Prompt 2. You have a 16 year old daughter who wants to go to a Halloween Party with all of her peers. You take her to the Halloween store to find an “appropriate” costume. She is resistant to most “conservative” choices. Describe the encounter, your feelings and what you end up deciding upon.
Rituals and Holy Days, those are the things that bond us together as humans in communities and families. I learned that this week in World Geography. Pre-AP, which is the fancy word meaning no gangstas in class and slightly more homework. I remember the line about bonding, but I don’t remember exactly what rituals and holy days we were acutually discussing. That might be because it was two weeks to Halloween and I was thinking more about the rituals involved in that particular holiday and. My life was so different since moving a thousand miles, so I was sure Halloween was going to be as well.
The last couple of Halloweens, back in New Jersey, we partook of our share of rituals. The night before Halloween is a holiday of it’s own, Mischief Night. And in our neighborhood, we celebrated Mischief night.It was an evening where the popular kids houses would be toilet papered, egged, and sidewalk chalked. Or some would push the doorbell and run. As I was a lowly freshman, and a band nerd at that, no one would bother my house. But my best friend Theresa’s older sister was the head cheerleader and every one who was anyone was going to try to do something to her house. So Theresa’s dad paid Theresa and I in Hershey Bars to sit up in the two Maple trees on bordering her street with bags of water balloons and eggs, ready to defend the borders of the lands. Theresa’s sister was never actually there, having a life and all. But we would launch our grenades on the football players and other jocks who came to drape the trees with Charmin.
I hadn’t met anyone with popular sisters yet, although as a member of the cymbal line, I wasn’t quite the nobody I was in New Jersey. But no one mentioned Mischief night coming up. Mischief night was on a Friday and there was a football game, and therefore a half time performance. So no mischief for me. And the next day, Halloween, I found out I didn’t have to worry about being invited to Kaitlyn’s party. We had a band marching contest three hours away, the Duncanville Invitational. According to the itinerary, we wouldn’t be home until one in the morning. So much for Halloween.
But cymbal line took up so much time, I didn’t have much time to think about it. Hannah felt our pain, but had an announcement after practice. “Mr. Band Director said that we could have a costume contest while we are in Duncanville,” she announced after practice two weeks before Halloween and the contest. “I thought the cymbal line could all go as something together.”
There were eight of us. We all looked at each other as we were circled around Hannah. What could we possibly do that would incorporate the eight of us and not be stupid or immature? I glanced at Kelsie. She looked heavy in thought. I could tell when she was thinking hard because she would screw her lips up into a half pucker.
Hannah held up a cymbal with little pieces of paper on top of it. “Everyone, come get a character name. We are going as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
I was right. There was nothing we could do that wasn’t stupid or immature.
My first thought was that Hannah was going to be Snow White, but she was staff, so she would be above the humiliation. (Girl 1) took the first folded slip of paper. She slowly opened it, playing with all of us as we watched and wondered. She read it, then signed. “Doc.” I felt a bit of relief. I didn’t want to wear glasses.
Kelsie went next. She picked a folded peace of paper, and almost ripped it open. Then she started jumping up and down screaming. “I got Snow White! I got Snow White!” She came back to my side and whispered, “Think we can get Garrett as Prince Charming?” I just shook my head.
The rest of us drew our parts and I was relieved to be Bashful. Much better than Dopy or Grumpy, although the latter would be an easy part to play.
After practice, Kelsie’s mom took us to the Halloween Store, where Hannah had assured us there were reasonably priced costumes. Kelsie’s mom, Rita, was almost as excited as Kelsie. The building itself was huge and barren, taking up much more space than Halloween deserved. Rita said it was a WalMart once, but after they built a SuperWalMart out on the by-pass, the old WalMart building would house the seasonal Holiday Boutiques. Or Boo-tique, as it was labeled today. Next month, it would be Santa’s Workshop.
We walked in behind Kelsie’s mom. Rita, didn’t work and offered several times to make costumes for us. Kelsie said that she wasn’t very good at sewing, and unless I was willing to look like a kewpie doll version of Bashful, I should say over and over that there was no way I could intrude on Rita’s time like that.
The costume store had portable shelves with large signs at each end proclaiming the gender and sizing of the costumes on the aisle. I could barely make out a Snow White costume in the children’s area, but dutifully followed Rita and Kelsie into the Ladie’s aisle. It was almost as educational as a day in World Geography. I never realized that Snow White was so, um, attractive, to older men. I wasn’t sure what Kelsie would have to stuff the costume with to hold it up. Rita stood behind Kelsie, pulling the dress around her chest. This was too much for me. I walked around the rest of the store, past the wigs, the fangs, the makeup. Surely, somewhere there had to be the rest of the dwarf costumes. Maybe in mens, I thought. I turned the corner and looked for a hole in the floor to swallow me up. There stood Garrett and Leila. He was holding up a Hans Solo costume, and Leila was whining.
“There is no way I am going to wear my hair in those little buns. I don’t care how close my name is, I am not one of those trekkies.” Leila’s pony tail bobbed in time with her rant. She was holding two costumes, I could make out the names, Sonny and Cher. I had no idea who they were, but they looked like sixties hippies.
“It’s Star Wars, not Star Trek,” Garret calmly corrected her, “and it is a classic.” He looked up and saw me. I tried not to panic. “Right, Jules? You would be Princess Leia, wouldn’t you?”
Yikes. What do I say? The truth, of course I would be your Princess any time? No, not with his girlfriend, Leila, the junior cheerleader co-captain. It would be social suicide to say that. “Um, I have to be Bashful. To go with Snow White. It’s a cymbal line thing.” I held my chin up as I said the part about the cymbal line. That was kind of fun to say to Ms. Cheerleader-Thang.
Garrett smiled, “That would be fun. Hey, if you need a Prince Charming, I could help out. Leila could be the Queen.”
Leila smacked him with the Sonny costume.
“Wow.” Garrett said.
I turned around and looked at what took Garrett’s attention. It was Kelsie, trying on the Snow White costume. She looked ready to work at Disneyworld, black wig and all. I was so jealous that Garrett got to see her in that. Rita followed and handed me the Bashful costume. I was doomed to dwarfdom. I wondered if Bashful had any musical talents. I might need to rewatch the DVD tonight.