All Dressed Up and Some Place to Go

October 6, 2011 at 2:59 am 1 comment

As soon as the fall leaves change colors across most of the country, or the Florida temperatures plummet to a refreshing 75 degrees, a transformation takes place on the inside as well. Shelves overflow with a variety of candy, marshmallows, cookies and sweets screaming my name and the names of those whose knees weaken at the sight of orange and yellow. Doesn’t Candy Corn qualify as a vegetable group? Aren’t Milk Duds a part of the Dairy family?  I could have sworn Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups serve as a legitimate source of protein. On this delicious October day, as I move through the grocery store aisle in somewhat slow motion, I enter an emotional time machine and return to the year 1971.

Suddenly I’m posing in front of a full length mirror, a ten-year-old girl dressed for Halloween as a hot pink telephone. I am lanky and awkward and  covered head to toe with a fluorescent pink poster board cut out in the shape of a telephone. An enormous round dial with black digits illustrates the base while a fancy phone piece rests on my head attached by a squiggly wire. My face is painted pink, of course, to complete the costume.

As I am about to embark on my journey through my neighborhood on this crisp Halloween eve, it dawns on me that most girls my age will be dressed like princesses, cheerleaders, bobby-soxers, famous characters or  even witches. I on the other hand, will not even remotely be able to blend in with the other kids because my mom ~ best mom ever ~ insisted on making my one-of-a-kind, hot pink telephone costume from scratch.  Sure, originality beats store-bought and predictable every time. But to a ten-year-old, sometimes you just want to fit in rather than stand out.

As the moon perched high in the sky, and we handed off our weighed down, candy-filled pillow cases to our parents to carry, the kids all gathered at the end of the block for our traditional costume contest. What a shocker; my hot pink telephone costume won “most original!”  Some of the other girls even seemed surprisingly envious. That Halloween in 1971 taught me that standing out is more important than fitting in. Being a telephone rang true for me after all.

Fast  forward to  Halloween 1998. My oldest son is dressed as a cell phone. Same concept, new technology. His is a store-bought costume because being crafty and handy skipped a generation (just ask my home economics teacher who barely passed me.)  My middle son is all decked out and dressed like Rocky Balboa, black eye and all, ketchup dripping from his lip, because “use your words and not your fists” apparently never really sunk in. My youngest daughter is dressed as a self-inflatable sumo wrestler inducing hysterical door-to-door laughter at every home we visited. The biggest challenge was prying her out the front door.

Today as Halloween 2011 approaches, I am convinced that Halloween is ageless. No matter how old we get it still means eating candy until you are nauseous and your teeth begin to ache. It’s still about mom and dad checking the candy before devouring. It means dividing your favorites and trading with your siblings and friends. It’s still about choosing between the most outrageous costume or wearing the one that feels the most comfortable.

As I stroll down the aisle surrounded by pumpkin heads, meowing cat sounds, hanging bats and flying black crepe paper, I am distracted as a tug of war breaks out behind me. Two kids are calling dibs on the last Captain America costume. They have wrestled the costume to the ground and all I can ask myself is where on earth are their parents. When I put my glasses on to get a closer look, I realize the wrestling mania pair, now on the ground themselves, are the parents’. What we won’t do for our kids.

October 31.  It is the one day of the year children and adults alike can officially “mask” who they are, kiss and “make-up,” get “all dressed up” with some place to go, and take the time to have an intimate relationship with an oversized Hershey bar. With my kids out of the house, I’ll most likely be participating in the latter. How ever you choose to spend October 31, and whatever your taste may be,  I wish you an awesome and happy Halloween!


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Amad  |  October 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Jayne, you have such a gift when it comes to storytelling. You just know how to capture the attention of your readers. As i was reading this story all I can picture is you in the PINK telephone costume..LOL.. love it!!! I’m glad to hear that you won most original. Jayne I look forward to reading your next STORY!! Thank you for bringing a smile to my face on this beautiful Thursday morning!! LIFE is GOOD and we all need to be thankful for what we have!!!


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Welcome to my blog!

"It is better to improve than it is to prove"
- Jayne Bonilla

Since the road to success is always under construction, this blog is intended to serve as a visceral compass empowering readers/writers to find their own direction along the way.

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