The Masked Month

I have worn many masks in the past. Mud masks, green algae masks, egg yolk masks, a beet and yogurt mask – all plastered on my face and guaranteed by organic beauty gurus to produce wondrous results. The beet and yogurt did have a wondrous result. It left me wondering when my face broke into a pink rash. The colour was nice but the itch not so much.

I usually applied these when the kids were absent, however sometimes they waltzed back into the kitchen just when the mask was at its best, that’s just when it is drying up and causing the face to pucker. Results from the observers would vary according to age: a toddler would laugh, a four-year-old shriek in terror and run; a seven-year-old would have a worried look that said – “I’m losing her just when I need her most”; a teen would wear a more matter of fact look that said “OK she’s losing it alright, this just confirms it”.

Now we know that masks have been a part of culture and religion for millennia. The wearer usually created their individual mask from natural elements that held deep meaning to them, and that person would take on the persona of the mask itself. We also know that Halloween is coming up and there will be a lot of little tricksters who will adopt a variety of personas found during their hunt with mom this month at the local shop that stocks them. Lads tend to favour the animus: ninja turtles, gorillas, vampires, the list varies according to the latest villain in the movies. Little ladies go for the more delicate creatures (such as they are) like princesses. There are a wide variety of princesses to choose from these days.

In the past I bucked the trend. I made our children’s costumes, and my little ladies were bats and cows. Well, the cow started as an elf on a toadstool but somehow in my sewing room the elf with legs hanging over a toadstool morphed into what the children said looked like a deranged cow with two long udders.The bat was a mouse one year and a bat the next when I cut off the tail and added wings. Waste not want not. What my lads wanted was something dangerous so they became ninja turtles one year, and masked grasshoppers the next when I took off the shells and added wings and (once again) long legs. I figured heck, it was dark when the kids went trick or treating and as long as they looked scary – and they did – they should pass scrutiny.

This month we are blessed with two little grandchildren who will be taking in the fun at Camana Bay on the 29th. My husband will be going as a golfer – no stretch there – and I shall be Zoro! The Fox So Cunning And Free. We used to sing that refrain when our favorite TV show of the past came on and that musical theme preceded it. I shall be singing it too, or at least humming quietly under my black cape and mask; a very cunning old fox with a trunk full of memories.

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