We’re supposed to be writing our Halloween memories this week to celebrate All Hallows Read, but it’s hard to pick.
There’s the time I painted black spots all over a white sweatsuit and went as a Dalmatian.
There’s the time I wore my brother’s football uniform to go trick or treating (which could lead into the question of why that was ok, but if he’d wanted to be a fairy princess, that wouldn’t have been ok. But he didn’t want to be a fairy princess, so I’ll just let that one go… Darn him for not being more interesting!)
There was the actual door-to-door trick or treating, which I did year after year without once being abducted, poisoned, biting a razor blade, or being hit by a car.
There’s the memories of my son’s costumes, and how it made me just a little sad to take him trick or treating at the mall rather than door to door.
The Halloween memory that always stands out for me, though, was from when I was very little – four, maybe five, so it’s a wonder I can remember it at all.
We were in Ramstein, Germany, living in base housing. I was so excited about trick or treating, but my mother insisted I eat my dinner first. She must have been feeling magnanimous, however, since she allowed me to carry my dinner plate into the living room to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
I was probably distracted by the TV or something and I ended up dropping the plate. The rim around the bottom landed right at the base of big toenail. I’m pretty sure I screamed.
Over the course of the next several minutes, an enormous blood blister formed under the toenail and it hurt worse and worse by the second. Eventually, I was bundled up and taken to the base hospital. If I’m remembering this correctly, I was wearing a costume with wings.
My father still loves to tell this part of the story. The doctor examined the toe, then turned on a bunsen burner. He sat there chatting with my dad while playing with a paper clip. He casually stuck the end of the paper clip in the flame, then abruptly used it on my toenail. Blood gushed, Dad was surprised, my pain was relieved.
Then a new crisis arose. Was it too late to trick or treat? My frantically defended position: NO!
So that was how I spent Halloween limping around an Air Force base way too late for a little girl to be out, all with sadly bedraggled wings.