We love Halloween. Well, I’m not sure if Husband really loves it, but the rest of us here in Fringeland do, so he smiles along. Man Child has been Jack Skellington twice, all three of my kiddos knew all the lyrics to the soundtrack of the Nightmare Before Christmas before they knew their ABCs. This afternoon there’s going to be a party in my building for the kiddos. A nice idea, and so I went out early this morning to hit the grocery store. I saw a meme thingie on Facebook for mummy-hot dogs, what a great idea! Easy, not too pricey, something in addition to candy to eat. OK, I’m using tofu dogs, but still. My sweetie is really looking forward to this. I’m not sure why, but the Halloween oogie boogies, ghosts, vampires, and banshees don’t bother her at all. (no gore though, please)
You don’t get the house to house trooping through dusk here in the city, we do vertical trick or treating, for the most part. This has its advantages, no worries about your little superhero freezing in a costume.
I didn’t leave early enough. The train reeked of young adults on their way home (subway of shame?) with last night’s booze steaming from their pores. Cold outside, hot in the tunnels, lots of vodka sweat.
Then the store was packed. I was on line longer than it took me to finish my shopping–on both floors!
Fine. I get back to my neighborhood and decide to stop in to the temporary Halloween store before going home. Meant I was lugging groceries, but didn’t have Flower Child with me. Sounds mean, doesn’t it? I mean, here I am, going into the store to get make-up for her costume, but preferred to do so without her. Bad, bad mama. Practical mama, too. Flower Child cannot make decisions. I don’t know why or what misfiring synapses cause this, but she can’t decide. Ever. On anything. So something like standing in front of a wall of makeup to decide which tubes of face paint could take two hours–and result in both of us needing to go home and crash–screw the mummies, let those other kids eat candy corn. But I’m being a good mama today, damn it! Supporting creative costumes! Buying ghoulish makeup! Supplying tofu mummies! So I went without her.
Great! Except now I’m looking at a wall of theatrical makeup, trying to decide what looks easiest to apply, wash off, most versatile, trying to fit into the budget. Halloween costumes have come a LONG way since I was a kid. I know, it’s hard to believe, but I was once a kid. Wore my mother’s gold hoop earrings, red lipstick from my grandma, and a black nylon blouse from my mother’s closet–voila! A gypsy! I’m sorry, it was long before the idea of gypsies being politically incorrect for a Halloween costume hit Brooklyn. Anyway, here I was and somehow, I ended up one too-rapid breath from a full blown panic attack in the store. What. The. Fuck.
I’ve had panic attacks before, but not in years. Years and years. Multiple children and lifetimes ago. A tube of gray face paint had caught my eye. The exact shade of gray I’ve seen on Flower Child too many times during seizures. I don’t know what happened, I really don’t. I mean, I know, it’s scary shit watching your kiddo turn colors human beings were never meant to be, hearing a shriek like no other as the air is pushed out of their lungs, watching them stop breathing, feeling completely powerless, wondering if this will end quickly or be one of the ones that goes on and on until you’re in the ER reporting the sequence of events to the 18th doctor. But it’s Halloween! Fun scary, not mama’s flipping her lid for absolutely no reason whatsoever scary.
Flower Child was fine when I left, fine when I got home. She’s happily playing with the makeup I grabbed. I didn’t buy the gray.