The Treasure Of Transylvania


TRICK OR TREAT?  I guess it depends on the details. There are only a few Halloweens in my life that have been memorable, and oddly, none of them were during my childhood. Maybe because we went trick or treating in the same neighborhoods every year, and all those memories are molded into one big Tootsie Pop.

As an adult, I’ve been invited to a few Halloween parties where I actually wore a costume. I like costumes, but I need a lot of lead time to think of a good idea.The fact that I don’t sew, and I am not very crafty, makes it more challenging. So my typical costume usually involves repurposing misfit clothing, and putting on some funky makeup or a dime store wig.  My last creation resembled a hybrid of Phyllis Diller and Miss Piggy.

I also have a couple special memories of my children at Halloween. My youngest son received a velveteen sailor suit as a gift when he was an infant.  It was adorable, and fit him just right when Halloween arrived.  It didn’t look very comfortable to me, however, so I decided to make it his “costume” for the evening, and then hung it back in the closet — like the sport coat and tie his dad only wore when it was mandatory.

By pre-school, they started to beg for the store-bought costumes most kids want that depicted their favorite superheros or cartoon characters.  But one year, I got to try my hand as a makeup artist, transforming my sons into Dracula, and a half cow– half human creature from a popular cartoon.  

The best Halloween I remember, we took the kids to my parents place, and after repeating the required password, the door opened and out popped mom and dad wearing scary rubber masks that completely covered their heads. My dad had rehearsed a diabolical laugh that created more giggles than goosebumps. I have a snapshot of my parents in all their “monster glory” that I will treasure forever.

After they were done trick or treating at the neighbors, the mall, or the nursing home, my final Halloween duty was to stash the loot on top of the fridge and dole it out a piece or two at a time — to avoid tummy aches, sugar highs and cavities — and still enjoy the bounty of the season.  

My kids are grown now, and I enjoy handing out candy to other people’s kids on Halloween.

But what will I wear this year, if I steal an invitation to a last minute party?  I’m not sure yet, but I hear orange is the new black. Anyone know where I can borrow a ball and chain?

By Beth Diane Bradley 10.30.15

2 Responses

  1. That photo brought tears to my eyes. Mom and Dad would come to our house on Halloweens when I was alone with the kids and needed to take them out to trick or treat. They’d wear their “frightening” rubber masks upon arrival and tried to keep them on for handing out goodies (they were HOT). Dad even wore his one year after his failed surgery put him in Rosewood. He continued to love pretending to scare kids with that silly laugh. Thanks for the memories. Terrific essay as always!

    1. bethdiane

      Thanks, Carol! I enjoyed what you shared too, I figured your kids had similar experiences with the masks! I’m glad you liked it.

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