Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Dream of Lizardom, Realized

I know, I know, Halloween is ancient history. No one wants to hear about it. But, I'm always behind the curve, so whatev. B dressed as a lizard this year. His costumes seem to rotate between animals and heroic characters a la Robin Hood and King Arthur (he still dons the faux chain mail for St. Paul Saints games because, as he says, "most saints were also knights").

The remarkable thing about this lizard costume? It has a six-foot long tail. And, yes, it did eventually get "dislocated" by an unfortunately placed foot. Stuffing everywhere. A mess for some unsuspecting upper middle class, candy-giving homeowner in the Highland Park neighborhood of St Paul.

Growing up, my family didn't have a ton of traditions, but I realize now that the homemade Halloween costume was one of them. When I was young, my mom would make lovely costumes, and that has continued. She spent hours and hours sewing so that B could realize his dream of lizardom complete with mits and shoe covers, Other costumes he would have "settled for": Garfield (will that cat never die!), a badger, that octopus-looking pirate from PotC, or a stingray (yes, he does know about the crododile hunter).

Anway, it all got me thinking about the costumes of my youth. There was the ballerina costume, which spawned one of the earliest memories of my mom sewing individual silver sequins along the border of the pink fabric right up to what seemed like the very last minute. But something changed for me and, I would argue, for the culture as a whole; a turning point that in retrospect one could argue pulled us further still away from our roots ... away from the classics toward outlandish showiness. t was those costumes with the inflatable headpieces. You know what I mean. After that it all went downhill until one sad Halloween all that was left was a chubby, greasy-faced kid in tin foil covered antenna (you remember those headbands with the antennas ... ) and a green pillow case smock. I had betrayed the beauty of the homemade costume and was made to pay the ultimate price.

If Halloween costumes exist along a trajectory that mirrors the rise and fall of civilizations (they do, right?), then the apex for me must surely be the Halloween in my junior year when, without a bit of irony, I wore all black, painted stars and planets on my face, and claimed to be dressed "as night." Puh-lease!

For now, B is still an innocent. It is the golden age again. He says ALL the other boys were ninjas this year, though. I see the dark clouds forming on the horizon. But what can you do?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]