Total Pageviews

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tis the Season....

‘Tis The Season For Music and Food

I think my favorite things about Xmas, the season are seeing the lights and hearing the music. When I was a kid, music was a big and very important part of the Holidays (with a capital H, baby!) Because my mother and father were very musical and Mom played the piano, the house was filled with music. They had a Christmas party and Santa (yes, you read that correctly) came to our house and handed out presents to all the kids present (no pun intended!)

Thanksgiving was all (and still is) about the food. The. Food. (Insert choral: “Aaaahhh!”) The Art Of The Perfect Turkey. Stuffing with fruit in it. It could be cranberries, apples, raisins…chestnuts….wait, that is a nut, right? Whipped or mashed potatoes. Heaven In White, right there, kids! This year, even though we go out of town for Turkey Day, I would still like to make The Dinner. (I hate the turkey we normally get. Sigh…)

Back to X Time! I love the lights and maybe that’s because Mom would put a little tinsel Christmas tree with lights in each of our rooms when we were kids. That is magical! Every year since 2000, we’ve driven out to look at folks’ decorations. We rate them. Are they “just lights?” Is a “Mini-display?” It is a “Proto-Display?” Or is it a Full-tilt Boogie DISPLAY? It’s very fun, free (except the gas of course) and I’m impressed at the creativity. Bah-humbug to all the Energy Scrooges out there. Get LED lights and shut the hell up!

Even more or on an equal footing with lights and display, I love the music. I start loading up on it in late November. To date, I think I have well over 1600 holiday songs. God, how I love MP3 players!! All different styles too. I love hearing new songs, old songs because I might get a new twist on an old one or learn a new one that I just adore. Two to check out (if you haven’t heard them) are “All Those Christmas Cliches” (sung by Nancy LaMott) and “Christmas Can’t Be Very Far Away,” (sung by Amy Grant).

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Love Hallowe'en, Part 2

You have to read the first part.

Go on. I'll wait!

The day before Hallowe'en arrives. Marty toddled off to work to wow 'em as The Wolfman.

I had bought him used pants and a shirt from my favorite resale shop(pe). To "age" them:
I ran them over with Megan's car five or six times,
threw them in a mud puddle,
stomped on them while in the mud puddle,
hit them against a fence,
let the dogs play tug with them,
rolled them in the fire pit,
stuffed them in the fireplace,
beat them against a tree,
stubbed out cigarettes on them,
artfully ripped them
and burned them with a candle.

He was a huge hit!

By the way, Tide got almost all of it out. Amazing.

That evening, we engaged in the Great Princess Hair Debate. I have bunch of wigs but none were the Disney Cinderella's color. I know. We looked at the DVD and my rather vast wig collection. I have one blonde-ish curly monster that I bought as a joke for a show but the thought of restyling it left me reeling like on a bad apres-hot-dog ride on The "Barf-and-Spin" at the county fair. I didn't want to go out and buy another wig. Shoot. Marty then comes back upstairs as I am laying out every wig I own and presents me with the Lesley Ann Warren "Cinderella" DVD. There she is, in all her long-necked, best-crown-ever-on-TV, up-do'ed glory. And she is a BRUNETTE!! Hallelujah! Angelic choirs sangs and the heavens opened. I can do brunette! Yippee!

The one absolutely idiotic thing I did was NOT get Megan to take a pictures of us, or me with a good camera. I don't care how much you pay for a cell phone, the cameras are not the greatest. But here we are! And yes, I felt like Cinderella. I told people was Cinderella: Twenty-Five Years After. On the back of my hairdo, I installed a rhinestone pin that said, "QUEEN."

Yep, that's me. Queen Cinderella!

The fun part was handing out candy. Little girls would RUN across the street, up our sidewalk, across the lawn, screaming, "Cinderella, Cinderella! Princess, Princess!" That's got to make you feel great! See, they got the whole Cinderella-brunette thing too!

Marty had Megan and I in total hysterics. Most kids were somewhat reluctant to come up on the porch with that hairy, scary thing. (He would take off the mask for really little kids.) He started sitting on the steps, still as a statute, clasping the candy bowl in his claws. The rude kids, the obnoxious ones who just reach into the bowl to grab candy got a real surprise! That "statute" growled and clawed at them!! "Wolfie" really enjoyed our candy!

We only had one kid who sang the whole Treat Or Trick song. He was rewarded with two huge handfuls of candy.

"Trick or treat/Smell my feet/Give me something/Good to eat!" Someone had trained that child well. Bravo!

I do miss Trick or Treating when I was a kid. It started at dusk, you went out for hours and HOURS and needed a pillow case and a little red wagon to haul your goodies. My brother and sister would dive into my candy and snatch their favorites immediately after I came home, much to my gulping, sobbing chagrin! I could only be a ghost, hobo or a clown because those costumes were warm. It's like that old joke: "You know you're from Ohio/Minnesota/Buffalo because you have to pick out a costume that fits over a snowsuit." And they didn't have Snow Princess costumes when I was a kid. Too bad; I would have been all over that one like white on rice.

One year I was a leopard. That was a great year. I have a picture of me in that costume somewhere.

I think Hallowe'en has been toned down for kids, almost to the point of Stupid. What IS exciting is that people are decorating their homes nowadays. And there are seriously awesome decorations in our neighborhood! People are spending almost as much money decorating for Hallowe'en as for Christmas!

God, I LOVE Hallowe'en!

As usual, everyone seems to throw costume stuff at me the very last minute. Heck, I don't even think about it myself until the bitter end.

This year, I thought, "Well, hell, maybe I am too damn old to be dressing up for Hallowe'en...." You know that nudging, horrible internal grown-up voice inside of you that says, "Now, really, isn't that a bit immature. How undignified." And you know the folks who listen to that little voice, don't you?

Then there is the other voice. The one that says, "God, I will look so stupid and everyone will look at me." And you know the folks who listen to that little voice, don't you? I actually don't listen to that nagging little (insert f-word here) prick very often. After all, I have made a living (and perhaps will continue to make a living) playing dress up. I really enjoy doing it. I think playing dress up is something more "grownups" should do! I can think of at least 2 family members who would benefit from "playing dress up!"

This year, there was the third little voice. This one was pretty insidious.

"You are too old to be something really pretty, like a Princess."

Ooh, that one was ugly. It know I have always wanted to be a Princess. The whole ball gown, crown, gloves, shoes, the whole jazzed up fancy rigmarole B.S. I love that crap. I think most girls, young or old, will admit that whole "look at me, I'm a Princess" stuff is pretty darn awesome. That is why girls go ga-ga trying on wedding dresses. They want to be the Princess For A Day.

No? NOT you.

Don't kid yourself. Do not even go there, ladies.

Yeah, I hear you. All you "back to nature"girls and "that stuff is stupid, old-fashioned crap" Women's Lib-Femi-Nazi ya-da-ya: "I am so above that unnecessary crap" crap. You are all so full of ka-ka-poo-poo that I cannot even stand myself. Or you.

If the Makeover Dream Team showed up at your door (after your bowels released), you'd be in that chair dissing it out with Nic (no "K") the Hairdresser and telling that gorgeous "she-never-gets-a-zit-does-she?" makeup guru that you "NEVER wear makeup but heck, just this once." You'd be pawing your way through that designer clothes' rack like a vulture at a free steak dinner.

I figured it out. Seven or seventy, there is a Princess Wannabe inside all of us. Any girl/woman wants to look nice. If you don't, you are in denial and you have issues that require:
a) a giant Margerita-sized dose of self-esteem
b) a shrink
c) a good girl-friendly slap upside yo' head by some righteous Black Mama!

Speaking of Black Ladies, go to a function where there are "women of color" there. Fearless of color or hats and/or formality. Those broads will put in a red hat with three zillion feathers and enough sequins to choke Bob Mackey and carry it off. I am sure there were about seven thousand African Zion Baptist/Methodist/Eucharist (Insert Other Religion here) Church Ladies' Groups watching Obama's inauguration and yelling at Michelle Obama.

"Where IS your HAT, girl? (Praise the Lord....)"

But I digress. As usual.

This year, Marty had decided, rather last minute, to be The Wolfman.

"What are you going to be?" he asked as I half-heartedly looked at the cheesy costumes in plastic bags at Mr. Fun's Costume Shoppe.

"I dunno. Maybe nothing this year. I'll come up with something." Insert Internal Sigh here as Those Voices were whispering in my head. It must have been the word "nothing." It must have set off some weird circuit in Marty's head. He got that glassy, almost pissed-off look in his eyes. I know that look. He is not leaving that blasted store unless I have a costume too. All right, I think, the theme for the party we are invited to is Fairy Tales. A fairy, a fairy godmother. I'm old enough to be a Fairy Godmother. They're pretty glam and they can ageless. You can be a 90 year old Fairy Godmother.

Insert Helpful Salesperson Mary Lee. Like a real Fairy Godmother, she appeared. "Can I help you?" (Yeah, you can make me 20 years younger and a Size 6...) Now somehow, she was so damn good, sweet, kind etc. that she persuaded me that yes, I could pull off a Princess. Even at my advanced age. By the way, Marty, from the moment we had entered the store, had been salivating over this Wolfman costume and had decided to buy it.

OK, I am looking at the cheesy fairy and princess costumes in plastic bags and suddenly, like an old hound dog, I am on the scent and on the hunt. Screw cheesy. Let me look at the rentals. NOW we're talkin'!

"How about Red Riding Hood, since your husband is going as the wolf?" Nah, unappealing. Could be funny, but nah. Then she asked the Fatal Question to All Princess Wannabes.

"Who is your favorite Princess?" OK, ladies, it could be Pochahantas, Mulan, or Rosa Parks, you've got one and you know it. I didn't even hesitate, pass Go or collect two hundred dollars, baby.

"Um. Uh..." (OK, maybe I did have to think about it, for about a nanosecond.) "Cinderella. Oh, and Belle from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST." Son of a gun, they had adult costumes for all the "Disney" Princesses: Snow White, Aurora, etc. I bet that even had Ariel from THE LITTLE MERMAID. I'll wager they could have duded you up as Mulan!

But still the voices were insinuating. "You're too old, this is stupid." The Voices had not reckoned with my pig-headed husband. He wasn't leaving until I tried on all the damned Princesses and decided on one.

The Winner: Cinderella.