It’s October, so my Christmas list is well overdue.
Of course it is.
Santa is so demanding.
And, lest you think this is all a tad early, let me inform you that Costco has been Christmas-ing since August, yes indeedy.
There are entire aisles you can Deck the Halls in, wearing your flip-flops (we can’t generally wear flip-flops during the ACTUAL festive season in Canada).
There are buffalo-checked Christmas doo-dahs as far as the eye can see (I try my best to avert my eyes back to the free samples they give out at Costco, which it’s really important to keep one’s eye firmly upon so as not to forget the real reason we shop at Costco).
Practical Man does not approve.
Of the Christmas doo-dahs, I should clarify.
He’s a free-sample fan, though.
What kind of Practical Man would he be if his favourite thing was not anything, preceded by or followed by the word, FREE?
He never eats the free samples – he gives them to me, like some kind of Snack Saint. He doesn’t snack and did I mention that he’s kind of annoying, sometimes?
Lovely, but annoying in a Snack Saint sort of way.
Or, maybe Snack Santa.
But, festive flourishes (even with free snacks for his beloved) before a respectful observance of Remembrance Day (Nov 11)? Now, them’s grounds for grunting and Rick Mercer-esque rants.
I don’t disagree.
It’s only October, merchants! My Hallowe’en costume is barely out of my head and onto the sewing machine, yet.
But, Practical Man still wants my Christmas list early, early, early.
He’s not a huge fan of all the commercialism and forced gifting that comes with the season but, he does like to make someone happy.
“You know that I don’t go in stores after the beginning of November,” he warns in a Bah Humbug sort of voice.
Who cares about that when everyone knows that Santa doesn’t shop in stores? Santa has elves making things in workshops and eating gingerbread, dontcha know. They don’t shop at Costco (unless they are snackers, in which case, who can blame them?)
Ho, ho, ho.
Still, on account of their too early Christmas hullabaloo, I wonder if Costco has been listening to our conversations about overdue Christmas lists? Like a George Orwell, big-brother-is-watching-you kind-of-creepy, Santa?
Oh wait, that’s Siri and Okay Google. Neither of which we use and yet…
I’m feeling spooked.
Which would be fine because it’s nearly Hallowe’en: the season of spookiness.
And what with my distraction about whether my non-Siri/Okay Google devices are listening to my conversations without my permission, it’s a bit difficult for me to think of what I want for Christmas.
Except maybe a vintage, Fisher Price hospital, complete with X-ray machine and working elevator.
Because, every woman in her 40s needs one of those, right?
And peace on earth, wrapped in buffalo check flannel.
Except, not yet.
Because it’s wa-a-a-a-y too early for Christmas-y stuff.
So says Practical Man–and me.
But, not Costco.
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.
I am a documented scaredy cat, but I still love Hallowe’en.
Not the vampires, blood and gore Hallowe’en that some prefer.
Rather, the pretending, dressing up, revert-to-childhood version that lets me carry on like I did when I was 11, when I spent weeks designing, building and painting my mailbox costume (complete with chute for candy).
Or, the year before, when I was a die:
In Canada, all Hallowe’en costumes have to fit over a snowsuit.
None of those wispy fairy/princess/superhero costumes for us, no sireee. The foolish (or newly immigrated from warm climates) among us might try for that kind of nonsense but they just end up shivering their way around the neighbourhood with frost coming out of their nostrils and goosebumps the size of the Rockies all over their fairy wings/tiaras/capes.
We are a hardy Hallowe’en bunch, us Canadians.
As an adult, each Hallowe’en season is just a big excuse for a whole lotta dancing. I am Dancing Queen. I am Boogie Nights. I am Disco Fever.
Or, you know, something from this century.
Hallowe’en is an excuse to dream up a costume that lets me play for a few weeks in advance of the big event, plotting and planning, building and dreaming, all with a goal of creating something fun, flowy, and breezy to wear as I groove the night away with some serious tra-la-la.
Yes, I am 44. No need to point that out.
I probably should have been a kindergarten teacher. Lots of tra-la-la opportunities there. Tra-la-la is practically a job requirement.
Not to mention, twirling. Love the twirling. Five year-olds don’t look at you strangely when you do it, either. They just join in, like we should have been twirling all along.
I love that about them.
Due to my bookish nature, I have often gravitated for past Hallowe’ens to children’s literary characters including:
Raggedy Ann: white skirt, top, apron, fun socks, wig, doilie. Presto-bongo: homemade costume!
Dorothy: white skirt, blouse, apron, pigtails, ruby slippers. Presto-bongo: homemade costume!
Pippi: white skirt, white top, pinafore, red wig, pigtail with coathangers, fun shoes. Presto-bongo: homemade costume!
You may be noticing a theme here.
Even though my costumes no longer have to fit over a snowsuit, I’ve never been a woman who does that whole sexy nurse/fairy/butterfly/witch/pirate wench thing that many women do. I don’t feel any such inclinations to harness my inner hottie, but rather, my inner 4-year-old. With a side dish of twirling and dancing with gleeful abandon.
Then, there’s the chocolate, of course. Yummy.
This year, I got slightly more ambitious in the costume department.
There was architecture involved.
First, I got a top hat.
Practical Man generously donated several pounds of bubble wrap he had stored away for practical occasions such as this.
We recycled the corrugated presentation board from a Career Jeopardy game we had made for my work back in 1999, and cut it out in the shape of a doughnut.
But this isn’t a doughnut costume (although I’m sure if I could have managed to convert a white skirt and an apron into a doughnut, I would have tried).
I built up the presentation-board-formerly-known-as-Career-Jeopardy-game with tons and tons of the bubble wrap and packing tape. I stuck a lot of packing tape to my other fingers, the floor and my hair along the way. I may have cut my finger slightly with the scissors.
All is fair in Hallowe’en costume creation.
I cut clear plastic garbage bags into strips and strips and strips (mostly wiggly, because I hate measuring and plus, it’s more realistic, and have you already forgotten that I hate measuring?)
I cut ribbons and iridescent tulle.
Practical Man cut long strips from an old pool solar cover (he measured, of course. His strips are very straight.) He also strung some foam balls on fishing line (also measured precisely for varying lengths and distances).
Then, work began on the accessorizing.
First, the finger and toenails became party blue:
We still have 80 feet of solar blanket left from the pool, so I fashioned a little clutch.
It’s important that my costume have a place to put my lipstick.
Ta da! I think it’s practically like Dolce and Gabbana, don’t you think?
Then, I donned a white long-sleeved t-shirt, white skirt (we’re back to my usual antics) and an iridescent blue skirt that was in my Tickle Trunk. I pulled it up to my chest so it covered more of my body.
It looked swishy and sparkly. Perfect for twirling, if I do say so myself.
My friend Pippi (not her real name) thought I was…
I have forgiven her because by the time she was beholding my magnificence, she had already consumed half a bottle of white wine so it was hard for her to remember the correct word for my epic costume:
JELLYFISH, of course!
Rockin’ the jelly.
I’m a fresh water, Lake Ontario jellyfish. Hee hee.
Glow sticks from the local dollar store added just before dance time made it glowwwwwww.
Next time, I’ll use more, but still….
I love Hallowe’en.