I fuss a lot about the way I’m aging. I’m not happy about it, let’s put it that way. More saggin’, more wrinkles ... little hairs on my chinnychinchin ... but thankfully none growin’ on or out of my ears...
And I’ve tried all the creams and the remedies for under-eye bags, dark circles, “tiny” lines and wrinkles (who actually has “tiny” ones??), and big lines and wrinkles. Nothing much works.
I’ve done just about everything short of stapling this loose facial skin back to the center of my skull. This angst that I’ve had about the way I look pretty much hit home on Halloween.
Sunnybuns’ school was having their annual costume parade mid-afternoon and I was busy at home doing some ilk of whatever it is that I do and hadn’t gotten ready to make my motherly appearance just yet.
The phone rang about an hour before parade time and it was Sunnybuns, asking when I’d be there.
I was surprised by this act, because it meant he would actually have to talk to the teacher to ask for permission to go to the office ... like asking the guard to go speak to the warden.
He said, “Can you come right now?”
I didn’t hesitate.
“Yes, I can come right now.”
We hung up, I grabbed my stuff and out the door. I did check to make sure my teeth were clean, but didn’t bother about what I was wearing or anything else. Old white tee shirt, loose workout pants (as if ... workout ... yeah ... right), snarled hair, no makeup. Stupid mommy.
I get to his classroom and pass out the candy I’d brought along, all the kids looking super cute in their costumes.
They were just this side of being wild animals from all the sugar they’d already consumed. One boy actually grabbed my hand as I place the candy in front of him.
“Don’t bite me, Junior, I bite back,” I said.
He looked up at me and his fangs retracted into a big grin.
“Can I have another Kit-Kat?”
“Only if you take the paper off it first to eat it.”
I got around to where Sunnybuns was sitting and I asked him what the trouble was.
“I just wanted to see you, that’s all,” he said, kissing my cheek.
I patted his head, thinking he’d probably had way too much candy already.
I hung back in the back of the class, watching all the young moms come through and how cute their little toddlers looked in costume, busily snapping photos of all the hoopla.
The kids made their way out the door to start the parade and I stayed to chat with one of the supermoms (very physically fit, well coiffed, no makeup out of place, nicely capped white teeth), and we had a pleasant conversation.
After a while, the kids all came back in and it was a madhouse scene. One of the little girls that I used to think was so cute (notice I said “used to”) said to me, “My mom is scarier than you!”
I had to think quickly. Scarier than me? How scary am I?
I said, “Is she in costume?”
Little blonde cutie nodded her head.
“Yeah, and she’s way scarier than you!”
“Well,” I said, “she should be. I’m not wearing a costume!”
It was like I’d punched her in the chest, the look of fright that suddenly came over her.
“Wh-what are you?” she asked, utterly confused.
“I’m a frumpy housewife! Do you know what that is?” I asked her, bending over closer to her.
She shook her head and I said, “Take a good look. This is it.”
She ran back to her chair, looking at me over her shoulder.
I popped a jawbreaker in my mouth and raised my eyebrows at her.
It actually made me feel better to think that maybe everyone thought I was wearing a costume.
It’s a good excuse. Maybe I’ll hang on to it.