Trick or Treat


1997 …. October madness

Halloween has come and gone yet one more year. And once more I have been amazed that at 15, Sara is actually not yet old enough to let go of that fine tradition of trick or treating. This is a truly candy-deprived child who may still be telling me what she wants to be for Halloween while we discuss graduation parties, college courses, and, who knows? bridesmaids…

At any rate, I find myself yielding, in the end, every year, to make her whatever it is she has decided to be. And each year, for several years now, I have made a rather supreme effort, as I feel, yet again, that it is the “last time” we go through this routine. At any rate, this year she wanted to be a Hollywood movie star…of the 50’s….Doris Day? I ask her???NO!!!! something glamorous!!! And I am reminded of Jane Deering in a langorous pose….well, we’ll check the Salvation Army and see what we can come up with, I promise.

We weren’t the only ones with the same idea, and by the time we hit the local store, the only piece I can come up with that sort of fits the bill….is a mint green bridesmaids dress from montgomery ward. Worn only once, I am sure. It is made of doubleknit polyester, with chiffon sleeves that sport decorative rhinestone trim at the raglan. Charming, but it fits…..

She disagrees with me that it looks elegant, although I have assured her movie starlets would have died for a dress like this…….maybe they did???……and decides to ask everyone elses opionion, as I am obviously NOT to be trusted. After asking everyone what it reminds them of, and everyone hemming and hawing, then asking in a wavering manner….. a fairy??????? she decides NOT to be a movie star, but to follow the green theme, and be a flower fairy, or the spring fairy, or some such.

With her short curls, it seems perfect. I slash the dress into a Mary-Martinish Peter Pan….then add lots of glittery green paint and green rhinestones. With the addition of some dyed green tights, green felt elf shoes, a “magic” wand and a floral wreath with silver star tinsel, the transformation is complete. With green ribbons trimming everything, and her face washed with glitters, she looks the perfect pixie. We even add a bag of “fairy dust” so she can annoy people completely.. She is off for another year of silliness and high spirits. To my amazement, she goes out with around ten of her classmates……the whole group is unwilling to give up this ritual of childhood. They have a fabulous time, and are up till all hours in what we jokingly call a “sleepover”

Meanwhile, I am invited to a performance of the Count Basie Jazz Orchestra with tap greats like the Nicholas Brothers and Donald O’Connor, among others, both old and new. It is a terrific evening…..and one of the performers, who has been in show business for 70 years….taps for over 30 minutes. I am exhausted watching him…… was great!

Saturday was a winding down and a quiet day, with parties at night……and now its Sunday again. Another moment to sit and reflect on how these moments mark the passage of childhood…and its highlights…

So I guess I don’t really mind making another Halloween costume, if it keeps that lineage going for just a little longer……I know I’ll miss it when it gone.