This is a picture of me in my Mighty Mouse costume, in 1959. Note the hard plastic mask, held in place by a thin piece of elastic. When you breathed, the inside of the mask would become very moist and uncomfortable. This was before the powers that be decided that makeup was better than masks and started encouraging those who wore costumes to wear makeup instead, to make it easier to see. I doubt very seriously that this costume was flame retardant either. You know, the way things used to be, I'm surprised that many of us baby boomers survived to adulthood. But we did, and now we have fond memories of Halloween past. You know, I’m going to sound like I am REALLY old in this post, but I am compelled to write it. I have been watching and thinking about how much everything has changed in my 50 years on this earth. Things have become…I don’t even know what to call it. Too complicated, maybe? Too materialistic? I’m not sure, but I know that things are very different than they were when I was growing up. Take Halloween, for example. As everyone probably now knows, I’m 51. I was born in 1955. This means that I grew up during the late 50s and the 60s. Back then, you could carve a pumpkin, put a candle in it, and you were set for Halloween. Go get that plastic Halloween costume with the hard plastic mask that was held on by a elastic band, (as shown above) and you were all set to get a sack full of candy. Maybe, if you were lucky, you made some things at school that you could tape up in the windows of your house. The only kind of candy you could really expect to get back then were those peanut butter things, maybe Pixie Sticks. Or perhaps some caramels or an apple. If you hit a really great house, a homemade popcorn ball or maybe a candy bar of some kind. That was it. I don’t remember whole aisles of Halloween candy in the grocery stores. No “fun size” candy bars, no sacks of every kind of candy imaginable. But we didn’t care. Back then, we were happy with anything! We had fun. And you could go Trick or Treating anywhere, becasue we weren’t afraid of everything. We didn’t know that there were predators lurking out there, waiting to snatch us up, or at least give us tainted candy. (which is a myth, anyway, but don't get me started on that) Nowadays, Halloween is an entirely different thing. First of all, we start decorating for Halloween around the first of October. And even then, it seems late, because the stores have had Halloween merchandise since the first of September. Halloween is no longer a holiday for kids. OK, let me say now that I KNOW that Halloween was not originally for kids, but when I was a little girl, in the 50’s and 60’s, it was for the kids. You didn’t even see costumes for adults. I can’t imagine my mother or father putting on a costume and going to a Halloween party. Instead, one person (my mother) had the task of taking me Trick or Treating and the other person (my father) had the job of staying home and handing out Halloween candy at our house. No partying for them! Back then, people didn’t decorate their houses for Halloween, other than the jack o’ lantern. There were no Halloween lights, no Halloween garland, no wreaths for the front door and decorations to put on the lawn. There were no Halloween nick-nacks to put around the house. Things were so simple then. And to tell you the truth, I think that I miss the simplicity. I say that, knowing full well, that I like to decorate for holidays. But I’ve been very nostalgic lately, (hmm, I wonder if it has anything to do with turning 51?) and I'm just not sure if I would like for things to be that way again or not. I know this..these days there is so much pressure (and expense) to keep up with the neighbors. And with the coworkers. I am always looking for some “cutesy” vests or shirts or jewelry to wear to school. As a teacher of small children, I am required by law to wear these types of things for holidays. And here in the south, people actually come to your house for no other reason than to see your decorations. Talk about pressure! Yes, these things are cute, but do we really need them? Well, obviously we don't NEED them, but is it a good thing that these things are out there, available for purchase? Or was the simplicity of that point in time better? I'm not sure. But one thing that I am sure of...we can't go back.
This blog is about our life....two dykes, a mortgage, dogs, cats, turtles, lizards, a son, gardens, friends, jobs, and all of the things that go into our "alternative lifestyle". We are the dykes next door, the ones who live in your neighborhood, mow their yards, work, pay taxes, and try to destroy heterosexual marriage by having a great life together.