Monday, October 31, 2011
My fondest memories of Halloween involve my mother applying rubber warts to my nose, green paint to my cheeks, gray color to my hair and long black plastic nails to my fingers as I would sit practising my best witch's cackle. For years, I choose to be a witch and my mother obliged. I wonder if she ever secretly hoped for me to be a princess or Mini Mouse or anything slightly less dark. There were other costumes, I am sure but none seem to stick so solidly in my memory. I recall a being a Gypsy; dressed in my mother's long white skirt rolled up countless times at the waist and a Hawaiian print shirt tied in a knot with plastic bangles on my wrists and several inches of my mother’s make-up plastered onto my face. I asked my mom what a Gypsy was and she gave me the reply that would become standard. “They are the people who left you on our doorstep as a baby.” Looking back, I think the Gypsy costume was one of my mom’s last minute wonders, seeing as how my brother was a ghost fashioned out of a white sheet! But it didn’t matter; last minute or ages of planning my mother had a knack for making it happen on the big day. I don’t recall shopping for costumes or discussing options or the lead up to the big day. What I remember is my mom’s warm breathe on my face as she painstakingly applied mascara to my tiny lashes as I giggled uncontrollably. I can see her now stepping back to take me all in before applying a last minute touch of green or black paint. I also remember her consoling hugs as I cried about the loss of every last one of those black plastic nails. And then there are the photography sessions with the Kodak Disc that have produced a photographic essay of my transformation, year after year into one of the most believable witch’s to ever walk the trick or treat circuit since Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692.