Last night at the Hallowe’en dance, I won the prize for Most Original Costume.
In other words: the costume that looked homemade, had built-in lighting, and seemed as if it needed its own time zone.
Wearing a jellyfish body on your head covers lots of square footage, little did you know. Also, drunk people sometimes think you’re dressed up as a lamp.
It made me realize what it must be like to be pregnant.
Or a bride with a giant dress.
First of all, there was the bride-with-a-giant-dress challenge of fitting a giant jellyfish head into a bathroom stall.
Jellyfish do a lot of giggling, when they pee.
Unfortunately, jellyfish don’t have bridesmaids to help out with logistics (although a very friendly dominatrix offered her help).
Then, there was the I-must-be-very-pregnant way people engaged with the costume.
That is to say, the jellyfish costume seemed to imply that strangers could get closer than is normally comfortable to me. There were quite a number of people–pumpkins, the Sith, hippies, and tacky tourists–trying to join me under my massive jellyfish time zone, in a way that was slightly disconcerting.
Hands off the tentacles, people.
No jostling the jelly.
And, please put a few more clothes on, while you’re at it. This is the jellyfish timezone, not stripper camp.
My jellyfish costume is kind of a (okay, grade 3) work of art as result of Practical Man and I spending more time than adults probably should on something like a jellyfish costume, but this is what happens when you have no kids and like to pretend you’re still 4, like I do, or you’re Practical Man and live with someone who likes to pretend they’re still 4, like his wife does.
Oh sure, I’m not really 4, but how can you not love Hallowe’en?
- it’s got chocolate
- it’s got dressing up in fun costumes
- it’s got making stuff so you can dress up in a fun costume because buying a costume is just plain no fun at all (at least, for those of us who like to pretend we’re still 4)
- it’s got twirling, if you play your cards right or plan ahead and have a floaty jellyfish costume that is perfect for twirling
- it’s got prizes for best costumes (more chocolate!)
- even if you don’t win, there’s chocolate.
Hallowe’en is just awesome. Of course, I live in the country and no children ever come to our house, no matter how much we leave a trail of candy up the driveway or decorate the house (sniff!) but that doesn’t stop me from trying to buy goodies to hand out to the non-existent children or planning what I’ll wear.
Then, I seek out every Hallow’s Eve dancing event I can possibly get myself invited to. Often, it’s at the local village Legion which is fun because they always have a midnight buffet (with cake!) and everyone dances with everyone, which is like it was when I was a teenager in Germany so I get to simultaneously pretend I am 4 and 15 and what could be better than that?
The band is sometimes a bit painful but, really when it comes to dancing, as long as I can squint and recognize the tune, I’m in. I’m almost positive that last one was Time Warp. Or maybe, Werewolves of London.
When he picked me up this morning, Practical Man had a great idea for my next costume.
Noooo, I can’t tell you what it is! This is top-secret, super classified stuff.
All I can tell you is that next Hallowe’en:
- there will be chocolate
- there will be dressing up in fun costumes
- there will be making stuff so you can dress up in a fun costume because buying a costume is just plain no fun at all (at least, for those of us who like to pretend we’re still 4)
- there will be twirling, if you play your cards right or plan ahead and have a costume that is perfect for twirling
- there will be prizes for best costumes (more chocolate!)
- and, even if you don’t win, there will be chocolate.
Hallowe’en is just awesome.
As a teenager, I prepared for spending 3 months on student exchange in Germany the way most teenagers would: I didn’t bother with practical lingo like
“Can you please tell me the time?”
“Which way to the main train station?”
I was a teenager and since practical lingo seemed to assume that I would always be late or lost, I scoffed.
Instead, I learned the most important words first.
That is, the yummy words.
Case in point: I easily memorized words like
- Laugenbroetchen (pretzel bun)
- Schwarzwaelderkirschtorte (Black Forest cake) and
- Schlagsahne (whipped cream)
But, I struggled when it came to words like
- ??? (pickled herring)
- ??? (liverwurst) and
- ??? (blood sausage).
I maintain that I am vocabulary-impaired through no fault of my own. My great-great grandfather immigrated to Canada from Germany and opened a bakery. My paternal grandfather spent his childhood twirling pretzels in the family bakery in Kitchener, Ontario–a skill he could still demonstrate decades later with our Play Doh.
Yep, gluten and sugar both flow in my veins (and pool somewhere around my chin, mid-section and bottom).
Luckily, there are more remnants from our familial bakery past than the scapegoats of rubenesque, middle-aged descendants. We have a few artifacts and a fair number of pictures, most of which have been compiled into a book by my father and aunt.
There’s a recipe for approximately 200 pounds of cake, in case I want to invite 1000 of my dearest over for a ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ extravaganza.
Wait, I think I’m on to something there…
Cake festivals aside, I have been meaning to install a sort of Bardon Bakery homage in our kitchen for some time now. It was provoked by the gift of tea towels with one of the Bardon Bakery advertising images, which a friend had screen-printed for my sister, parents and I.
I started to gather some of my favourite of the photos and artifacts from the bakery book to display:
Then of course, I went to IKEA (as you do).
I got a Swedish, red frame to put the German -Canadian bakery photo in.
I’m sure my great-great grandfather would approve.
So, a lovely display of Bardon Bakery nostalgia is finally on the walls near the table. If only I had some
- Laugenbroetchen (pretzel buns)
- Schwarzwaelderkirschtorte (Black Forest cake) or
- Schlagsahne (whipped cream)
I could have a lovely Kaffeeklatsch (afternoon coffee chat) as is the German tradition, right here in my own kitchen.
Of course, since I don’t like coffee, my Kaffeeklatsch-es have always been less Kaffee and more Kuchen…so really, a Kuchenklatsch (afternoon cake chat) or Torteklatsch (afternoon GOOD CAKE–the kind with whipped cream, mousse-and-other-delectable-goodies-inside–chat).
But, since I don’t have any Kuchen or (drat) Torte, we may have to dip into the extremely large care package of German goodies that we received recently from a friend in Lahr:
Choco Crossies (chocolate crispies), Ritter Sport Voll-Nuss (chocolate hazelnut Ritter bars), Lebkuchen (chocolate ginger cookie doo-dahs), Gummibaerchen (gummy bears)…
For some reason, I know ALL these words in German.
Still have no idea how to say
??? (Boiled Beef Tongue).
I have heard it told that in every relationship, someone is the gardener and someone is the flower.
Apparently, in our house, I am the…can you guess?
But wait! I think you’re wrong.
So, try again please…I beg you to re-consider.
Which do you think I am?
The gardener? or…
…REALLY? That’s your guess?
If you guessed the flower, you are not alone.
I don’t like being the flower, even though a woman being the flower does harken back to something rather vintage. All that “the fairer sex” stuff. My Grandma Verna actually told me recently that when my Grandpa Howard had an accident at work in the ’50s, one of the doctors wrote in his report, “the patient’s wife is a seemingly intelligent woman.”
Seemingly intelligent. Because you know, intelligence is often suspect when it comes to the fairer sex.
Anyway, being the flower is new for me. I’ve never been the flower before. In past relationships, I was always the gardener; the very determined gardener, trying to get a (large and I was sure, misunderstood) weed to magically transform into the beautiful sunflower I just knew it was inside. I am a people-pleasing, care-taking, co-dependant, gardener sort of gal.
Still, I conducted a little survey among our friends. An innocuous little survey about gardeners and flowers. Traitors that they are, they all agreed that when it comes to Practical Man and me, I am definitely the flower.
Positively, definitely, no doubt about it, they said.
Harumph. Who needs friends anyway?
Well, fine then, if I must be the flower, I like to think I’m a daisy. They’re my favourites. They look so cheerful and they’re very natural (that is, not high maintenance at all) and of course, vintage, if you look at any wedding bouquet photo from 1972.
However, even I can admit that sometimes, just occasionally, I am less like a daisy and more like the 40+ kinds of roses Practical Man used to grow in our yard when we lived in suburbia. Or, the rose in one of my favourite books, “Le Petit Prince“. That is, just a teensy-tiny bit high maintenance.
Just, the odd time. For example:
1) I am afraid of cows, like in a shrieky sort of way (not an especially handy quality to have when you live in the country).
2) I can’t drink alcohol or I’ll faint.
3) I can’t get too hot or I’ll faint.
4) I can’t stay up past 9:00 pm two days in a row or I’ll faint.
5) I can’t shriek or I’ll faint (see cow problem above).
6) I can’t go on an airplane or I’ll faint (and cause an international incident where I’m almost banned from flying even though I’m thousands of miles and an ocean away from home in a German airport all by myself with somehow, unfairly, NO Ritter Sport chocolate bars on my person, but that’s another story).
You may be sensing a theme. There’s more but the long and the short of it: I’m like one of those fainting goats. Well, not so much recently because I take medication that actually works, thank goodness. But, that medication came about because of astute observations made by Practical Man which in turn, helped doctors finally figure out, after 17 years of swooning, what was wrong with me. Once again, proving that I am (darn it!) the flower.
7) You already know how I am with The Nature.
8) But you probably don’t know that I have a thing about chewing. Can’t stand to hear it. Even three rooms over. If I’m ever captured and tortured for state secrets, all they have to do is chew raw carrots in my vicinity and I’ll spill the beans (and possibly some of their blood) immediately.
9) Also, I must eat my potato chips in a certain order (broken ones first, then ones that are misshapen, then ones with bubbles until I finish with one perfect chip). I don’t know why. But, I realized a few years ago that my mother does the same thing so I’m pretty sure there’s a potato-chip-ordering gene that scientists haven’t quite discovered yet. There should be a study and then me and my mom will be vindicated (I can hear you mocking us even now) because the potato-chip-ordering gene could help solve important world problems, I’m sure of it.
10) I can’t tilt my head more than 20 degrees in any direction without getting spinny. I know, I know. You already heard that I was fainty. But, see, this is spinny, not fainty. Spinny and fainty are totally different sensations but I’m pretty sure that they both add up to the same thing.
That is: that I am the flower.
Luckily, like my Grandma Verna, I’m also seemingly intelligent.