Tuesday, October 31, 2023

PIN-UP GRIL(L) -- Halloween 2022

I had lived in my retirement community just three months when 2022 Halloween rolled into focus. HALLOWEEN NIGHT PARTY! announced our activities director. Live music, dancing, refreshments! Costumes welcome! One of the community's mid-October optional activities was making masks, so I attended the class and created a half-mask out of paper mache. The process took two-weeks: one to form the mask from paper and paste: the second to paint/decorate it for the party. Only a couple of people were painting their masks at the same time I painted mine, so no one paid attention to what anyone else was doing, each of us focusing on our own creation. I still had no idea of whether or not I'd attend the party and no plan on a costume, but the activity was fun.

As it happened, several days before Halloween I opened one of many plastic containers not glanced at/in since moving to discover my collection of  at least a hundred advertising/marketing pins I'd collected over the years. You know the kind, you get them at a fair, your kids' sporting event, a small shop trying to spread the word about itself, etc.. Many of the pins came with memories, and some were just something I wore for a couple of hours--then tossed them into the 'pins box.' I wondered why on earth I had ever moved them into my downsized apartment (except for a handful, including one with a granddaughter's picture). 

I decided to throw out most of them just as an idea came to me. I would create a Halloween costume with them, which is exactly what I did--and I could wear the mask, besides. Happily, a silly play on a misspelled word came to me, which fueled the imagination.

Now, a year later, the 2022 photos of my costume popped up uninvited on my iPhone, and I found myself remembering what fun it was to go to my community's party--despite the need to be masked for COVID-19. No one at the party recognized me for one entire hour! I refrained from speaking and without my voice and my body I was invisible behind both the Covid mask and the Halloween mask, plus the clothing that included hair covering. In just three months, not a lot of residents knew me, anyway, so it was the perfect storm. Meet Sallie Glerum, the Pin-up Gril(l). It's a 'forever' highlight for me, Halloween or not.

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