Yesterday, the pirate on the bus, a leopard, a Pinterest girl (giant pushpin in hair and large P on chest) at Starbucks, and the witches wandering around town, as well as the lucky children who received a large Kit Kat just for ringing our doorbell, brought back memories of Halloween’s past. These memories ranged from sliding through tunnels of hanging wet noodles at the haunted house my mother and a neighbor cooked up when I was a kid, to the contest I entered and won when I started a job in the school system.
My title was Employee Wellness Coordinator and my job was to spur staff interest in making lifestyle changes through increased exercise, better nutrition, and stress reduction practices. Part of my stress reduction campaign involved emphasizing the importance of humor and laughter. Thus the motivation behind my Halloween costume: if I came to work in a bizarre outfit, people would laugh and feel less stress.
Staff in the administration center held an annual contest for best carved pumpkin, and best single and group costumes. My job was half-time and in those days, before I’d figured out how to make full-time retirement too busy, I had plenty of free hours. I bought a pattern and set to work sewing a costume. I’m a terrible seamstress, which is why I’m still amazed at the work I put into the final and mostly good, albeit ridiculous, results. You can see for yourself in the photo below. I’m fortunate that two years later my job was eliminated — for budgetary reasons, not my Halloween costume — and I applied for and was hired into a full-time position. No time for enjoying the sun while sitting on my lily pad after that.