Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Cast Shadow, 2006, Oil on Panel, 18x24
I have never been a huge fan of Halloween. I liked dressing up when I was a kid but as I got older I felt a bit embarrassed to wear a costume. So mostly it's been a holiday that I basically didn't pay much attention to.
Until we lived in a real house in a real neighborhood in Milford, Connecticut. It was the first Halloween that Doug and I lived together and we realized that we would be getting trick or treaters. So I bought several bags of candy about a week before and we proceeded to eat all of the candy before Halloween. Clearly we had maturity issues. Instead of buying more candy for us to eat, we dug out some holographic glasses from our stash in the basement (Doug's company in Utah made them, so for some reason we had hundreds of them on hand) and we handed them out. We were told by the neighbors that the next day on the school bus all of the kids were wearing glasses with images of eyeballs, kittens, alien eyes and peace signs on the lenses. Doug and I felt very proud of this achievement!
The next year things changed. K., our nephew (he was 4) came to live with us and so we had to do a costume plus take him trick or treating. I put together a bad batman costume (I made that poor boy wear a leotard and tights) and Doug took him around the neighborhood. K. is developmentally handicapped and he has a few behavioral quirks one of which was walking right into people's homes and making himself at home. Every time they stopped at a house, Doug would chat with the neighbor for a minute and K. would slip away and disappear into the house, usually making a beeline for toys to play with. It took them hours to get around the block because Doug would have to retrieve K. from inside of each house.
We moved to Utah and started having babies. Soon there were many costume parties involving screaming toddlers in pumpkin costumes, cupcakes with licorice spiders on top and green punch with floating sour worms on dry ice, in addition to the trick or treating. When my second baby was born I decided to learn to sew in order to make cool costumes for the kids. Over the years I made many costumes including a lion, a witch, a princess, a bat, a ghost, a cowgirl, a angel, a cat and I probably made a dozen capes in various sizes and styles. Now that the kids are older, however, they desperately want store bought costumes. I have relented because I don't have as much time to sew anymore. But today I am feeling a bit nostalgic for the years when I would begin planning their costumes in early September. Tonight we will have a trojan warrior (though we haven't decided if K. who is now 17 should be trick or treating or not), a psycho clown/flame thrower in a skeleton suit (I take no responsibility for THAT one), a devil and batgirl. It was a good decision to move to a house in the country so we don't need to buy candy. Alas, Doug and I are still a bit immature: despite our efforts at keeping away from sugar, tomorrow we will be alone with the kid's candy all day and we will have to make sure it's safe for them to eat. heh.
This is a photo of the kids on Halloween 2001. I made the girl's costumes, as well as the magician's cape.