Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful: Happy Halloween, Anyway

Happy Halloween, Y'all.

Here in Louisville, it's soggy and we're all a little depressed because tonight it is supposed to thunderstorm.  This has thrown trick-or-treating plans waaaaay off.  Some neighborhoods around town have voted to table the tricks and/or treats until tomorrow night.  Some folks have yelled, "That's inconceivable!" because Halloween is sacred and must happen on the 31st no matter how drenched, cold, and miserable their children might be.


My neighborhood is keeping plans loosey-goosey: if it doesn't storm, we'll have Halloween tonight; if it does storm, we'll have Halloween tomorrow.  I appreciate the non-committal, no big whoop attitude, but this mother needs to plan a little.  I have chili to cook, a house to clean, grandparents to entertain.  Which night is it, people?!

So I made a personal decision: we're trick-or-treating tomorrow.  Deal with it, neighbors. My little Luke and Leia will not be denied.

I don't remember it raining cats, dogs, and if the radar is correct on the local news channel, buffalo and woolly mammoths, when I was a child.  I do remember some wicked cold Halloweens when Mom made me wear my winter coat over the costume.  That's right, my sadistic mother made me hide my adorable purple tutu under a winter coat.  Everyone knows that you wear the coat under the costume, no matter how bulky.

After my three years as a pretty, pretty ballerina, sporting two different tutus (one, oddly, in Christmas reds and greens), I started devising my own costume ideas.  My kids like to do this as well, but usually their ideas aren't so wild that I have to get crafty.  I can usually find their desired disguise at Party City or Target where we spend too much money on them and move on.  This year they are going all Star Wars on me, which my husband and I love because we are painfully trapped in our eight-year-old brains.  I bought some bun-making contraptions called Hairagami and made two perfect cinnamon rolls on the side of my little Leia's head.

When I was my daughter's age, I went from loving fantasy movie characters to realistic movie characters.  No crazy wigs, no neon dresses, no fake blood or Dracula fangs for this girl, no.  I also wanted to go as obscure as possible so everyone would have to figure out what or who I was.  This backfired on me because even when I told my friends who I was, they didn't get it.

I went as Annie Hall.

Best Halloween Costume Ever:  Annie Hall

This costume demonstrates several things about me as a child and pretty much me as an adult:

  1. I considered myself an intellectual and was therefore a snob.
  2. I considered myself an adult because I watched Woody Allen movies with my parents.
  3. I mistakenly thought I was Diane Keaton when in reality I was Alison Porchnik, one of Alvey's girlfriends before Annie, played by Carol Kane.  Annie was as White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant as they come and Alison was a Jewish bookworm.  Of course all the Jewish boys went for the WASP girls.
  4. I thought I was being clever, but I was just enjoying a private joke with myself.  Had I lived in Manhattan as a kid, maybe I would have been clever.
  5. I totally didn't understand the purpose of Halloween.
I wish I had a photo of myself as Annie Hall to show you, but you'll have to paint a mental image of a nine-year-old with buck teeth, long curly brown hair, my grandfather's brown fedora, someone's long suit jacket, a button-down white shirt and dress pants, school shoes, and a long string of fake pearls over one of my dad's ties.  Oh, and I went around saying, "La di da," as if that would clue people in on who I was portraying.  This is act-ing, people!  Work with me!

 Mike Oncley - Annie Hall poster
I lurve this poster.  "Love is too weak a word."

Thinking back on this glorious costume - one I'm sure my mom appreciated for its simplicity and low budget - I can't help but feel grateful that my kids aren't growing up too soon.  They still want to dress up as their favorite action heroes.  They still anticipate all of the candy they will get.  They're still bummed that Halloween may be rained out, but happy enough to put it off for one day.  

Candy is candy, after all, no matter which day you receive it.