Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Slice of Life - The Dreaded Costume

I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.

     The dreaded words:  Dress Up As Your Favorite Book Character on November 11th!  Everyone - staff and students - were excited.  We were going to celebrate Scholastic Book Fair Week by dressing up in costume.  Why was it that something that gets people so excited filled me with angst?!  Because I HATE to dress up in costume!!  I always have.  I've always envied people who can whip together a clever costume and enjoy it.  I love seeing what people can put together, but I could never do it myself.

     I think it started when I was 10 years old.  "Star Wars" had come out in May of 1977.   It  caused a frenzy.  We were all instant fans.  The epic movie was revolutionary in terms of hype, second only to "Jaws" in my memory of fanfare and obsession.  One of my favorite characters from the movie was C-3PO.  I remember sitting on my mom's bed while she was getting ready to go somewhere and trying to brainstorm what I could put together for a Halloween costume.  We lived in the country, and quite honestly, it was not a good place to live for Halloween.  Houses were far apart, and some kids who lived on our street were practically delinquents.  If we wanted to trick-or-treat, we usually went in someone's pickup truck or in a trailer pulled by the tractor, or skipped it altogether and just attended the neighbor's bonfire they held every year at the end of their long, gravel driveway.

     I did my best planning my homemade costume.  I made C-3PO's robot body out of cardboard, spray-painted gold.  I rolled the cardboard pieces around my legs, middle, and arms, and made a robot-like mask.  I attached the different pieces with twine to hold it all together.  Boy, do I wish I had a picture from that night, but sadly (or fortunately), I don't.  I did my best to look like the real thing.  Of course, it was cold and rainy that night, and my best friend from the street, Michele, and I rode in the back of someone's hatchback to the few houses on Brewer Road.  By the time we filled our pillowcases with a few measly pieces of candy, the cardboard was reduced to soggy pieces of wet paper and gold paint and drippy gold paint.  Pitiful.

     Since then, I've avoided all costume parties, quit trick-or-treating, and stressed over my own kids' costumes around every Halloween.  I'm so relieved they are old enough to choose their own costumes now.  They do a much better job than I ever did!!  They actually manage to enjoy it and look great in their creative costume pursuits.  Fast forward to today.  I so wanted to be Hermione. I'm a book fanatic, so everyone expected me to come up with something.  It seems like a Dress Up as Your Favorite Character would be my dream day.  As soon as I heard we were having it, I started to stress.  Surely, Hermione couldn't be too difficult to create.  Well, I was wrong.  After 45 minutes of throwing clothes all over my room this morning, I finally put on a regular pair of pants and shirt, and gave up.  Alas, everyone looks great today.  We have Katnisses, Hermiones, Harry Potters, Stargirls, Nancy Drews, sports figures from Mike Lupica books, Trises, etc.,  and one lame ELA teacher who can't put together a costume if her life depended on it.  Even if it's a book character.


  1. Oh Holly, I feel your pain!!! I, too, do NOT like dressing up in costume! When I taught elementary school, the team I was on always wanted to be some elaborate theme. I hated it. Finally, they would make my costume for me. I guess I just miss that gene...the costume gene. :) I hope you enjoyed the day all the same! :)

  2. I pretty much despise costumes,too, Holly. I seem to have neither the skill nor the will for this. Sounds as though you were able to enjoy everyone else's costume, though!

  3. I have a friend who is so great at costumes that I call her up every time one is called for. She has a whole storage building full. You just need a friend like that. But I have to say I was glad when my poetry workshop occurred on Halloween day so I didn't have to dress up.