Friday, October 31, 2008

No costume at all is better than a bad one

Purchasing costumes just didn't happen. Why buy clothes you will only wear once? Are you going to wear it to school again? Then the answer from my parents was a resounding, "No!" (In Spanish.) The only time I remember having a costume was when we borrowed it from on of our neighbors. When the idea was originally proposed I was too embarrassed to accept, so I wasn't told. I didn't want to be the laughing stock at school for borrowing someone else's costume.

My mother secretly arranged with a neighbor to borrow her sons costume when he was done trick or treating. So naturally he held resentment towards me when his mother pressured him to hurry back. He was sure to make his frustrations evident to me at school in front of everyone. Most of the houses I went to told me I had been there already and turned me away. That was real embarrassing. At school as was labeled as the poor leech kid because of it. We weren't poor. My parents were just VERY careful with their money.

My worst costume experience EVER though has to be the year my parents considered me old enough to make my own.

Again, it was the day of and I'm scrambling for something, anything that could pass as a costume. I ask if we could go to a thrift shop and buy a cheap Halloween make up kit so I could be a bum. They said it was a waste of money and instead tossed some of my mothers old makeup my way.

This was stuff she didn't use and had kept for years. Keep in mind this took place in the 80's so this stuff is most likely from the 70's. You can imagine the color and consistency. I start working with what I had, mixing the flashy disco colors trying to get brown or black. No luck.

I'm staring at my face in the bathroom mirror with corroded, yet still somehow glittery, makeup plastered all over it. I mess up my hair but I know I still look like a moron. Bum wasn't going to work. I smeared it all of my face, turned my shirt inside out and walked out of the restroom. My mother saw me and said that was too scary. I looked "evil" so she painted a heart on my cheek with garishly purple glitter lipstick. I walked out there looking like a fuckin' clown face painting disaster.

I know I didn't pull off the bum look because when I went trick or treating, they didn't offer me food. They just stared at me. A little amused, perhaps a little scared. Unluckily enough for me, I was spotted by one of my schoolmates. He chuckled and called me over. I explained the situation and he began guiding me on. He was hanging out with me and that made me feel better.

Little did I know he was dragging me along to show off to the other school friends. Yep, he leads me right to the most popular girl in school. I stayed in the shadows but she still saw me. She smirked and said, "What, the hell, are you?"

I just turned and walked home.

I casually strolled in and wiped my face a little. Both my parents seemed annoyed that I was done already. I wasted all that "good" makeup for only 15 minutes of "fun" and I didn't even have much candy to show for it. "You better get back out there!" they said. I was not about to show my face but I resigned and asked if I could have a bed sheet to use as a "Ghost" costume.

My parents were quick to warn me that I was not allowed to ruin another perfectly good sheet so I dug up that old crusty one from a few years back that we kept for some God forsaken reason.

I had grown, so the sheet was no longer dragging on the floor. Instead it was about up to my knees so my jeans and dirty K-Mart shoes were clearly visible. Drooping my head in shame, I did my rounds and picked up the usual latecomers leftover neighborhood supply of black licorice and candy corn. I didn't even want to cry because I was afraid my makeup would run.

Enjoy your Halloween! More importantly, make sure the kids you know enjoy it!


Iris said...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! This one just makes me feel like crap :(

HektikLyfe said...

>Iris: I didn't mean to write it like that. Sorry. I laugh about it now so I hope you don't feel bad for me.

Iris said...

I just can't find it funny. It was suffering times :(
But if you find it funny, I will laugh along with you.

HektikLyfe said...

>Iris: Strange that I see things this way considering I am a pessimist. I think those Halloween experiences were great life lessons. I learned to appreciate what I have now. To share what I have with those I love and to work hard for what I want.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Peer pressure is a real bitch. I suffered throught it (not with Hallowe'en costumes), I saw my kids suffer it and I always counselled them to protect them. Why are we so mean to each othere?


Jessica said...

my parents were the same way. they never bought me a costume. instead, I had to choose out of a box of clothes my grandma had stored in her attic from the 60's and 70's in order to make my own. which is why I stopped trick or treating at a very young age because it is embarrassing especially when everyone else got to wear all the "cool" costumes. I'm sorry you had to suffer through all of that embarrassment. it actually does make me feel a little bad that school mates can be so cruel sometimes. in a way, it is good to have parents that are like that though because they teach you to appreciate what you have. I guess every little embarrassing moment is another lesson in life. I hope you have a happy Halloween.

HektikLyfe said...

>Vulgaris: I acknowledge that I looked like a freakin idiot and can enjoy the laughter for what its worth. I wouldn't put any other kid through an experience like that though, it really hurt then. It probably shaped my introverted nature for years to come. But I think I turned out OK. I think kids are mean because they can be. They realize that they can do whatever they want. There are repercussions but they can still DO them. Self restraint doesn't come naturally to many kids.

>Jessica: Thanks. I definitely will and I will try really hard to make the kids in my family have a great Halloween.

ajl577 said...

Your story hit me hard. Growing up we were never rich, not even close but my parents always tried to give us nice things. I knew what it was like to live comfortably as well as shower in cold water and eat out of cans (but I don't dare complain because I'm thankful we never went to bed hungry) They'd go without just so we could have. I appreciated that then and I still do, even more now. Funny because I was something of a serious/sensible kid and a real worrier so I never asked too much from my parents. My brothers and sister did but I dont think any of us were really all that spoiled. I'd try and share with other kids sometimes and I made friends with anyone, popular or not, so even though I was somewhat square, I never really felt that I didnt fit in. I have my parents to thank for that. My mom told me some time ago that she never wanted us not to fit in and that it was cruel to make examples at your childrens expense. She said that you still tell your kids the difference but you let them be kids and enjoy it because there is plenty of strife and struggle later. She gave us the means but also the choice not to be like everyone else and I don't think I could have asked for better.Ultimately I'm happy that I did not turn out like everyone else considering how nasty they could be (as you found) and I get the point of your story and its great that you can see past the shallowness of any given moment of want but it still makes me feel bad that you learned it that way. You were the kind of kid I'd sneak stuff to or give my things to. Though it seems that you gained from all those times rather than being bitter about it and thats something to be proud of. Cheers!