Saturday, October 20, 2007

Playing Dress-Up

Am I the only one in the world who remembers the days when you played dress-up? Or the times when you spent weeks planning your Hallowe'en costume? You know the one that your folks helped you put together with safety pins and wire and tape. Maybe a little paint. Maybe a pair of Mom's earrings or an eyepatch and you were good to go.

Clowns, pirates, gypsies, ballerinas, cowboys, Indians, and princesses were all popular costumes. Households had a bunch of props that circulated to the neighbors and back. Big sister's costume was updated and used three years later by little sister. That's the way it was. Everybody knew everybody. There weren't any mask. The candy bag was a brown paper lunch bag you decorated with crayons and Mom or Dad helped you staple a handle on it.

Now like every other holiday in the world, Hallowe'en is a commercial enterprise. Costumes, cards, candy,, money, money. This year my grandchildren are discovering the fun in making their own costumes. They're going to be gypsies. I gathered up all my scarves--you know the ones that have been sitting in my drawer for five years--and sent them off to the kids along with the Mardi Gras beads someone thoughtfully brought back from their vacation and bestowed on me. Oh yes! Those dangling earrings I haven't worn in five or six years. The girls are very excited about dressing up.

But I've noticed a disturbing trend. Hallowe'en is more and more becoming an adult holiday with risque costumes, partying, and treating. Am I the only one that wonders when it moved from a children's trick or treating to another excuse to play dress up and drink? Some will say that I'm a fuddy-duddy. Perhaps so. Or perhaps I'm just past the stage where I feel comfortable playing dress-up because I left my childhood behind a while ago.

When last we saw Emmeline, Amarinda left us here:

“I’m Faeryland? That bastard!” Zoltan knew she had been abducted by faeries as a child. The scars caused by the faeries ran deep. Not all faeries were good. “How do I get out of here?” She ground her booted heel into his chest.

“Oh Emmeline, you should know by now you cannot escape a faery.”

Emmeline opened her mouth wide in shock as she had the familiar voice. “Oh no, it can’t be you.”

“Welcome back Emmie.” Mephisto smiled at her. “Let’s play.”

And my offering...

“Leave the chick alone, Phisto,” the dragon growled in a bored tone. “You know what Percy threatened to do if you don’t behave.”

“No one ever lets me have any fun.” Mephisto poked his lower lip out in a pout. “Here’s Emmie back after being away so long. I just wanted to play a little.”

While listening to the whiney Mephisto, Emmeline had rediscovered her backbone. She straitened up to her full six foot two and towered over Mephisto’s roly-poly body. Poking Mephisto in the chest with the purple vibrator, she yelled, “If you touch me just one time, I will personally shove this weapon where the sun doesn’t shine! Do you understand? Keep your creepy hands to yourself!”

Mephisto quivered, torn between fear and anticipation. This was not the same Emmeline that spent time in Faeryland long ago. This Emmeline was a magnificent creature. Just the clack of her quills excited him. One hand stole out to touch her soft skin.

Emmeline shrieked loud enough to make the dragon’s ears stand up in alarm. “Silence!” he roared. “Do you want the trolls to show up? Are you insane? And quit waving that vibrator around unless you plan to use it.”

Mephisto perked up at once. “Oh yes! Me, please! Do me!”

Emmeline snorted in disgust. “Not even if you were the last man standing,” she declared. Twirling the vibrator in her hand like a gunslinger in the old west she slipped it in her peeler holster and walked away.

Where will Kelly take the Saga on Monday? What will Amarinda find to write about? Check it all out on their blogs at and and then have a wonderful weekend.



  1. I wanted Mephisto to be a hard arsed bastard but no Anny had to make him a I'll have to turn him back into the malevolent sod I wanted him to be.

  2. Great job, Anny:)

    My sis and I used to enjoy dressing up in Mom's old formals. We put on plays; we acted 'grown up', all while wearing miles of tulle and clomping around in three-inch heels when our feel ended halfway below the heel!

    Mom has pics of me wearing several costumes, and a couple of photo albums later, there's my sis in the same costume. My kids have even had their chance at wearing a couple of the same costumes! We have 2 Tigger costumes in 2 different sizes...K wanted to be T 2 years in a now if the little one wants to, he'll be able to wear it this year:)

    We laughed 2 years niece and nephew were at our house, and the three little ones were a pumpkin, a Jedi Knight (J had had his head shaved and he greatly resembled a junior Mace Windu!), and a bunny rabbit! Last year, W was Spiderman.

  3. We no longer celebrate by trick or treating. In our neighborhood, which is a good one, we have three sexual preditors. My kids are always under my protective eye and those guys lay pretty low. So for us, this will be the first Halloween we keep the lights off. Instead, the weekend before, the girls are having a huge slumber party with costumes, games, scary movies and up all night. Will be tiring but a return to something more innocent than it has become.

  4. I remember our school put on a contest each year for the "best" costume. We didn't have very much money so my mother went out and got a box. Wrapped it in reynolds wrap and made some box stairs and I went as a HOUSE!
    For my children I always made their costumes up. My oldest proposed one year that he COULD DO HIS OWN! ( jeez mom) well 1/2 hour later, here comes my 12 yr old son with his cammo nighties on under a pair of my panty hose over his head ( he cut the bottom out for his head and the feet off for his hands) and another up from foot to waist. I asked him "what is that?"
    He declared himself "Panty Hose Man", as he threw a cape around his shoulders. I laughed so hard I cried. yeah that's when things were innocent.

  5. Unfortunately, the days of Trick or Treating are pretty much over. Most parents are now opting for small parties or church harvest festivals or something like that and it's probably much, much safer.

  6. My foray into making my own costunens resulted in wearing my striped, flannel pj's, silver wings, and gold beak...across the wings said "Love a Jailbird Today".

    I also put 2 of my mom's strapless formals together and went as Aphrodite...and also went as a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, but left the pom-poms behind, and some of the guys in my 8th grade class thought I was a hooker...

    K went as a girl 2 years ago...stuffed my bra with socks, wore an old dress of mine, and tried to wear an old pair of pumps. Unfortunately, heels and gravel street did not mix, so he ended up wearing his tennis shoes. He bought a long blonde wig also!

  7. Forgot to tell you...I like the new blog format! And your picture is fantastic:)

  8. Anny,

    My church for the last 20 years has done something we call trunk and treat. The kids dress up and they go into the parking lot where parents, Aunts/Uncles, Grandparents or just other church members have opened up the trunks of their cars and are giving out treats. The kids have bags that they made in Sunday School earlier in the day. After the parade of kids (Usually over a hundred and we only have 150 members!) We have throw a pizza party. Every kid we know we invite. Neighborhood kids come. We love it. Its safe, it's fun. Some of the adults dress up (tastefully) and have fun. I was Strawberry Shortcake last year. Stickers on my hat and brown eyeliner freckles.