All Dressed Up, Nowhere to Go

Me? Dress up for Halloween?

It takes a lot of creative energy, time, and money to put together a costume, and most of what was available for that for the last 10-15 years went into figuring out what my children were going to wear. So, yeah, I’m sort of in the habit to not dress up for Halloween.

Wait, wait; that’s not entirely true. Being a teacher and that I have students who start asking in September what I’m going to be, I do have a couple of easy costumes to choose from to wear on Halloween day. My favorite, of late, is what I dubbed an “ankle down” costume. It works for me because it requires no special make-up, no wig, and no special clothing. And, most important, it’s comfortable.

What is it, you ask? A pair of bumblebee slippers. When my students ask what I am, I answer with, “Two bees,” and their little faces morph from confusion to wonder to slight disappointment all within a matter of seconds.

Last year, about this time, I heard about the Zombie Prom happening at one of our trendy downtown theaters and I mentioned it to my daughter, thinking she and her friends might want to go. Much to my (initial) dismay, she suggested that I attend with them. I panicked. Wouldn’t that require hair, make-up, clothing? Interestingly, that stressed me out more than the thought of dancing and being stuck in a loud, crowded place with a bunch of young, wild, costumed strangers. She assured me that a zombie was, like, the easiest costume in the world.


Plain Beauty

A summer of tapering

Then quitting altogether

Anxiety, yes

Pain, no

The honeymoon stage

Energetic, optimistic, confident

I can do this

No longer a slave

To my thirty-year habit

Of covering my face

Enhancing the real me

The withdrawal

From cosmetics

Veiled for now

By the outdoor life of summer

The tan, the sunglasses, a hat

Still, in the mirror

Someone else

Faded, blurry

A distant relative

A younger me

An older me

Then it’s back to teaching

To my people, my colleagues

A complete unveiling

Will we be strangers

Quiet, unsure, puzzled

Or will they accept me

Encourage me to do the same

I feel the wall

The pressure of a relapse

Shall I run back to beautiful

Or is it no longer there

And was it ever

Support is critical

No one stares

Or cares, really

They see me as me

The real me

The unveiled me

And in the mirror

I know her now

But what about photos

Who is that person

Faded, blurry

A distant relative

A younger me

An older me

The adjustment stage

Short-lived or

A lifetime of wondering

Questioning my choice

A gift for now

Of acceptance




Letting others see in me

What I have always seen in them

Plain beauty.

No make up