Buenos Diaz, and Happy Sunday! It is currently 6am, and most of you are probably in recovery from your Halloween weekend, that highly anticipated time of the year when kids get cute to beg for candy, chicks wear lingerie and animal ears in the street, pets get forced into ridiculous get-ups for photographs and my various social media feeds are filled with carved and candlelit pumpkins. The costume-donning masses pretend to be something they aren’t for a night, or on the contrary use Halloween to let their most genuine but hidden identities be exposed in a rare moment of Gaga-like abandon.
In my early twenties, I rode *hard* for this Halloween thing. My friends and I spent the first four or five Halloweens of my 21+ years in Sin City, and I confess that we were some of those girls doing the most with our costumes. Our ensemble’s theme was always “sexy” (isn’t it always?); sexy mechanics, sexy gangsters, sexy firefighters, etc. We’d start with a basic frock, hack away at it with scissors then add a crap-ton of props and accessories to make it clear that we were indeed in costume and not just wearing torn-up Dickie jumpsuits with colorful bras and glittery eye shadow for no good reason. Ah, to be young, wild and recklessly free.
I was going to insert a photo of one of tose customes here. Then I looked at the photos. Haha. Nope.
Now as a grown and bookish woman, Halloween hath not the allure it once did. The only costume I concern myself with now is the team costume I have to wear to work for our annual day of marketing clients in full dress-up mode. I’m generally a good sport and go with the flow of what everyone else chooses, but I sure did put my damn foot down this year and demand of my Account Manager that our costume selection not require me to wear any kind of facial hair for once . Two years ago, she’d handed me a pair of lederhosen, a felt hat and a terrible adhesive mustache. It was hot as hell and the sweat beads began to form on my face even at 9:30 in the morning. I was meeting 95% of my clients for the first time that day and had the pleasure of doing so with this ugly patch of synthetic fibers clinging crookedly to my upper lip. How I’d wished the giant plastic beer stein in my hand was real and filled with some cold, delicious brew…
Then last year around mid October, this same woman approached my desk with this giant smile and “Eureka!” expression on her face to tell me that this year we would go as the cast from Duck Dynasty. She’d already bought everything we needed from Amazon, so all I needed to supply were a pair of jeans and a black top. All I got from all of that was, “you get to be a hairy dude.” Not only did I have to wear facial hair again, but a giant, terrible, itchy beard at that. That fluffy and poorly-made mass of what I can only describe as stretched-out chestnut-brown cotton balls hell-bent on looking like tentacles was a giant pain in my ass. I looked like a poor man’s Moses if you didn’t look too carefully, if Moses had worn camo and a beanie and liked Le Volume de Chanel mascara.
This year, we got to be Spanish dancers much to my delight. Red lipstick, a slick bun, a rose in my hair and a long skirt- done and done! We were making our rounds to see various clients and drop off baskets of treats when we drove onto the property of a client whose offices are in a large and beautifully designed business park and in a building with a gorgeous view of San Diego. As I got out of the car, a pack of little humans from a nearby daycare could be seen approaching the building in the distance, each toting orange pumpkin buckets on their trick-or-treating mission. As I looked upon these 20 or so children, I was reminded of a meme I’d seen on Facebook proposing a new drinking game wherein the participants take a shot every time they see a little kid dressed as Elsa from Frozen. It occurred to me that had I signed up for this endeavor, I’d have been drunkity drunk drunk by 10:30am off this little tyke sighting along.
There were a few other costume trends- among the boys, there were tons of Supermen, Batmen and Spidermen. A few of the kids with lazier parents wore black shirts and pants with a skeleton painted on them. There were a couple of DIY Minions and a pumpkin or two… then came the kid whose parents get a giant gold star. In a world where 95% of the kids you see are decked out to look like a princess or a superhero came this little gem, an adorable little boy whose parents has dressed him up as the Waste Management guy. He had a little cardboard truck painted dark green and affixed to him via some Velcro and suspenders. I laughed so hard I almost wet myself. He looked proud to play the part of the trash man, and for that I wanted to pick him up and hug him.
Oh the cuteness.
After the clients had been seen and a few hours of work had been squeezed in, we all left the office early and I went straight home. I drank some Nebbiolo and wrote partially in the dark for fear that kiddies would come knocking on my door asking for a trick or a treat. I’d completely neglected to buy any candy and all I had to give were some oranges, kale, Medjool dates or perhaps a Chia Pod. Not your average kids idea of a good time, at least not in the hood. Perhaps in the nice part of town, I could have blended up some kale smoothies and given those out in teeny tiny cups. “Here you go kids, get your fiber and calcium! No cavities in these here parts! Make good choices!”
Alas, no childrens showed up, and even with the neighbors blasting "TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!!" next door, I turned down indeed and treated myself to an early bedtime. I was tired, dammit! Or perhaps this is thirty.... more importantly, I took my butt to bed early because I had an event to attend the following morning: the 20th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival in Sherman Heights. I woke up early, did a quick 30 minute workout that really just turned into dancing like a maniac in my living room to some hip hop and cumbias, then made myself one of those kale smoothies and was out of the house by 8:30am. I met my buddy Celina and her mother Sue at the Sherman Heights Community Center to set up Celina’s Gypsy Treasures booth for the event, and there I stayed until 7:00PM that evening. The event itself was incredible: live music from mariachi, Latin rock bands and conjuntos, performances from numerous ballet folklorico groups and Aztec dancers, tasty food and beverage items, and amazing altars in remembrance of those who have passed on.
There were of course also tons of amazing vendors like Miss Celina herself in all her Gypsy Treasures glory. It was an honor to be her gypsy elf at this event and work her beautiful booth. I will be detailing the event in an upcoming post that I hope you will read and enjoy- stay tuned for that! I must levae you now to go get pretty for a surprise I have planned for someone special. Ssssssh. For now, enjoy your Sunday, make it a fun day, and I’ll catch you all again soon.
The Gypsy and her Treasures
La Gitana y La Bookworm