Monday, October 28, 2013

Ode to the Homemade Halloween Costume: Part Two

I thought I had something to do today but I couldn’t think of what it was. It was bothering me and bothering me, and then I remembered that I wanted to rig up a Wile-E Coyote-esque trap to kill the deer that ate my pumpkins and all my parsley last night. Do you think that would work? I think it would but Mr. F is not on board.

That wasn’t it though. Even after I remembered about my plan, I still had a nagging feeling that I was supposed to do something. And then it came to me that I wanted to finish this post that I started writing a year ago.

So where was I? Oh... right. Everyone has that span of time where they’re too cool to dress up for Halloween, but you always come back, one way or another. I came back with a whorey vengeance, making up for all those years I wasn’t allowed to trash it up on Halloween. If memory serves, I brought back the black cat of my childhood a few times with an extra shot of slut and boob-showing. I think there may have been a slutty devil in there somewhere too. But eventually I got it out of my system and found my way back home to the land of weird and obscure costumes, right where I belong.

I dressed up as Prince, which freaked out so many people. I actually went out in public like this. Sadly, I think this crappy picture is the only one that exists.

I don't have to be beautiful to turn you on

I found this dress at the Salvation Army in July one year, and I could not believe someone would get rid of it. I think I may have squealed and jumped up and down when I saw it hanging on the rack of musty smelling, lice encrusted cast-offs. It called my name. I’m not kidding. Last weekend, because I am the biggest nerd alive, I had a discussion with Mr. F about why it's important to commit to your Halloween costume. I cut bangs for this one. I love Halloween.

Another terrible picture, but you can see my sweet flip phone!
 Do you recognize it? If you do, high fives.

Then came Before & After Britney Spears. Because I clearly don’t have any problem with making a fool of myself in public, I graciously let my friend be the Before version.

Whatever. It was culturally relevant at the time
Getting Mr. F (when I was pre-Mrs. F) to dress up like Zack Morris was a hard sell. I still can’t figure that one out because it was an awesome idea. To this day, this is one of my favorite costumes. Check out that Zack Morris phone!

Always culturally relevant
Oh, and speaking of making a fool of myself in public, there was that time I dressed up for work and nobody else dressed up. I know what you’re thinking. “Haha Kate! Just like that episode of Modern Family!” Yeah. Just like that episode of Modern Family. Except instead of a cute Spiderman costume, I wore this:

Culturally relevant in 1982
I don’t like to get political, but I do like making fun of people. So this costume happened.

The back says 'Maverick'
This is what I wore this year to a costume party. I love this show and I love Zooey Deschanel and I want to be her in real life. Creepy skin-suit style.

Remember how I said I owe it all to my parents? Probably not because it was a year ago. Well anyway, they showed up this year, too!

Must see TV

So there you go. I finally followed up my ode to the homemade Halloween costume. Who says I never finish anyth

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm Aware of You - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Apparently we have a lot to be aware of this month. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to my friend over at The Naptown Organizer, it’s also Window Covering Safety Awareness Month. The sign at my local community college let me know that it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A quick Google search confirms that it’s also Autism Awareness Month, Dwarfism Awareness Month, and on a lighter note, National Squirrel Awareness Month. No, I did not make that up, I swear. (WTF, America?) With the exception of the latter, October is a pretty heavy month.

Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which is part of the month long Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But I hope you never have to be aware of pregnancy loss. As you may or may not know, I became very aware of pregnancy loss myself a little over a year ago.

I’ve been meaning to follow up on that experience, but I can’t seem to get it down on paper for some reason. I'm working on it. The short version is, time does heal all wounds, but there are some wounds that never completely heal. And I suppose that’s what this day of awareness is all about.

A couple of months ago, I was on the beach with Kid A, and as usual, he found a little friend to play with. A boy who was a little bit older than his two-and-a-half years - maybe about four, running up and down in the surf. I watched them play for a little while from my chair until I had to get up because they were getting too far away. I’ll bet I probably looked pretty lazy to anyone who might have been watching. Honestly, I had been trying to avoid the boy’s mother because my aversion to small talk makes for some pretty awkward conversation most of the time. But I had to swallow my social anxiety or risk losing my kid.

So I did, and the usual stranger-moms talk took place: “How old is your child?” “How old is yours?” *awkward silence* Obligatry back-and-forth about respective child’s developmental stage (ie: “Is he/she potty trained yet?” "Does he/she still nap?") *awkward silence* *awkward silence* - and this is about when I start getting weird and telling inappropriate stories and embarrassing myself because I can’t deal with the silence any more. But something different happened this time. Stranger-Mom asked me if Kid A was my only child, and I said, “Yes, you?”

She replied, “Yes, he is. But it wasn’t supposed to be this way.”

She didn’t have to say any more. She could have if she wanted to, I would have listened. She didn’t though, and I understood. It was implicit in those seven words – it wasn’t supposed to be this way – the terrible pain she had been through, the grief and hurt she was still feeling. The plans that were made and never lived. The excitement that turned to terror that turned confusion that turned to an ocean of tears. I wanted to do so much in that moment. I wanted to hug her, to reach out and grab her hand, to sit down and share our stories. But she and I were strangers, just passing through each other’s lives for a few minutes as our kids played on the beach. So I just looked at her and nodded and said, “Me, too.” And that was that.

The funny thing about experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or infant is that once you go through it, you enter into this tragic sorority. Maybe it’s not so much funny as it is heartbreaking. But the good thing about it is that someone out there understands. We feel each other's pain, and that’s what you need. Sometimes it's the only thing that gets you through. After I wrote about my molar pregnancy, so many women reached out to me to share their own experiences of loss, and I am forever thankful for that. Those simple messages of empathy played such a huge role in helping me cope with what I was going through.

I wish I had said more to that woman on the beach, because I knew we were sisters, and she knew it too. So today, this goes out to all my sisters – I understand. You’re not alone. Not even close.