Recommended wine for today’s entry: Last weekend, I had a bottle of Freemark Abbey chardonnay and really liked it. It is described by the winemaker as “The 2007 Chardonnay has a very appealing straw color. The nose reveals aromas of baked apple, ripe banana and lemon oil with a hint of floral notes. This Chardonnay has an exceptional mouth feel with flavors of apple and butterscotch that integrate well with a subtle touch of oak spice. Good balance with crisp and creamy viscosity carries through a long fruitful finish.” I can’t say what baked apples smell like — not in my repoitoire — but totally recommend this wine. As I recall, it was in the $15-$20 range.
October is full of really scary things. Like my birthday. When I was younger (much, much younger), I often celebrated my big day with a costume party, giving my cute little gaggle of teen friends an opportunity to show off their clever disguises without having to grovel for food at people’s doorsteps.
One picture remains as evidence of those long ago times. No, it’s not a daguerreotype, but close – it’s one of the primitive Polaroid black-and-whites that, after time, begins to lose its image to evaporation or evil spirits or something.
Anyway, in the picture there are no mass produced, flame retardant, purchased costumes … back in the day, we had the ingenuity to rifle through our mother’s closets while they were at their homemaker’s club meeting, at their doctor renewing their Valium prescription or, like my mother, at the local bowling alley, just throwing a few with the gals.
So at this party, one girl was dressed as a gypsy, wearing her mother’s expensive silk scarf wrapped around her greasy adolescent head; another was a pirate with one of her mom’s gold hoop earrings, striped shirt and snappy little felt vest. Me? The logical costume would have been one of mom’s bowling shirts, complete with the Old Style beer embroidery, her name in cursive and the giant darts alongside the breasts. But, duh, when I was selecting my costume she was using it.
So instead I wore her wedding dress. When I came downstairs the day of my party, dressed as the bride of Frankenstein and dragging my mother’s gown across the shag carpeting and through the puddle surrounding the dog’s water bowl, there was a moment of silence. Then, probably only because it was my birthday, I was allowed to wear the Alencon lace dress, adorned with about 100 pearl buttons, to my party in the scenic paneled basement. A party that featured such colorful beverages as Orange Crush and Big Red, all just ripe for the spilling.
What made me think of this was a recent visit to one of those Halloween stores that pop up in the shells of former department stores this time of year. My 17-year-old was in need of a Disney outfit for Disney day of Spirit Week at school. She’s a huge Jasmine fan, and I thought SURELY I would be able to find an appropriate costume to let the little princess be a special princess for a day.
The kids’ section did, indeed, have princess costumes, but alas, they were pint-sized. The kids’ section only comprised about 1/40th of the store, though. So I went exploring.
The teen section – yes, they had Disney, but the flowing gowns had all been chopped to show a little bit of teen leg – or a freaking lot of teen leg and a little bit of butt cheek. And, for example, Alice in Wonderland’s blue peter-pan collared shirt and white pinafore had turned into a combo of a French maid and a Rennaissance bar wench. The collar had become a plunging neckline and lace peeked from under the cropped pinafore. The only similarity? It was blue and white.
Actually, I think those were labeled “tween” costumes … and things got more and more risqué from there. The adult section was more like an Adult Movie costume trailer. Wow. If it could be made sexy, it was … even things that one wouldn’t expect.
Is it just me? I don’t think I’m a prude. And it’s not that I think my friends are in any way unattractive. They all look great in their jeans and polo shirts or business suits. Most of them still look OK in a swimsuit. Alright, with a cover-up. I don’t have an issue with a 50-year-old wearing leggings and skirts above the knee.
But do I want to see any of my buddies in a crotchless Strawberry Shortcake outfit? Not even a little. My guy friends in second-skin Robin Hood tights? ABSOLUTELY NOT. A former coworker in the Hot Flash Nurse Sexy Costume? Umm…ICK.
I found myself hustling down the “dirty aisles,” because, as I had been informed by numerous signs posted in the store, I was being watched on closed-circuit camera. I had this vision of running for public office and a clip of me perusing the back of an Alluring Alice in Wonderland costume surfacing.
I didn’t find anything for my daughter to wear. I did purchase a mullet wig for my darling husband to wear to a costume party later this month. (I promise to post a pic.)
But the whole Halloween store experience left me … scared.
Scared of what our society is becoming. I mean, this store that offered like 75 percent of its stock in stripper-friendly form was obviously selling items. LOTS of items.
Scared that every psycho in town was watching to see who made a purchase at the sexy costume store and was crouched behind cars in the parking lot. I mean, if I was a dirty old man and I’d already been kicked off of college campuses, I’d spend the month of October waiting to see who had just purchased a Belle-in-a-bustier costume and jump ‘em in the lot.
Scared that I may arrive at a Halloween party, take a sip of fine quality wine, spin around and see … a friend of mine wearing a Freddie Krueger costume with the butt cut out.
C’mon guys – I’m giving you a FOUR-week head start … skip the sex costume and, if you can’t get things from your mom’s closet anymore, look in your own! If you’re like me, there are things that are a LOT funnier and a WHOLE LOT scarier right under your nose!