There was always a particular order to Halloween activities in my family. The whole family went to Stonybrook pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins. When we were little, my Mom dressed my sister and me in “quaint” calico bonnets to block out the sun.
Mind you, it was something like 1985, not 1885. However, we looked pretty cute sitting on the hay bales in the wagon riding out to the pumpkin fields. Once we got home, activities were strictly divided. My Dad dealt with the outside messes and my Mom the inside messes.
My Dad helped us carve our pumpkins and go trick-or-treating. My Mom cooked us dinner, helped us make our costumes (unless they involved spray painting) and made us pumpkin cookies. Then she cleaned us and the counter and the walls after we got icing everywhere.
I grew up when packs of children still roamed the street, trick-or-treating in the dark, and eating candy without going through security check points. When we were little, though, my Dad always took us trick or treating. He always dressed like a golfer and carried his putter. I think that if he had his way, he would still always dress like a golfer. He does keep a putter and some golf balls in the corner of his office, but I don’t think he gets to use them very often.
My Mom was a good sport and dressed up for my school Halloween parades. I remember one year I was particularly mad because my friend and backyard neighbor dressed up like the Statue of Liberty, just like me. My costume was better, though. My torch had flames, and I wasn’t green. Some years, my sister and I would dress as a tag-team. My favorite was Strawberry Shortcake, and she was my cat, Custard. I thoroughly enjoyed ordering her around.
When I got old enough to make my own costumes, I got more elaborate, not less. My favorite was the dinosaur. I volunteered at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and we had these great people there helping kids make humongous masks. I made a dinosaur mask, and then made a tail out of an old pair of sweat pants. I was in seventh grade. Everybody else dressed up like princesses or Billy Joel or something.
My senior year in college, I dressed up as “Tigress Woods” and walked around campus all day in my old pair of golf shoes. I had tigger ears from Disney World, and I wore an orange shirt with tiger strips on it—over which I wore my Nike sleeveless golf shirt. I painted my face, wore a tail, and khakis and golf shoes. I carried around my 7 iron. I’m not sure if anyone really got it, but I had fun! I’ve always loved puns.
I can’t wait to have kids of my own one day so that we get to dress up and go trick-or-treating!