The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blown Out of Proportion



One thing I have found especially interesting about my neighborhood is the holidays its residents choose to celebrate. Last Christmas, I hardly recall much decoration from my nearby neighbors; maybe a wreath here or a Christmas tree there. When it hit September 30 of this year, however, I drove by one night and surrounding me from all sides was an inflatable Halloween park. A blow-up black cat arched its back at me with glowing eyes and across the street, air-filled ghosts wound up a large tree.

I honestly don't know what possesses people to use inflatable yard ornaments of any kind, much less make their house look like a demon-possessed Disneyland. If you put tombstones in your yard, I won't be coming over for dinner. That's just that. You may be a kindergarten teacher, but I automatically picture you casting weird spells and brewing strange potions in your kitchen. And if the principal mysteriously disappears, I'm calling the gravestone nearest to your oak tree.

Maybe I am just bitter because my mother used to dress my brothers and I up in themed costumes of three. After entering a Halloween contest as Wilma, Fred and Barney, I was considerably crushed when Kelsey won as Barney. The kid was wearing a burlap sack with an "X" drawn in black Sharpie at the neck. A bone was wrapped carefully in my tight bun, and I wore a large stone pearl necklace with my outfit. Did the judges appreciate that? No...they gave it to the cute little boy who looked like he walked straight out of a Gap Kids catalog.

It is the adult costumes, however, that intrigue me more than the kids' outfits. There is some underlying Halloween clause that says, "When you can't be creative, find an everyday career and make it absolutely inappropriate."

Have you seen a firefighter lately?

Unless you are watching a different news channel than me, I'm pretty certain they don't wear plastic black shorts, a tied-up shirt and a makeshift helmet. And seductively swinging a red fire hatchet does nothing for ya either.

Or what about the men and women who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe? Let's wear pretty much nothing but a badge and carry handcuffs. Too bad NYPD can't even fit across the length of that garment.

Somehow when you dress up as a real teacher (cardigan, khaki skirt and Earth shoes), people are instantly puzzled as to what you may be. Come in with a white button-up not even buttoned, a short skirt and black glasses and people go, "Oh my goodness! You're so a teacher! That is so adorable!"

Most of my Halloweens included costumes that were easily--yet not so easily--recognizable due to their practicality. My dad, the band director, once put me in a band uniform, with a whistle and a huge Q-tip hat. After a knock on the door, people would look down and question what I was. "I'm a band student," I would say matter-of-factly as I reached my hand into their giant candy bowl. Or what about the time I wore my friend's mother's scrubs and splattered fake blood down the front.

"What are you, darling?" they would ask sweetly, their eyes disconcertingly perusing my get-up.

"I'm a dead nurse."

I was brilliant.

I remember the end of my best friend's world was when her mother made her wear a turtleneck under her Jasmine, belly-revealing costume. "But Jasmine doesn't WEAR a turtleneck!" If only parents today would "turtleneck" their little Hannah Montanas, Miley Cyruses and Lady Gagas.

Whatever your opinion on Halloween is, you have to admit that it is a very bizarre holiday because of everyone's different take on it. For people like me that aren't really into it, it becomes prime people-watching time. And that, my friends, is the real treat.

2 Comments:

Blogger Heather Christine Reed said...

I must say, you are so very right and it is good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I will admit to me being Lady Gaga this year, but, with taste.

October 14, 2010 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Cole said...

The NYPD thing totally cracked me up!

October 15, 2010 at 3:23 PM  

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