When I was growing up, my father always made my Halloween costumes. And he didn’t just stick pipe cleaners on a headband. I had hand sewn, beautiful costumes every year. At the end of the summer, my mother would take me to the fabric store and let me look through the patterns. I would decide what I wanted to be, and we would choose the fabric. My father would take all of my measurements and start building my costume. The week before Halloween, we would do a costume fitting to make sure I was perfect for the big day.
One year, I decided I wanted to be a princess. A beautiful, blue and gold princess. I wanted flowing sleeves and a veil. I picked the most beautiful fabric. I was a dream come true. Who needs a wedding dress when you have a pretty princess costume? I would go in and check on the progress every day, watching my dream dress come together piece by piece.
Finally, the day of my big fitting came. The dress slid on and fell right off. My father had mixed up my measurements with my older sister’s. The dress was too big! My sister hadn’t wanted to be a princess that year, but now that she had a beautiful costume, she wanted to wear it! My princess dress!
The town costume parade was two days away, and my father didn’t have time to build a new costume. My mother scouted around the house and found a Robin Hood costume. I had to go the town parade as Robin Hood while my sister wore my silky creation. My only consolation was that I got to carry a real bow and arrow into the town hall.
My father managed to make me another princess costume before Halloween, but it was pink and my sister’s was better. I blame that costume (and ballet) for my hatred of all things pink and the destruction of my dreams of becoming a princess.