Several years back, my husband Ray mentioned to me that we were invited to a Halloween party that was being hosted by one of his clients, J. J lives in a gated community off of Sunset and Ray’s company designed and maintained the landscaping for her large glass and teak home. Anyway, I was happy to go to J’s party – well, as happy as I ever am to go to anybody’s party – because I’d gone with Ray over to her house on numerous occasions and she was a very nice person. So, after teaching my students, I put on a pair of slacks and a top and came downstairs ready to go. Ray, who was dressed in some ‘70’s mod outfit that actually made him look pretty cute, shook his head and said, “You can’t wear that. This is a costume party. And, by the way, we need to leave in 10 minutes so please go throw something on.”
It could be argued that this would have been the moment for me to just look at him and say, “No, I don’t have a costume. I’m wearing this.” But alas, I did have a costume. The mother of one of my students had actually given me a costume only a few weeks before. She had been cleaning out her closet and had come upon this old favorite and brought it to me saying, “Your girls might need something like this one of these Halloweens. I couldn’t bear to throw it away. Here you go.”
With that in mind, coupled with the stressed look on Ray’s face because we were now going to be very late, I ran upstairs and rummaged through the closet in search of the costume. I finally found it and with the aid of my youngest daughter Rachael, I wrestled it on. As soon as Rachael saw me all dressed up, she called to Sarah and Liz and they came in. In a matter of seconds, they were all on the bed, laughing so hard that tears were running down their faces. My costume consisted of white tights and a white leotard with black spots all over them and a mask with the face of a Dalmatian on it. The leotard also had a three-foot tail sewn on it. Now you have to remember that I was the mother of three daughters and my tights and leotard were not covering a youthful slim body, but rather a body that was middle-aged and slightly thick. In other words, I didn’t look at all like a fast and fit Dalmatian, but more like a slow and chubby Corgi in my outfit.
By this time, my husband was yelling upstairs for me to hurry. I didn’t have a clue what to do so I looked at the girls and they managed through their fits of laughter to suggest that I wear a leopard skin coat over my outfit to disguise my rather unflattering figure. I put on the heavy and hot coat, gave myself one quick look, then headed downstairs. Ray was already in the car and didn’t see how I looked until we were well on our way, and even then I just pulled the coat over my bulging stomach so he couldn’t see.
We arrived at the party, Ray in his cute outfit since he’d had several day to plan and me in my dog outfit, complete with the dog mask over my face. We rang the bell and J opened the door. I saw many kids all dressed in costumes, but then noted that all the adults including J were wearing exactly the kind of clothes I had put on originally. None of them were wearing costumes.
I had to spend the entire evening walking around in my dog costume as I introduced myself to people I did not know. I finally just relaxed and had a good time though I had to endure the long looks I received from everybody when they first saw me. Of course, everyone told Ray how great his costume was; not one person mentioned mine. There was no reason to wonder why…