THE VEIL WAS THIN


Happy Day of the Dead” doesn’t sound right for some reason, though for those who celebrate it, I’m sure it is a grand occasion. Ignorant as I am, with such strong Protestant beginnings, I had never heard of it. My religious grandmother even refused to admit that the Irish side of our family probably were Catholic.

My first recollection of Halloween was dressing in a Dutch Girl costume at the age of 7 and offering my handmade paper basket to a neighbor to drop some candy in. There was probably only room for a piece or two of penny candy but I thought it great fun to be out at night and knocking on someone’s door. I don’t remember anyone giving me candy, so I think I simply knocked and ran.

Living in so many places afterward, I was never able to do this again, and I don’t remember any costumed urchins coming to our houses either, so Halloween was never a big deal in our house. My father loved to tell stories of his youth in Grants Pass, Oregon, when tricks such as tipping outhouses over were performed. I don’t think candy was involved.

When my children arrived, Halloween became a much awaited holiday, and the making of costumes fell to me. As the years went by, the costumes became more elaborate, and not to be left out, I found myself in the spirit of the season.

My idea of a Halloween outfit leaned toward the Frankenstein rather than beauty, and my neighbor and I had far too much fun frightening small tricksters.

One of my daughters loved Halloween so much, and I felt bad for her the year she became ill and couldn’t join the others on the street. Eventually she dressed in her costume and sat on a table in front of a large window where children who came onto our porch could watch her and wonder if she was real or not.

Our house is situated so that in forty-two years no one has come to collect booty, however I carefully choose large bags of candy to hand out, making sure they are the kind we like just in case. This morning I bagged them back up and put them in the freezer. I know from experience that they will last until sometime in February.

WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT?


egypt-wig

I woke up a month or so ago and took a good look at my thinning hair and its effect on the wrinkles on my face. It was clearly a cry for help; namely another wig/hairpiece/style. There seems to be some sort of stigma attached to the wearing of a wig, so we will refer to it as a “style”. I have no idea why this disturbs some people. Celebrities obviously would never be caught dead in their own scraggly locks. Watching an old Lucille Ball show, Dr. Advice chirped “There! You can see she isn’t wearing a wig!” Really?! I don’t think his poor old eyes were twirling in the right direction. Not only is she wearing a wig, it isn’t even the right shade of red.

Anyway, I ordered one from a reputable place in whom I placed great trust that they would choose a complimentary shade of grey from their 50 choices. Wen it came, I thought it must be wrong, because my hair is blonde-ish, not silver. Well, Dr. A. liked it anyway, so I wore it to Seattle, and first cracker out of the barrel—my daughter did not. I hung it over a door knob during my visit and vowed to try again.

This time I bought from a catalogue with a picture of my hair color. The trick to ordering from the catalogue is to cover up the faces because they use adorable young women as models, who probably don’t need a wig anyway. You have to imagine yourself wearing it and flipping it about as you would something actually attached to your head. You don’t want it to scream “WIG” do you?

I loved it immediately and plopped it on my head to show Dr. A. I got a thumbs up, so I wore it to Southern California to visit my other daughter. She loved it too, so we went out to lunch at a favorite Mexican place in Camarillo, which is conveniently next door to a wig shoppe. ( I spell it that old fashioned way because it is just on the verge of being posh.) We had with us that day our eight year old great granddaughter Savanna, who flipped out when she saw all the plastic heads staring at us from the window dressed in varying lengths and shades of blonde, brown, black and even one with purple strands throughout, (it was Halloween). Naturally we went in, and since I was wearing the new style, I asked the lady behind the desk if she thought it could use some touches. She played around with it, gave it a spritz of hair spray and off I went, pleased as a puppy with a new bone.

That evening my friend Greg said he wouldn’t have known it was a ‘you-know-what’ and I choose to believe him. Now it sits alongside all my other hair styles, some of which really are not my color anymore; there may even be a strawberry blonde one because I always wanted to be a redhead. They probably have more fun than blondes. Vanity, thy name is woman. (I read that somewhere years ago when I was first married. It obviously made no impression.) This will now give Savanna something more to dwell on along with what she calls my fake teeth and fake shoulder. The rest of her family is perking along on all fours.

Forgive the idiocy, I simply had to tell you.