Suburban Snapshots


Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's not enough that last Tuesday morning Anna crapped all over summer by noticing a red leaf laying on our driveway as we headed out the door for day care, "Mama, what's that? Why that leaf's red?" I walked her to the miniature personage corral known as the Older Toddler Classroom, where one of her teachers handed me a bag full of Anna's swim diapers, water shoes, and whatever other warm-weather encumbrances were required back in June. On top of all this anti-summer fuckery, some of you bastards are already blogging about Halloween.

I hadn't yet started stressing over thinking about Anna's costume for this year. She was Raggedy Ann last year, and holy crap was that adorable. I'll dress too, and experience the usual righteous indignation as I browse catalogs full of "Slutty _____" or "Sexy _____" costumes. With each turn of the page the models of said tarted-up, highly-flammable outfits seem to become less of legal age and the costumes  more improbable — "Sexy, Helpful DMV Employee". Each "set" includes exactly 2 feet of chintzy fabric and some Velcro; presumably you'll already have the thong bodysuit foundation in your lingerie drawer.

So I curse and I complain. I go on about how Halloween is nothing but a pressure holiday like New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day. I'll wish I had the skill to make something from scratch like my mom used to, something creative, fun, something that captured what it meant to be a child...prostitute?

That photo over there, that's me. At maybe 8 years old, possibly 7. And I'm wearing one of my mom's homemade costumes. I'm in 4th grade and I'm dressed like a hooker and I walked door-to-door like that. A trick who delivers — No cash? That's cool, I'll take two miniature Snickers, save your shitty apples for the E.T. nerds behind me. The visible control tops totally make this one authentic. (Though note that this was the last time in my life I didn't actually have cellulite. I'm sure the hose were just for a little extra warmth. Mom thought of everything. Except child predators, apparently.)

So what have we learned? Well, that you don't have to shop a catalog full of poorly-made, highly-toxic costumes sewn by illegal, overseas, child labor just to look like a two-cent tramp, and that back when I was 7 or 8, I didn't come home from trick or treating with any goddamn apples.

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