change of plans

I hate to admit I can’t do it all. I mean I really hate it. Also, I hate to cry so this particular moment double sucks for me.
A new baby who has an average of three appointments to keep every week, an unwholesome addiction to books, a sprinkle of procrastination and now an unexpected trip leave me in the throes of agony over my ambitious Halloween plans.
The admitting part is especially painful when the accompanying sacrifice is so near my frivolous costume loving heart.
I’m saying my farewells to the Banks Family as though they are the dearest of friends leaving with no chance of return.
Baby Girl may still dress-up as Jane, we’ll see what she says when I tell her about the change of plans. She’s planned out her next 3 years of costumes in the course of this last week, so maybe she’ll decide to go with one of those ideas instead.
Now, in an effort to stop feeling sorry for myself, I’ll tell you the story of the last time I felt the way I do now.

I was a senior in High School. Three or four nights a week I worked, I was rehearsing twice a week for an Oratorio with my church. I don’t remember what stage the School Play was in at that point. Maybe I was just auditioning but I think we were in the thick of production with after school rehearsals every day. I was also nominated for Homecoming queen and had been asked to the dance by means of a phone book decorated as a cake in which I could find no clues about the identity of the boy who was asking.
The nominees for Homecoming Queen were each asked to build a miniature castle. The judging of the castles would serve as the primary election for the position. The nominees for Homecoming king had to make a salad. Don’t ask me how they came up with that but it’s the truth.
Anyway, one day I was miraculously at home during the afternoon. Cassandra was at my house, we were lying on my marmie’s bed. I’d been trying to find someone to take my shift at work so I could work on my fimo castle and leaf through my phone book in a search for clues. That’s when the stress caught up with me and began to devour my soul.
It was fortunate that Cas was there and that she knew the identity of my would-be Homecoming escort. She took pity on me and told me who it was which quite noticeably lifted my burden. I think she might have gone in to work for me too, friends are great like that.
Sadly there’s no one who can bail me out this time. I guess it’s the whole “grown-up” thing.
Try as I might I can’t leave the Homecoming castle story incomplete, so here’s the rest.
I spent hours molding granite-colored fimo into an exquisite turreted castle with ivy climbing it’s walls. It was one of the projects I’ve been most proud of.
On the day of the judging I had quite a full plate, as was customary for me. We were to drop off our castles around 3. They would be judged and when we returned that evening for the nominees dinner-thingy they would announce the winners.
I didn’t have the time to run home and bring my castle back after school so I took it to school with me in the morning and stored it in the drama class room (the advantages of being a theatre geek and TA for the drama teacher)
Since I hadn’t had to go get my castle after school, mine was the first delivered, and instead of being labeled with a numbered piece of masking tape like the subsequent castles were, a barely visible number 7 was scratched on the tray that held my creation.
That night I was shocked to hear that my castle hadn’t been selected. I blame it on that awful invisible number seven.
The winning castles were displayed in the library for the week of homecoming. I couldn’t walk past without feeling a little sick.
I’ve often wished I’d swallowed my bafflement at not being selected and asked the judges if it really was a mistake. I wouldn’t have wanted them to tell the girl with the inferior castle about the mix-up, I really didn’t mind not being a finalist, but I’ll always wonder why my castle didn’t win.
If it wasn’t an accident caused by the faint number seven, the only other explanation I can come up with is that they thought I’d cheated.
I took my castle home to my Marmie and she put ghosties in the windows and used it as a Halloween decoration until a year or two ago when I got a timid text message from my little brother admitting that he’d accidentally smashed it.
I’ll always wonder why I didn’t win, but my castle had a good happy life being haunted atop the barrister bookcases every October.
Now this meandering post will come to a close. It’s been incredibly soothing to sit here and type. I’m not nearly so sad as I was when I started out.
Winnifred Banks or not, I’ll still have a happy Halloween.
Thanks for “listening” while I worked through my disappointment.

2 Responses to change of plans


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *