Yup, that’s right: twenty three and this October has marked my first Halloween. For those who are scratching their heads and going “huh?” I’ll just say go ask my Mom. It’s got something to do with Michael and an early childhood fear of the festivities…though we’re convinced that he wasn’t more frightened by strangers knocking on the door demanding his candy than anything to do with the costumes.
Anyways, not important.
One morning in September I went to work and noticed a sign-up sheet for helping out with the Fall Festival. In particular, I noticed the part that said: “Still need help in the Haunted Woods. Come in a scary costume!!”
The List immediately did jumping jacks in my mind and I signed up. The Festival was on a day that I already worked, so I couldn’t use
a lack of gas money to justify cold feet. The only costume I have ever worn in my life before had been a surprisingly expensive Victorian ball gown, so I was a bit unsure about what to wear. In the end I went with a resident’s advice and decided to go as a ghost.
First Note to Self: next time you’re in need of a costume, don’t wait until the last minute to buy it….especially if said last minute is the day before payday. There are only so many good costumes at Walmart and none of the good ones fell within my $15 limit. After about an hour of pawing through the same two racks of witches, sexy vampires, dark fairies and polyester medieval gowns, I walked out with a long, black cloak and a Scream mask. Not exactly a ghost, but the closest I could find. A black T-shirt with a skeleton on it, black scrub pants and good dose of imagination could complete the ensemble tolerably well. (Until I woke up the next morning and remembered just how much I hated those black scrubs. Too big, too long–I left the house in my gray ones, telling myself that black and gray really aren’t that much different and knowing how lame that sounded.)
Second note to self: polyester cloaks are not warm. Next time plan a jacket into your outfit, because a jean jacket apparently just does not project scary. When we were ranked according to our scariness, I got dead last. Behind a zombie, no less.
Third note to self: If your Activities Director acts just thrilled that you signed up for the Haunted Woods, you will probably find yourself in said woods surrounded by a bunch of bored teenagers roped into this by their grandmothers.
Fourth note to self: if you can’t stand a scarf around your neck, don’t buy a mask as part of your costume. In particular, don’t buy a cheap plastic mask with a pointy chin; and if you do, poke a hole in bottom of the chin. I never really wanted to know what my collected sweat looked like…or smelled like.
Fifth note to self: it’s not a good sign when the only person you succeed in truly scaring is an already freaked out two year old. I left the Haunted Woods reciting that old adage “don’t quit your day job.” In the end, I think my career in scaring people was something of a one-miss wonder.