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All Dressed Up, Nowhere to Go

By Randee Bergen



Me? Dress up for Halloween?

It takes a lot of creative energy, time, and money to put together a costume, and most of what was available for that for the last 10-15 years went into figuring out what my children were going to wear. So, yeah, I’m sort of in the habit to not dress up for Halloween.

Wait, wait; that’s not entirely true. Being a teacher and that I have students who start asking in September what I'm going to be, I do have a couple of easy costumes to choose from to wear on Halloween Day. My favorite, of late, is what I dubbed an “ankle down” costume. It works for me because it requires no special make-up, no wig, and no special clothing. And, most important, it’s comfortable.

What is it, you ask? A pair of bumblebee slippers. When my students ask what I am, I answer with, “Two bees,” and their little faces morph from confusion to wonder to slight disappointment all within a matter of seconds.

Last year, about this time, I heard about the Zombie Prom happening at one of our trendy downtown theaters and I mentioned it to my daughter, thinking she and her friends might want to go. Much to my (initial) dismay, she suggested that I attend with them. I panicked. Wouldn’t that require hair, make-up, clothing? Interestingly, that stressed me out more than the thought of dancing and being stuck in a loud, crowded place with a bunch of young, wild, costumed strangers. She assured me that a zombie was, like, the easiest costume in the world.

We spent 13 dollars on make-up and probably used as much in hairspray. I found something in my closet to wear. It had no resemblance to a prom dress or anything that came from a rotting corpse, but it would suffice. My daughter and her friend helped me with my make-up, as I have not watched enough zombie movies to know what they look like. Getting ready was a ton of fun in itself. Just like a real prom, I remember thinking.

The drive to the prom was even more fun. We were not only in costumes, but already in character—deadpan faces, big eyeballs, relaxed jaws—and, being that it was a few days before Halloween, we got stares from everyone who passed us.

After parking, we skipped down the street to the theater, giddy and excited and thrilled to be someone else for a few hours. As it turned out, we couldn’t get into the Zombie Prom. It was a 21-and-over event. (Just for the record, I did call and check into this and was informed that it was an all-ages event.)

None of us were too disappointed, as the fun meter was already running high. However, we did not want to go home yet. We kicked around some ideas, narrowed it down to grocery shopping or going to the high school football game, and settled on the latter.

Okay, it was fun to walk into that place, climb the stands, and find a place to sit. We got a lot of looks, but no one knew who we were, and no one figured it out because we didn’t stay for long. On the way out, we discovered that we were not the only ones in costume.

All that dressing up and nowhere, really, to go. We decided to call it a night, but, on the way home, made a quick stop at the grocery store for a few desperately needed items that by no means could wait until the next day.


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