Mistakes Were Made: Halloween
In the late evening of Halloween eve, I announced to my Pops that I didn’t have a costume and needed one STAT. Dad started in on all this jibber jabber about why I hadn’t told him sooner…blah blah blah. I was in second grade and that noise wasn’t important.
Needless to say, he was pissed. With a flick of my magic drama wand, I was pleading with him- “I will be the only one at school without a costume! That will be so embarrassing!” The grumbling and berating I had come accustomed to as a forgetful and demanding child stopped at some point. Dad thought a bit and appeared with a black turtleneck, leggings, and white duck tape. A career in the Bureau of Prisons served the man well. I was an instant Jailbird! How clever!
While brilliant in the thought department, Dad was a novice at emergency costume construction. He had me change clothes and decided to tape the stripes aroundme while I was standing. This worked out quite well until I needed to pee. Tried as I might, those pants were ON. Furious tugging ensued and I feared I might not make it. Finally, the correct amount of tape was removed and normal programming resumed. The next day I was ready to go, Dad even gave me some drawn-on stitches for the “authentic” look I was after. I walked into class feeling like a winner.
So, it turned out we weren’t supposed to wear our fucking costumes to school that year.
There is nothing like being “That-Girl” in the second grade: a spot reserved for only the most precocious social tards. I was used to sympathy from teachers, but even my classmates, in their perfectly normal outfits, looked sorry for me. To this day I am certain I was the only kid who dressed up in the entire goddamned school. Adding insult to injury was the fact that I was so excited about my costume, I forgot a coat. I had to wear my teacher’s old lady coat (evident in both smell and style) at recess, because I just didn’t look wrong enough. Spent the rest o’ the day in a silent shame spiral.
That day marked the first occasion I wanted to lie to a parent to save my pride. In the end I told the truth, and Dad just said “Sorry, something –something-at least you wore comfy shoes.” and we went home.
*Nowadays I mostly abstain from costumes, but it should be noted this was the only re-occurring one of my life. With the embarrassment of that day healing bit by bit, I have used the famous “Jailbird” costume three other times when I can’t think of anything else. It is the most efficient and recognizable costume I can get away with considering my skill set.