Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lesson 98: A Halloween Thriller

Unless you are a Creature of the Night like Eloise, by the time you are reading this blog, it will most likely be November 1st, so I would like to wish my readers a Happy World Vegan Day.  More people would probably identify the day after Halloween with All Saints Day, but given that Eloise is not a Catholic, that wouldn’t make much sense either.  I’ll gnaw on a carrot and write this blog.

I am gnawing on a carrot not only in support of my vegan peeps, but to remind myself that I do not need the bags full of Halloween treats that are sitting in buckets on the floor ‘neath the Lamp Post.  I’ve always had mixed feelings about Halloween, and the over consumption of candy is just one problem.  Eloise is a chicken is the larger one.

Yes, I am a self-admitted, lily-livered, quaking in my boots type chick.  I’m kind of like Don Knotts in the Ghost of Mr. Chicken, if you’ve ever seen that oldie.  I would look like this:  
I always have startled easily and I certainly don’t like to be spooked.  You will never find me in a scary costume and Haunted Houses are absolutely out of the question.  I just know that the one I decide to attend will have the lunatic with the real chainsaw waiting to fulfill his secret, sick fantasy of severing someone’s head.  I’ll pass, thank you.

The scarier thing about Halloween anymore is the cost.  No matter what my sister tells you, I AM NOT CHEAP!  It’s just the time of year the holiday falls that gets me every time.  We brave enough to live in Northwestern Pennsylvania can smell winter upon us.  We need to have boots, hats, coats, scarves and all that good winter gear needed for weather that is only (gulp) a couple of weeks away.  With kids, that gets expensive when they outgrow the major gear every year and never have we made it to March with two matching gloves.  You know as soon as the witch hats and fake blood are marked down to 70% off, there is a jingling of Christmas bells in the retail stores.  I start mentally trying to divide the number of weeks by the number of paychecks.  Math always confuses me, so I am always off by a bit (or a bundle).

This year I made up my mind that I was not going to spend tons of money on Halloween costumes.  After all, when I was a kid I had fun stuffing my Dad’s sweatpants and GE t-shirts with a pillow to make a fake big butt (too bad now I have a real one).  I’d use the case from that pillow as a sack to hold all of my candy.  No Party City was around then, hence no $40 costume to wear one time.  No sturdy handled plastic bag with the glow in the dark markings.  And by all means no blinking light saber that changes from red to green to yellow.  I used Dad’s flashlight under the issuance that I better not bring it back busted.   No, there was not as much choice, but things seemed simpler then.  Did you ever notice that ALL the Peanuts characters on it’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown were ghosts?  Just sheets and neckties. 

Natalie wore Ellen’s break dancer costume from last year’s dance show.  Sweet.  Ellen made herself an artist.  She made her own palette from a cardboard box, found some artsy looking clothes, and painted up an old smock.  All that one cost me was a $5 beret from Wal-Mart.  Two kids down and five bucks spent.  Awesome.  Then comes Sam.

Sam, my only son with the stubborn streak and quick temper we are trying to tame.  We’ve really been pushing the Super Hero thing---the nice buff guys who fight to PROTECT people.  They are the knights of the modern age.  I spotted the $20 Superman costume at Wal-Mart when I was getting the beret for Ellen and I couldn’t resist.  I should have stopped there--$25 total expenditure for three kids wasn’t so bad---until I found the matching flashlight and the ring for Super Sam.  I’m not good at math, but the cost went up a bit I guess.

But I feel bad because I wouldn’t have been nickel-diming on Halloween as much this year if I wouldn’t have made one of the worst decisions in recent history.  My girls duped me into getting them hair feathers.  You know, the new fad---little, delicate feathers clipped into the side of one’s hair.  A few of the little girls had them upon return to school this year, and Ellen started begging.  It’s sure is nice when a kid wants something really badly---they will work for it.  The girls have been patiently doing extra jobs, immediately upon request for about a month now.  If they would hesitate or even look like they were about to roll their eyes I would say in a sing-songy voice hair feathers, and boy did they move. 

Two weeks ago on a Friday I was in a good mood.  The football game was away that week and I was pretty sure of a win.  I surprised them with a trip to the local salon to get the feathers.   I wish I would have snapped a picture of their faces when I told them we were going.The girls chattered excitedly on the drive to the salon, thinking aloud about which color they should pick and choosing the perfect placement in their hair.  I smiled and thought to myself I am so lucky to have girls.  This is fun.

The cosmetologist helped us choose the feathers and explained that they could be washed, could get wet, and could be curled or flat ironed.  They would stay in for up to three months and if they did fall out, you could save the feather and bring it back to get re clipped in your hair.  Seemed like a sweet deal. 

The girls had so much fun getting their feathers in that I decided I would get one, too.  Heck, Eloise has a mane of hair, and I’d just put it back by my ear, kind of underneath, so that it didn’t show unless I styled my tresses in such a way that it would.  The girls tackled me from either side and gave me a hug I will never forget.  “You’re the coolest mom ever!”  said Ellen.  “Cool, yes,” said Natalie.  Music to a 40 year old mother’s ears.

Cool soon turned to red hot when I went to the counter to pay for three hair feathers and a bottle of shatter nail polish (I was feeling extra generous over the cool comment).  $129, said the perky beautician.  I blinked.  “That will be $129,” she said again, holding out her hand for my debit card.  “As in dollars?” I asked.  She giggled.  I choked.  But because I’m so cool, I pretended it was a cough. 

Here are our feathers:

Ellen was the envy of the playground.  One of Natalie’s friends from school told me, “Cool feather in Natalie’s hair, Mrs. Eloise.   That was nice of you to get her one.”  OK—maybe money isn’t everything.  It’s like that PRICELESS thing in the Master Card commercial.  But I swear on everything holy that if one more person tells me, “Hey, come here.  I think you have a blue string in your hair,” I am going to flip out.

………or maybe fly away.  In fact, that was what my Halloween costume was this year.  I wore a blue sweater, blue jeans, my blue running toe shoes, and of course my blue feather.  There was only one thing I could be.  The best costume for someone dumb enough to spend $129 (without the tip) on 3 hair feathers and a bottle of nail polish.  See below.  

The blue footed booby.  Now that’s priceless.

Happy vegan day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent Eloise! I had a great time trick-or-treating with Natalie last night. She is such a joy and always makes me smile!!