Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Ghoulish fun

GhoulieNormally I buy, rent or cobble together a new Halloween costume every year. This year, the way things are going, I may have to make do with something I already have on hand.  The outfit shown here is one I didn't put on last year until 8:30 or 9 PM. I figured that by then, the little kids would be in bed, or at least done trick or treating. What do you think? Is this too scary for answering the door to five-year-olds?  Keep in mind that I've scared young teens with the werewolf/faux tengrem outfit and a deep growly voice. I want to be a little scary, but not enough for kids to be truly terrified, or have nightmares afterward. I'd consider doing the werewolf again, but I can't seem to find the mask.

ghost image - spooky!I usually prefer a spooky costume, because it's more appropriate to the holiday than a cat, a maid or Richard Nixon--unless, of course, it's a hellcat, a vampire maid or the ghost of Richard Nixon. Besides the werewolf and the ghoul, I've been a vampire(?), a ghost, a pirate, an entirely different pirate, a wizard, a witch or two or three, the late Amelia Earhart, Professor McGonagall, and I-forget-what-else. I've also been the Queen of Mâvarin, a gold robot, the Third Doctor, three of the Doctor's companions (Mel, Ace and Grace), and Dr. Sam Beckett. The sf media costumes were for Wholloween parties, back when United Whovians of Tucson was still more than an email list.

When I was a little kid, I went as "Miss Liberty" at least twice, in a pink toga-like dress Mom had sewn for the occasion. The costume also included a sash, a crown and a flashlight torch. I was mostly embarrassed by the costume, because who ever heard of a pink Statue of Liberty? I didn't even know who Miss Liberty was until my mom explained her to me.

I have to admit, however, that it was much better than the Ben Cooper costumes Mom and I had looked at together. If you're my age, you probably remember these. They usually consisted of a terrible mask depicting a current tv character, and an even worse plastic costume with the name of the character written on it. That always bothered me. Batman, Yogi Bear or Cinderella would never wear a cheap plastic jumpsuit with his or her name written across the front! 

Miss Liberty was better than that, but not as good as the skull mask that I got to wear a couple of other years, once with a vacuform plastic Beatles wig behind it. I was frankly envious of the kid with a really good skeleton costume: glow-in-the-dark bones on a black background. That was the height of cool, but Mom didn't believe in a girl wearing a "boy's" costume--and I was dead set against being one of a hundred girls in princess costumes. I have to give my Mom credit for coming up with a female character that wasn't a princess, a ballerina or even a fairy, and sewing it herself. She hated sewing as much as I do, and that's saying a lot.  the camera becomes a ball of lightI got a D in sewing in eighth grade. Mom's sewing wasn't much better, but she tried her best. Besides, although the concept of the spirit of Liberty personified was too esoteric for this second grader, it means something to me now.

In trying to take these ghoul photos, I experimented a little with with flash and non-flash pictures and different angles. Several of them resulted in weird effects. I like the way a couple of them turned the camera's reflection into a ball of light. The other weird one has a ghostlike double image that could conceivably be interpreted as a haunting - but you shouldn't do so.

Mom. Looking at it another way, though, I am haunted. For most of the country it's already October 7th, but as I type this in Tucson it's still October 6th. My mom's birthday. Two years ago tonight, I took my mom in her wheelchair to a Tony Bennett concert at one of the local casinos. It was a terrific performance, and Mom's last outing ever.

A year ago on October 6th, I printed my mom's photo from circa 1950 and taped it to her grave marker for 24 hours or so. The return trip to the cemetery was in the dark, in the rain, but the photo was still there, still in good shape.

This year I didn't make it to the cemetery. I kind of feel bad about this. I won't be at all surprised if Mom is in my dreams tonight. I wonder what she'll say. Will she be annoyed that the black fleece shawl with the fringe that she bought me from Lane Bryant is now a ghoul's shroud?



alphawoman1 said...

You mother is lovely.

sistercdr said...

Your mother was a beautiful woman, and I'd say that costume was just scary enough.

ryanagi said...

Woah! No sneaking up on me in THAT outfit. Yikes! LMAO!

cneinhorn said...