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Halloween, Hospice and Oz
Dorothy, Glinda & Elphaba
It was early October of 2010 when I got an email from my niece - well rather Craig's niece Suzanne saying "Ellen and I are going to go to the Halloween Fundraiser for the Hospice" and we think you should come too.
My response was an immediate "yes" which may seem funny to some of you considering that my husband Craig had just passed away barely a month before on September 4th. However, this was a fundraiser for the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice where he had spent his last 19 days of his life and I wanted to do anything and everything to give back to them in any way that I could.
The next thing she said was that of course it was a costume party. Jeepers I had not dressed up for Halloween in years and years and the thought of it all kind of made me waver just a "teeny" bit, after which I immediately said I know what I can wear and what I want to be - "the wicked witch of the West". Where the heck did that come from? Sure I had a long black skirt - but I had no witches hat, nor no green face. But I could paint my fingernails green - yes I could!
Although I do look a little scrawny and sad here, I do have my green fingernails, my witches hat and my broom and I am all set to go!
So here I am; I dragged a black skirt out of my closet, found a long sleeved black knit top and a black lacy one to layer overtop, a purple sash to add pizzaz - and the only thing I bought was the witches hat, the broom and the nailpolish. Voila
Now Suzanne goes to a vintage shop and comes out with wig, nice long fancy dress and a wand that she fashioned out of a stick and a Dahlia flower. Voila
Ellen - I should have known better. Being the girly girl that she is she goes on line and buys a Dorothy costume. But hey, I never saw Dorothy in a dress like that. Well I should have known better. When we met at Suzannes - my retort "So I look like an old hag, you look sexy as Hell and Suzanne is the good witch looking stunning. Well in any event we are Elphaba, Dorothy and Glinda and we are set to go with whoever else comes along. Oh Wait! The Scarecrow - let's not forget the Scarecrow - and what a Scarecrow he was!!!
Here comes Dorothy and the Scarecrow down the Yellow Brick Road. Well Okay - it's a red brick road, but hey Toto is in the basket so that has to count for something. And shouldn't we have a Munchkin? Well we do! Well really she's a Peacock - but these girls just have to be sexy; what can I say. She's was part of our group so we called her "The Munchkin"
The Hamilton Club
So off we go, arriving at the Hamilton Club we enter in through the "front door". Now I have put this is quotation marks because waaaay back when I started my working career at the insurance company, the old Branch Manager used to take the staff out for lunch there at Christmas time - but we girls had to enter in through the "back door". Uh-Huh! For those of you too young to have had to suffer this kind of indignity, you will be saying "What"? Yes siree - the old "men's club" - that's the way it was back in those days - the 60's to be exact. Well guess what? My niece, a very successful mortgage broker is a member - and these days she enters in through the front door and we follow!!
No seriously, this did happen, but times are different now. So, I haven't been in this Institution for a lot of years and I am kind of looking forward to it. We wander in, grab a drink and then head for the buffet table to have a few snacks and chat with other people we recognize, or not! I doesn't matter; we are all in costume and while we are not sure who the heck anyone is, we socialize and make small talk.
And Then Along Came The Arab
We'd been there for maybe about half an hour. I was standing talking to someone when all of a sudden an Arab walked across the room and stopped right in front of me. He had sunglasses on so one could not see his eyes. With arms crossed he says to me "Excuse me, but I've been watching you from across the room and I just had to come over and meet this sexy looking lady"
I'm thinking, "This can't be happening - here I am just newly widowed and already someone is trying to pick me up". Never mind the fact that the truly Sexy Dorothy and Munchkin are standing not far away from me; I'm all dressed in black from head to toe and this guy wants to meet me. And then as I got the voice, I exclaimed "A.J." the Arab took off his glasses and revealed himself as Craig's and my doctor, the doctor whom I have had since I was 21 (no don't try to figure out the years) and Craig has had ever since he and I got together. We shared a big hug and I felt good about being there. This truly was a good and worthwhile event to be at, just one month after Craig's passing, and it helped put away any misgivings I might have otherwise had.
Our Doctor (A.J.) on The Right
And then there was the guy in the Kilt who was trying to pick me up all night. But happily I stuck with my family from Oz and he finally got the message, even if I did have to get a little rude with him. As I looked around I started to recognize people from the Hospice. There were a lot of witches that night, so I was not alone, but I did go away thinking "I'll have do better with my witche's costume next time". Or maybe next time I'll Be Dorothy, well maybe not; how about Glinda? Forget the Munchkin - yeah Ok! - The Scarecrow?? Maybe I'll just stay home!