Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Ghost of Halloweens Past

One of these days I will write my memoirs. When I do, the story of my childhood Halloweens can not be excluded. Those memories have shaped who I am today.

The story must begin with a bit of background information on our geographical location and my mother. First of all, if you've never been to the small town of my youth, the booming metropolis of Kinston, AL, I will need to paint a picture.

There is no stop light. There is no grocery store. There is no hospital. There is a school, and it's AWE.SOME. (Plus there's a Big/Little that has Tater Logs which are just as awesome)

Because of our secluded lifestyle, we didn't have typical neighborhoods. Our nearest neighbors were my grandparents, and they were about a 1/2 mile up the dirt road.

My mom, who is fabulous in so many ways, is NOT exactly what you would call crafty. She isn't the type of woman who says, "We don't need to buy that-I can make it myself!" She says, "Why would I want to make that when it would take me 12 hours and I can buy it right now!?!" She also went with this mindset when it came to cooking, too.

Sorry Mom, you know it's true.

God love her. She passed that trait down to me, too. We just aren't the type of gals who scrapbook or have a craft room. We aren't sentimental. I like to think we "live in the moment" rather than spend our moments trying to preserve them in a book with adhesive covers.

I like to joke with herabout my Halloweens growing up because, well...they were kind of pitiful. It started out pretty good actually. My first Halloween on record I was a bunny. I should mention that this was around the age of 4 because apparently my parents didn't believe I could appreciate the real meaning of Halloween before that age.

Sometime after that it started going downhill. It was like she could never remember that Halloween fell on October 31st every year. It's not like Easter-the date does not fluctuate! Although I was really too young to remember exactly what went down in the weeks leading up to Halloween, this is how it goes in my mind...

Mom: "La-la-la-la-la-la....Oh crap! Is Halloween tonight!?!?! Where did the month go? Nothing is open at this point, so I guess I will just have to put some sort of costume together for my beautiful child to wear tonight! I know! She can be a black kitty cat."

Sigh. The Black Kitty Cat that will live in infamy in my mind. And I'm sure many therapy sessions when I hit my mid-life crisis.

You see, I took dance lessons and therefore we were never lacking in pink tights, black leotards, and black ballet flats. Somewhere along the road my mother acquired some black cat ears and a tail (I don't even want to know where they came from now that I think about it). Simply add a nose and some whiskers drawn on with black eyeliner...and voila! Black Kitty Cat!

The first time it was cute. The next year I just chalked it up to my mom being a busy working mom with too many irons in the fire. The third year I was starting to question her creativity a bit. The fourth year I was starting to wonder why all my friends had new costumes each year and I got stuck with the dang homemade cat costume. AGAIN. By the fifth year, I was thinking of calling DHR on my parents for lack of Halloween spirit and total negligence of holiday fun.

Needless to say I have not recovered from this childhood trauma.

Halloween in the country just isn't as big of a deal. If you think the kitty cat costume is sad, one year she put me in that 'ol black leotard outfit and made my dad and me walk to my grandparents house to trick-or-treat. I'm sure I was the only trick-or-treater they had that night so I probably got the entire bag of cheap candy.

I can't give my mom too much hell about my early years as a cat. As I got older, Halloween got WAY better. My parents used to do hayrides for my friends and me, complete with family and friends along the route to scare the beejeezus out of us on dark country roads. They would also take us to haunted houses and the less-organized (but even scarier) local cemetery haunts. My dad could tell a mean ghost story, too. Even though we heard the same ones day in and day out--they never got old or less frightening.

So maybe the problem lies not in the fact that my mom had no creativity or foresight to plan a costume....it was just that she was harnessing all of her Halloween spirit to scare the crap out of me as a preteen.

Which I'm sure was way more fun for her anyway!

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