Thursday, October 31, 2013

Costume of Success

Dear Bloggers,

With age it is widely thought that the knowledge you gain would help you to make better decisions.  So, a lot of times, your most foolish and embarrassing stories happen when you were younger; and here's mine.

After moving from Mobile, Alabama I started going to an elementary school in East St. Louis, IL.  When living in Alabama my father would take us trick or treating, but when we moved to Illinois, my mother put a kibosh on it.  After seeing how the students would dress up for the class Halloween party, and missing out, my sister Kelli and I plotted on sneaking costumes to school.

But when your parents don't buy costumes, you have to use a little bit more ingenuity, especially when you're both around 2nd to 3rd graders.  I can't remember what Kelli's costume was, but I remember after what seemed like hours of brainstorming together (in all honesty, it was probably only five minutes, retrospectively) we decided that I was going to be an "Exotic Dancer."

     "Kelli, what's an exotic dancer?"

     "It's like a ballerina, but she also does jazz dancing, and that type of dancing from Coming to America."


So we snuck a leotard, tights, a sheer scarf and some of our mother's old makeup in our bookbags and had our unsuspecting mother drop up off at school.  When the time came to dress up I got the strangest looks.  As people tried to figure out what costume would have me dressing in such a risque manner, I proudly proclaimed:  "I'm an exotic dancer!"

That answer was immediately met with (by kids and teachers alike):  "A stripper?!"

But after I explained to them what an exotic dancer did, I still got a large amount of side-eye.  I just assumed that people where jealous that they weren't smart enough to have come up with my costume.

My pride encouraged me to wear my "costume" all throughout the day, and defiantly get into my mother's car to prove to her that costumes didn't have to be scary; they could be cute.  But once I got in the car and my mother's eyes enlarged in a way I rarely saw I knew something was wrong. She asked me what I was and I told her.  Her head dropped in motherly shame as she let me know that I wasn't a ballerina that I told the school I was.  An exotic dancer was, indeed, a stripper.  The way she said it, I could tell that she wasn't jealous of my costume, and finally it sunk in.

Since then, my costumes (if I did dress up) were very mild, and I chalk up the fact that I didn't know any better due to my age.

When you know better, hopefully you do better.

Happy Halloween!!    

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