Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One Forbidden Night

No, I’m not talking about sex. Or a romance novel title. I’m talking about Trick or Treating. I’m going to make you feel sooo sorry for me.

As a child, my parents didn’t let me go trick or treating, and it wasn’t because of rabid religious reasons or the fact I might swallow a stray straight pin in my Snickers bar. My mother thought T or T was begging. They didn’t do it in Vienna, Austria, ergo, it would not be done in Hempstead, New York. This didn’t stop her from making me costumes for the classroom Halloween parties (when you could still have such things), nor did it stop her from having mounds of Mounds and Almond Joys to pass out to the neighborhood kids. But I was not allowed to venture out in the dark with devils and witches to score free candy.

It wasn’t until I was a freshman in high school that I finally went T or T with my friend Barbara. The night was sadly flat and fizz-less. Even though I was wearing all of my mother’s and grandmother’s costume jewelry and scarves, my lips hideously crimson with lipstick, this gypsy felt gypped. I was past my prime and I knew it.

I have since forgiven my parents for their quirks. When I think of the restrictions placed on Regency heroines, my youth was positively Bacchanalian. My parents let me drink wine at dinner and kaffee mit schlag und schnapps when I was just a kid. That was okay in Vienna, Austria. They gave me a TV and a phone for my room. Looking back, I can say I was pretty much spoiled rotten. And sometimes drunk.

But, ah, how I once chafed to partake in that All-American Halloween ritual. This year, I’ll settle for wearing my glow-in-the-dark ghost pin and muttering the occasional ‘boo.’.

Any plans to trick or treat/party? What’s your favorite costume? I once dressed as a Viagra Victim, with a pillow stuffed under my dress and a baby doll pinned to my shoulder.

What was your forbidden fruit? How did it taste once you took a bite?

Forbidden fruit causes many jams. ~Anon.


Anonymous said...

Halloween was always the kid thing. I don't think I've ever dressed up as an adult. Right now my son is all about the Fantastic 4 although he's going to be the dark spiderman for Halloween this year. My most forbidden fruit, hmmm, got me into a pickle.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Hmm, Bev, you've got me intrigued with the pickle comment! I once played a trick on my eldest daughter and dressed her as Oscar the Grouch, cause she sure was cranky for a long stretch.

Hellie Sinclair said...

I love to dress up now! Though I feel ridiculous scoring free candy on Halloween (any other time is fine, but Halloween candy scoring seems like a kid-thing.)

My parents never let me T&T either, Maggie--for EXACTLY that reason! And when that didn't work, they said it was the devil's holiday anyway and I shouldn't be interested.

Terri Osburn said...

I was a frequent beggar. Halloween just gave me an excuse. I was never very creative with costumes though. I'd usually cut two holes in one of my grandmother's white sheets and go as a ghost. Bundled up underneath since it *used* to be cold on Halloween (in OH).

I haven't dressed up as an adult for about 15 years or so. But I would enjoy having a reason to. I saw some black masquerade ball outfit at Wally World during lunch and I was sorely tempted to get it. I could dress up to walk the Wee One around, couldn't I?

Anonymous said...

I need to know where you get these fabulous pictures for your blog??!!!

Anonymous said...

Last Halloween my college-age daughter went to a costume party where one of her friends had attached small sponges all over her clothing. When my daughter asked "What are you?", the friend replied, "I'm self-absorbed!"

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

LOL, Anon! I love it. Very clever...and much better than Sponge Bob.

Bev, I've collected pictures for the past year to go on the slide show when my computer is idle. I visit museum sites like the Athenaeum (sp?) and the Art Renewal Center. I've found a ton of interesting stuff on Google images, too, which is where I found this old Halloween card. The artist in me loves to illustrate! And sometimes the pictures actually give me a blog topic, which is very handy.

Hellion, you are the first person I've ever known that was forbidden to T or T. Virtual hugs to my little sister in deprivation!

Terrio, go for it! We used to live in a town that had mega-dress-up parties, grown-ups only. People went as far as Boston for costumes---there was quite a bit of one-upsmanship involved. My husband just used to wear a Hawaiian shirt every year and call it good.

Hellie Sinclair said...

Were your parents also a product of the Depression? My Dad was raised in the Depression and that's why he thinks T&T is like begging. His father would have beat them senseless if they had done anything that humiliating.

I needed the right PR spin. "It's not begging, Dad. It's...more extortion. Pay us what we requested or we'll make things difficult for you."

I think extortion is more noble than begging.

Gillian Layne said...

Once they hit middle school in this house, they've got to collect for Unicef if they want to dress up and go out.

And of course the nice people always give them candy as well, so they're usually happy.

They don't get to go to haunted houses yet, and they get really aggravated at me but I told them they'll appreciate something to look forward to when they're 18.

Keira Soleore said...

Maggie, your forbidden fruit quote is definitely all yours, not some annonymous anon. :)

It was decided this afternoon that I'm going to be a Pirate Wench. I just have to me a sword now.

RevMelinda said...

St. Lucy is really easy. She is always pictured holding a plate with her eyes on it (they were gouged out when she was martyred, lovely isn't it?)--there's a great painting on St Lucy's wikipedia entry.
So you just wear whatever you want--regular clothes are ok--, put on dark sunglasses, and carry a plate with "eyes" on it (ping pong balls painted with pupils and irises and then glued on to the plate do fine).
It's great and simple and really grosses people out and hey, it's a saint, so you get bonus spiritual points too.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Rev M, I hope I never encounter you at a party! Can I say "ewww?" Very clever, but bad! Although you're not as bad as my grandfather, who had a glass eye that he'd drop into people's drinks for fun...and it wasn't even Halloween. Any day would do.

Keirrrra, you pirrrrate wench, you flatterrr me. But anon did indeed come up with the quote. :)

Gillian, sounds like you let your kids have fun and do good too. I can't do haunted houses now, even though I know everything's fake, nor can I watch scary movies. I am a screamer and an eye-closer.

Hellion, yeah, both parents were depressed---I mean depression-era people, but my mother brought her customs with her to the US and Halloween wasn't one of them. I did get to open all my presents on Christmas eve though, so I guess it all worked out.

Carey Baldwin said...

Happy Halloween, Maggie. Alas, I'm afraid it aint what it used to be, what with all the parents taking their tots to the mall for "safe" treats (understandably). But I do love handing out scads of candy to those few brave souls who still ring my doorbell. More for them!

irisheyes said...

Halloween was never my thing. I went T&T when I was younger and I attended a few parties as I got older but I never really enjoyed it. I think it must have something to do with my personality and not really wanting to call attention to myself or make a fool of myself or just plain old be silly. It was always a very stressful holiday for me - being silly has never been very easy for me.

Now my DH, on the other hand, has no problem whatsoever making a fool of himself and loves every and any opportunity to do so. So, this happens to be one of his favorite holidays! He is the one who takes the kids around and does all the pumpkin carving and haunted house stuff. Another really important reason I married him! This is where therapy before you get married is very important - I knew my potential shortcomings as a parent and chose someone who could pick up the slack! LOL

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

India, I haven't had any trick or treaters in ages...but I still buy "emergency" candy just in case. Somehow, it all gets eaten.

Irish, aren't you lucky to have that balance/job-sharing thing. My husband took our kids trick or treating once, and brought home a kitten. Not exactly what I was expecting!