Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hobo Memories

   Throughout my childhood, Mom was incredibly resourceful. She crafted celebrations from only construction paper and glue. She filled our table with healthy meals, often from leftovers. She kept five children in good clothing every season. Her resourcefulness also applied to Halloween costumes. I cannot remember shopping for costumes, although plenty of my friends did. But I never felt deprived. For us, building your look out of almost nothing was half the fun! Scavenging through the house for raw materials was a happy ritual.

   One year’s costume stands out in history. I was attending a sixth grade Haloween party with classmates.  Mom conspired with me to exact something wonderful, exploring options like punk rocker (my fave for many confusing years), vampire (the traditional kind, because I hadn’t seen The Lost Boys yet, much less Twilight or anything from Anne Rice), and Carmen Miranda.  For that last option, Mom even let me stuff my dress with rolled up bobby socks, but we laughingly agreed Dad would object. My fake sock boobs were removed. 

   Anwyay, as great ideas often happen, we arrived at my eventual incarnation quite by accident. We were sifting through the accumulation of clothes pieces and possible accessories, piling onto my twelve year old self lots of crazy, unrelated things. I remember Mom joking that I looked like a hobo. Eureka. Her face lit up and she dug until she found a pan of brown eyeshadow.

   Mom smeared my face with the shimmery stuff so it looked like I had a five o’clock shadow. She slid a stocking cap over my blonde hair and added who knows how many more unmatched garments to my frame.  After some frenzied moments of adjusting and editing, she stood back and said, “What do you think?” 

   I was already happy from being the object of her undivided attention and bottomless creativity. So to see that I was also transformed into a completely unrecognizable hobo was bliss. Mom found a long stick from outside and tied to it a piece of cloth stuffed with something bulky, denoting the classic hobo carrying satchel.  Costume complete.

   The pleaseure of being so well costumed would have been enough, but later at the party, I heard people asking, “Have you seen Marie yet?  She’s not here!” They didn’t even recognize me, I was so hoboish. 

   Well done, Mom. And thank you for the creativity and memories. Happy Halloween!


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