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halloween past and present

So Halloween has been and gone. My kids take it more seriously than I do. Indeed they take most things more seriously than I do. (I was reading a mystery story the other day, and one of the guys in it said that he had kids who were older than he was. I knew what he meant at once. ) Thea went to Kingston to visit Sam, and the two of them ended up at the same party. Both decided to cross dress this year. Thea went as "Babe" Lincoln, complete with beard and mole (permanent magic marker, which she had trouble getting off the next day) and Sam and his friend Simon went as the musical couple Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. Sam was Courtney Love. He has the wild blonde hair to begin with, and he wore, Thea told me, the tightest skirt she had ever seen. Gosh I am sorry I missed that, I said, not completely meaning it. Ed worried and worried about his costume. He wanted something memorable, but not too memorable. He didn't want it to look like he'd worked at it. Cool means not trying to be cool. It's the hardest thing in the world. I think he succeeded in the end (not in not worrying -- but in not appearing to worry). His friend Mark works at McDonald's, and Ed simply borrowed his uniform and name tag, and went to the Halloween party disguised as Mark. His costume won second prize. (I can't help wondering what it would have taken to win -- maybe if he had been Mark?) Why do they take Halloween so seriously these days? I don't know. It isn't the candy. Is it the concept of identity, of being someone you are not? All I know is that I have not been to a costume party since seventh grade. (I was a mummy, wrapped in rolls and rolls of toilet paper that unravelled when I spilt Coke on myself. A sporty brunette named Robin, whom I rather fancied at the time, laughed her head off at me, and I ran away to the bathroom and wept the bitter tears of twelve years old.) Geez, that took me back. You know, at that precise moment in my life I think I would have comitted a major crime to be someone I was not. Maybe my kids have the right idea. If I had climbed back into the saddle in Grade Seven, donned a pirate costume, or dressed up as Janis Joplin or Grace Jones (Ha ha, can't help laughing at that picture) maybe I would be better adjusted now. Hmmmm. Maybe it's not too late. You never know, do you? Next year?


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