October 17, 2007

Blueberry Elf

I love costumes.
Always have and always will.

As a child I remember being
somewhat envious of other kids
wearing their store-bought
fancy costumes and masks,
but only until I realized
my Halloween costumes
were always original.
The earliest photograph
of one of my Halloween costumes
is of me; crouched, perching
on an old tree stump
in the front yard,
as a blueberry elf.
Greenish-blue tights, and a sweatshirt
with wire-strung cardboard and fabric
wings, and green tipped fabric ears,
along with a matching acorn-shaped cap
made my imagination fly and play
like the magical fairies of the forest.
I was 5 years old.

I have since learned it must be genetic...
My grandmother and great aunt also
loved to dress up and allow their imaginations
to soar.

Great-Aunt Cleone left me a scrapbook
and I can easily imagine being
part of her group of friends
at a costume party in 1916.
I am not sure who "Lu" is, though.

Remember your most outrageous costume?
I have trouble deciding.
Was it the year I convinced an 11 year-old friend
to be the tail-portion of a two-person
polka-dotted horse costume?
(Designed and build by my parents).

In high school I was in theater...
No further explanations are necessary.

Dating required the young man to plan on
wearing a partner costume
when going on a date in October.

Or perhaps in my early 20's when I
decided to throw a costume party...
Behind a ski boat....
Imagine what skiing
on the muddy Mississippi
does to a white prom dress,
or an old tux,
or a non-washable, fuzzy, leopard-print
"Jane" (without Tarzan) outfit.

Then I got into Civil War Reenacting.

Once again, no further explanations.

Or was it the year a girlfriend and I decided
it would be fun to dress as two
bunch of grapes;
I wore purple, she wore green
with plastic vines and leaves in our hair,
pinning corresponding colored
all over each other...
And then could not fit into the car...

Around that same time I was teaching water exercise
at various pools in the community.
Let's have another water-based costume party!
I was happy to provide water-proof costumes
to those who tried to forget to bring their own.
After all, fancy HATS, wigs and jewelry
are all you really need when you are
chest-deep in a swimming pool.

I knew John was the one for me:
We met in high school theater.
He loved the rock group KISS.
He was a Civil War reenactor first.
He understands that we have more containers
in the attic filled with costumes
than Christmas decorations.

He gets me.