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Friday, October 30, 2009

The Ghost of Halloweens Past

One of my earliest Halloween memories was kindergarten. I was so excited to dress up and have our class party. And the day before? A class trip to the pumpkin patch!

Along with being one of my first Halloween recollections, it's also the first anxiety attack I can remember. While everyone else bounces in excitement over trips, I quiver and shake, terrified of being out of my comfort zone. Thankfully, this has gotten better with medication over the years. But at five years old, I didn't have the pills coping mechanisms I have today.

And I got so freaked out that I puked on the bus. On the stairs of the bus even. While everyone else was still waiting to climb off the bus. Which meant that all of my classmates had to go out the back exit.

Awesome. I was that kid.

I think I puked on every class trip up through high school. And you might as well include college because even though I was no longer taking class trips, Spring Break my freshman year is why I can't stand peaches (you spend a couple of hours barfing in the heavily peach-scented Georgia welcome center and tell me you'll ever eat peaches again).

Kindergarten Halloween is also one of my first memories of feeling inferior. See, everyone else had awesome homemade costumes. Their mothers had spent hours crafting ghosts and clowns and princesses and pumpkins. Me, I had a costume from Kmart. One of those cheap jumpsuits that smelled like a chemical spill. Solid-colored vinyl pants, a picture of the character you were supposed to be on the top, and a plastic mask that attached with a rubberband that always broke after 20 minutes which was just as well because you couldn't see out of it anyways.

To make it worse, there was only one other kid in the class wearing the dreaded lame plastic costume. Darren. The fat kid. AND? We had the same lame plastic costume. Papa Smurf. All of my friends in their beautiful princess and angel and fairy costumes and I was a plastic smelly man-Smurf. (Don't Google for Smurf costumes, btw. Terrifying blue adults. I gave up finding the Papa Smurf costume.)

As much as it made me feel pathetic not to have a "real" costume, life may have been even more traumatic the one time I remember my mother actually putting together a costume for me. It consisted of a black leotard with a tail sewn on the back, black stockings, ears on a headband and drawn-on whiskers.

Cute, right?

Except this was 5th grade. The year my body decided to start growing odd bumps on my chest. Bumps that I did my very best to conceal so my classmates wouldn't notice and wouldn't laugh at me. Bumps that could NOT be concealed in a leotard. Plus, this was New York - it was damned cold in late October to be running around practically naked! So I threw my pink winter coat on to keep warm and hidden. But then my legs were cold, leaving me to pull my jeans back on as well. And I was basically a girl with a weird tail sticking out between my jacket and jeans, whiskers, and cat ears. Like I didn't have a costume really at all, just a few lame accessories.

This year, I'm not dressing up. And I'm not handing out candy. We're going away (yes, again!) for the night and I plan to spend the evening hanging out in the hotel bar. That's right - the only thing going bump in the night? Will be me. Just the way I like it.

16 comments:

TMC said...

Sheesh. No wonder you're all screwy.

Intense Guy said...

LOL@TMC

I usually "hide" somewhere on Halloween too - I'm not handing out candy to little monsters.

The World As I See It said...

I always hide on Halloween too. I hate handing out candy and having to dress up.

jabblog said...

I know it's cruel to laugh - but I did!!

Housewife Savant said...

I hear your pain, and I feel so bad for your childhood sufferings I'd make you one of my madly awesome costumes to ease your pain, OR I'd be your designated driver, taking you from restaurant to restaurant/club to club, so you could eat your feelings/drown your sorrows.
Happy Halloween anyway.

That corgi :) said...

it wasn't funny at the time, but I did enjoy reading this entry; I'm soooo sorry about your life experiences with costumes and Halloween and field trips. Isn't it interesting though that anxiety struck that young? I remember my first anxiety attack but I was in high school (which is anxiety in itself)

I'm glad you guys are going away to enjoy the weekend :) we're doing the "pass out candy" routine; haven't done it in a few years and thought it might be nice to stay home with Koda for a change to help him not feel anxious with the doorbell ringing all the time and us not home

enjoy the weekend :)

betty

Princess Andy said...

i wish i could come and hide with you...

i suppose i could have it worse, i could be stuck at home handing out candy...instead, me and the boyfriend are taking out heathens avec travel mugs filled with coffee. and maybe a drop of alcohol.

love love!

andrea

C. Beth said...

:( I've never thought of Halloween as a sad holiday until today....

Grand Pooba said...

Haha! Bumps in 5th grade? You were one of the early bloomers. Of course everyone is an early bloomer compared to me. I didn't get boobs until high school and lost my last tooth in 11th grade. If I were you in 5th grade, I'd be flaunting those bumps! lol

Seansmoma said...

I'm sorry you had such a terrible time. You know, in Kindergarten I had one of those halloween costumes too. I was Strawberry Shortcake.

http://media.photobucket.com/image/plastic%20strawberry%20shortcake%20halloween%20costumes/PreshusSmurf/Picture1.png

Lindy said...

Sorry, but I had to laugh too. I have some not so fond memories of Halloween and one of them involves throwing up. And we usually ended up with a somewhat dorky homemade costume. So you are not alone, but, again, thanks for making me laugh today!

Matty said...

What? No candy? No trick-or-treats? No cute little faces at your door? Gasp!

blognut said...

Good for you! Go bump in the night!

Tiffany said...

LOL Blast from the past indeed. I was going to try and dress my son up as 'My Buddy' this year but I couldn't find a shirt that was close enough - plus I kinda didn't really feel like singing the my buddy song all night LOL.

I wish I could spend my night relaxing at a bar instead of saying "trick or treat" all over! Oh well have fun at the bar!

Yaya said...

Oh anxiety, I hate it.

Josh and I are saying bah humbug to Halloween this year.

Squid said...

This is exactly the kind of squirmy school tale we love to feature on www.CanISitWithYou.org - great entertainment now, horrifying at the time. Let us know if you'd let us republish it on our site.

Do you remember Smurf cereal? I loved it but it made me barf. Maybe we should all just be careful around any Smurf products.