dress up

cigar-tin story #62; see all of them here.

There was a white dress shirt in the middle of the street this morning. It had spray paint on the cuffs. I stepped around it like I would a dead animal and thought, Well, that's perfect.

When we were kids, we always had the same Halloween costume: a white dress shirt with the sleeves and tails stylishly shredded, decorated with pumpkins and tombstones and smiling ghosties, all drawn by hand in black marker (in fact, my mom was quite the marker artist ... she even did a Charlie Brown mural along the basement wall). Add some face paint and there you go. It was, I guess, a coping strategy; there were seven of us, eventually, after all. Besides, there just wasn't that many choices; there certainly wasn't the plastic extravaganza that you see in stores now, where any kid can be just about anything he or she wants for $19.99, with about zero imagination involved. And our big shirts nicely accommodated a parka underneath, and mittens, and was amiably accented by the not-too-greedy plastic pumpkin.


  1. I'm always intrigued by discarded clothing and footwear.

    Our dress up always involved sheets or curtains - and beads

  2. so glad you stopped by my blog because I would never have found you - love your work, especially your writing :)

  3. When I was growing up, we didn't celebrate Halloween.

    We did have Guy Fawkes though. Where you chucked firecrackers at each other, and burned a straw man on a bonfire.

    That straw man was often dressed in an old white work shirt that my Dad gave us.

    All sounds rather bizarre really. But there you go :)

  4. When I was growing up we didn't have Halloween either but this year I 'made' my youngest a witche's dress- which was hillarious- one of the sleeves turned out to be inside out- but I thought ,well why would a witch care? She would probably sew the whole outfit inside out...but I didn't have enough time to change it all again- the best thing was that she (the witch in training)
    loved it all-nothing beats hands on and imagination-really!
    Annamaria :)

  5. so true! my first costume was a gypsy. my mom made it-a cobalt blue silky skirt, a white "gypsy" shirt, all of her costume jewelry and a little red scarf on my head. i LOVED IT! i was 5 or 6 and in kindergarten. after that, i started wearing it pretty much everyday-not just for halloween and then especially for halloween-all halloweens until i just busted out of it. no one bought anykind of costume-there wasn't a place to do that.

    i am so happy because my brother in law is an iron man by day, project wannabee by night. he makes all the halloween costumes for their 2 boys as well as ones for himself and my twin. i am always amazed at what he comes up with-he is good!

    but yeah, what is the deal with that shirt?

    and, i finally blogged about you! it's longish so watch out!
    row, row, row


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