Boo. Ok I know a little late for a Halloween post, but I got lazy and then I forgot and then I got lazy again. That however will not stop me from writing about my favourite pagan ritual (truth be told this might be the only pagan ritual I know about..i think).
Since I was a little girl I adored dressing up in costume. I loved looking in the mirror (no not vain!) so I could see all the weird expressions I was capable of making along with my attempts at various accents. In another life I definitely would have been an actor, probably something theatrical. There was just something about putting on a façade and becoming someone else. There was a thrill to it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I still remember attending my very first costume themed birthday party. I must have been about 6 years old and insisted on going as a Mummy. Somehow costume to me meant something spooky and I am pretty sure I had no idea about Halloween way back then, living in Karachi, Pakistan. The ‘Gora’ holidays and festivals weren’t celebrated with such grandiose during my early childhood in the 80’s as they are today. Boy, today the level those parties are at are much closer to Hollywood than you would imagine coming from a third world country, much less South Asian. Ah to be part of “high society” back home, versus a fly on the wall over here. Sigh. #perksofthirdworldlife
But I digress. My khala and my own ‘mummy’ helped me transform into the scariest first grader you have ever seen. I was gosh darned cute I must admit. They took a long white chadar, cut it into strips and literally mummified me in it. Well you know, wrapped it all around. What I didn’t realize was how constraining it would be. But I insisted and I was not going to be told “I told you so” by anyone. Sure I couldn’t play all the birthday party games as well as the other kids, although I did try. Imagine myself, just a little bit shorter than I am now (ha ha) arms outstretched, legs stiff, trying to play tag. Must have been a sight but my effort was not in vain as I returned home with the best costume prize. Yay me.
Since that first opportunity to dress up I have always looked forward to any occasion to put on a costume and preferably a home-made one at that. To this day I have not had to purchase a whole outfit and somehow always found something at home. I have thus far been a Mummy, Cat, Witch, Gypsy, Vampire, Cowgirl, She-Devil (my own mother will probably say that’s not a costume), The girl/ghoul from The Ring, 20’s Flapper, Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), 80’s party girl, Geisha, Princess Leia (Star Wars) and lastly Yoko Ono (repeating a few of them throughout the years).
Then I became a parent and have not really had the opportunity to ‘dress up’- YET. Although I miss it, I am much more excited about my daughter’s enthusiasm in dressing up. This year was her second Halloween, and she was definitely a lot more aware of the costume and candy part than before. Her first Halloween, I stuffed her into a tiger costume (mainly because it was warm and her personality is very cat like in any case).
This year she kept flip-flopping her decision from Pirate to Princess to a Pumpkin! At one point I really thought I was going to have to make a combination of all three. She left it till the last moment and I had to take the executive decision to buy a ready-made costume (again). Thank goodness for the Disney Store and their last available toddler size for Izzy the Pirate (ref Jake and the Neverland Pirates). And she wore this costume 3 days in a row. At least I got my money’s worth.
Along with the costume, we did get a pumpkin and at my daughter’s behest it would be carved into the great and mighty DORA. I was not aware of the Dora frustration that had been bubbling under the surface until I started carving her face into the pumpkin. It was all business and then I reached her big eyes and the sheer joy felt as I poked and prodded through was well, very Dexter-like. I would recommend pumpkin-carving as a real mode of therapy for all mothers.
Trick or Treating was just that; tricky and treacherous because of the rainy, cold weather and throw in a toddler spooked by the elaborate Halloween décor. The treat was the neighbourhood we visited. There was a hidden suburb right behind one of the subway stations. What a wonderful surprise that was. The houses were magnificent. It was a scene from the movies. Classic, old world charm to those updated massive homes, with the perfect lawns and the perfect autumn leaves adding to the romantic feel of the whole street, despite the chilly weather! The matron of the house, with perfectly coifed hair would usually answer the door with her pearls around her neck. It was a modern Stepford! Unfortunately we did not get to collect as much candy as we would have liked (because you know hubby and I would definitely be stealing the little one’s stash!). Our pirate had had enough of the spooks and rain and after a few houses it was time to return to our unexciting condo building (no trick or treating there, sadly).
Will definitely plan the next Halloween so I can dress up along with my daughter, and yes hubby can join in as well. Maybe you can suggest a fun theme for the three of us!
Ok. Gotta go folks, have chocolate crumbs on my face and shirt, must hide the evidence before the pirate catches me. Arrgh.