As a child I wanted nothing more than to be Cinderella for Halloween. I remember one year when I was a cowboy. Not a cowgirl - a cowboy. I remember being a scarecrow and a baseball player. But what I remember most is the year I was a wolf. The costume was a red onesie-type thing with a tail, and it had a red full-head wolf's mask complete with fangs and icky red fur.
The only good thing about that wolf costume was that Mrs. Williams, my third grade teacher, said she was going to give out a prize if she couldn't guess who you were and I thought, "How the fuck is she going to know who I am in this thing?"
Well, not in those exact words. I was 8, after all.
Mrs. Williams went up and down the rows and put her hand on each kid's head and said their name. Of course it was easy with the princesses and the cowboys and Indians, but there were a few of us with full-head masks and I was sure I was going to win. But when she got to me she never even hesitated, just said my name and moved on.
Sheila Bennett won that year. She was a black cat. She didn't even have a full-head mask. She wore black makeup and whiskers and a mask over her eyes. And she acted just like a cat; licking her paw and "washing" her head and sitting by Mrs. Williams' chair and meowing. Everybody knew it was Sheila. Except that ignorant (sucker) Mrs. Williams.
The thing is, I used to get my cousin Ken's Halloween hand-me-downs because he was one year older.
But he was a boy. I was not.
And my mother was too mean to buy me a Cinderella costume. Mean, just like that wicked stepmother. And she was apparently immune to my tears because I shed a lot of them over that wolf thing.
It scarred me for life.
I blame Ken. If only he'd wanted to be Cinderella.