was exciting, It was a time to dress up as my favorite comic book character, or that superhero from Saturday morning TV.  I'd start bugging my mom about getting or making me a costume as soon as October began.  I would get my brother & sister into the act too, asking and asking and asking.  Then the day would come.  We'd go to Woolworth's or Kreskes, and search the aisles for those magical boxed costumes.  The plastic face masks were in the front of the package, and for all the world they seemed real to me.  I truly believed that if I put on that Wonder Woman costume, that I WAS Wonder Woman.  Bring on the invisible plane!  Of course, in reality, wearing those plastic one-size-fit-all (not) costumes, and that plastic face mask, all over winter coats and jeans, actually made for bulky looking superheros! 

Put I'd happily put it on, and trying to breathe through the tiny holes, and ignoring how the elastic pinched my hair, and head out to trick or treat.  My dad always took us three self, and my younger sister & brother.  We would clutch our plastic orange pumpkins, and head down our street in the near dark.  I could see my breath misting up as I breathed through my mask.  My brother was dressed as a clown, and my sister as Snow White, but with her mask on top of her head.  With my dad trailing behind, keeping step with my brother, my sister & I would run up to the next house that had a porch light on, and sing out, "Trick or Treat!  Trick or Treat!"...and the door would open, and reaching through the open top half of a screen door, the kind woman would drop candy into our pumpkins.  We always said 'thank you', as we were taught, even if it was something we didn't like.  Then on to the next house. 

I loved the house that gave actual full sized candy bars!  And though we knew he only gave out shiny apples, we always went to the old man's old house around the corner.  Then we'd wait until my dad & brother caught up with us, and away we went again.

My all time favorite costume was the Catwoman costume my mother sewed for me.  In reality, it was just a one piece black outfit, with a tail sewn on, and cat ears, but I felt like Catwoman in it (Julie Newmar, not Eartha Kitt).  Though time and time again, I had to explain to kind candy-giver-outers that I wasn't not a cat, but indeed Catwoman, it didn't dissuade that feeling.  Though there was this really nice woman who said 'what a nice kitty', then proceeded to hand me the biggest candy bar I'd ever seen.  I said "meow" and walked on.

When our pumpkins were full, and my siblings too tired or excited to continue, we'd head home, where my mother was dutifully giving out candy.  We would sit on the floor, and spill out our spoils.  Then the annual ritual began.  My father and mother sorting out our candy.  The chocolate went into a bowl to go in the fridge, and the other candy into a bowl for the table.  We shared all our candy...after my parents had checked it all to be sure it was safe.  Then we would get to have some, right then and there.  It was a very happy ending for an exciting childhood time.

Hmm...wonder if there'll be any candy at the hayride tonight?

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