One day my log will have something to say about this- Halloween 2017

It’s a wrap on Halloween 2017 and you knew there would be one more post on the subject.

———-

DC and I got a late start this year…..

As with everything this year, I really wasn’t in the “spirit”… We did not have any Halloween themed weekends planned and we did not even think about costumes until mid-September (which may seem normal for you, but for us – it is way behind schedule)

Once we sat down and started looking at costumes, the spirit started to kick back in a little bit.

Like last year, DC was pretty straight-forward with his costume choices. There was nothing that he wanted to be that did not exist or could not be put together quite easily. If he had more time to think about it as in previous years, that may not have been the case, but as Halloweens go, this looked to be another relatively easy year – or so I thought.

Although we did not have a Halloween trip planned, we did take a ride to the Blaze in Hudson Valley (very close to Sleepy Hollow) with BB and his family.

 

The weather was perfect and we all had a nice time. It finally began to feel like Halloween.

DC’s first “costumed” event was a dance held by his day/work program. DC does not normally attend the monthly dances because he says they are boring (and they sure are)… BUT when there is a costume involved, he is certainly willing to attend, even if just for a little while. Usually we just recycle a costume from a previous year for this event since he does not usually stay all that long.

He wore his Goblin King/Jareth costume (which he loves) to the dance. Last year I believe he lasted about 45 minutes at the dance. He just wants to wear his costume, eat and leave. This year I managed to get him to stay about an hour and a half – and there wasn’t even pizza!

One down….

The following day was the annual Best Buddies Halloween party. DC has two Buddies (sometimes 3 when one of their friends tags along) who, earlier in the month at an apple picking event asked him what he was going to be for the party. They were asking because they wanted to coordinate costumes with him. Hearing this, I told them that I just “happened” to have 2, possibly 3 costumes at home that went with DC’s costume and I went home while they were picking apples, to get them (no pressure at all).

They agreed….

He was in his glory….

Lumiere, Cogsworth and the Beast.

It was unfortunate that I was not able to find my old Belle costume because the 3rd Buddy was in attendance and DC would have just flipped to also have Belle with him.  These poor girls had to wear those DC-sized costumes all afternoon. I am sure there were plenty of pins involved, but they did it AND won a prize for the best threesome!

His next costume opportunity was a fundraiser for his camp held at Haunted Golf. He chose Kristoff from Frozen. It was a pretty good choice as it was a warm costume and it happened to be rather cold out there that night and there is nothing worse than having to wear a coat or jacket over one’s Halloween costume.

Nothing… Seriously… Look it up..it is just not done!

 

Just what kind of reading material would Kristoff bring to read while manning the camp table?

Well – Frozen of course!

One of the owners of the course, knowing DC’s love of Disney and princesses was not wearing her costume that night due to the low temperatures. As soon as she found out that DC was on the grounds, she went to change into Snow White just for him.

DC was thrilled and I really do not believe that he knew that Snow was the same person he was just talking to 10 minutes before. He did, however point out to her that she was missing her red headband/ribbon. He does not miss much when it comes to his princesses.

 

So far, so good… but this was about to change.

DC had asked to be Aladdin many times when he was younger. This was back when there was only one costume per season on Halloween – before there were parties to attend too. Back then (and still to this day) his official Halloween night costume always included me and Doug (before Doug had enough and started opting out) – it was a theme; always. Being Aladdin meant that I was supposed to be Jasmine. I may not have always been in the “weighty”  situation that I find myself in today, but still – that was not happening. Eventually he forgot about it, until this summer when he found an Aladdin hat to wear for Disney Day at Camp. It must have reminded him and Aladdin was first on his list this year.

He decided on Prince Ali of ‘A-ba-ba-ba-ba” (Agrabah) – This turned out to be a case of me not taking the ‘wearing’ of the costume into consideration after seeing him so excited to find exactly what he wanted.

Oftentimes, even with an XL adult costume, there are pieces that just do not fit around his waist. Salli’s Mom came to my rescue the year before and sewed an extra piece of matching material in the back of his Jareth vest so it was comfortable for him. But there was not all that much that could be done with Prince Ali.

The suit itself was all one piece that zipped up the back. The cape, gold sashes and gold belt were all one piece too. The idea was to put the whole thing over his head and close the belt in the back with Velcro.

Problem #1:  Someone would have to unzip and zip the suit for him of he had to use the restroom.

Problem #2: The belt did not make it around his waist, which meant I had to pin it directly to the once piece costume, making it even more difficult to remove to use the restroom.

It’s a 2 hour party – you say. Chances are he will not even have to use the restroom – you say. Well all of the people reading this who know DC personally are laughing hysterically at you right now, trust me.

Immediately after arriving, he was already asking to use the restroom. I took him, got the whole thing off, got the whole thing back on and he walked back into the stall!!!!

Me: “What are you doing?”

DC: “Bafroom”

Aaaaannnnndd I took the whole thing off and put the whole thing back on again…

Back at the party, I had to first apologize to the director for choosing this costume, then explain that someone would need to help him if he needed the restroom again and show them how to get him out of it. Well…. DC heard “restroom” and you guessed it; one more time!

I took the whole thing off and put it all back on for the third time in less than 15 minutes. I was starting to lose it at this point and it was certainly time for Salli’s mom and I to leave and get some coffee. I was certain that by the time we got back for pick-up, I would find the costume abandoned in a corner somewhere.  I was pleasantly surprised that he was still wearing it and was still happy to be wearing it. (Just to be clear – DC was having no problem with the costume at all. He could care less that it was such a production getting it off. I did think that the staff might have gotten quite sick of it at some point and have him just leave it off – I would not have blamed them in the least)

 

Moving on to HALLOWEEN!

His party costumes are all about him. Our Halloween night costumes are all about us (more so now than when he was younger). They are about things that both of us enjoy or are significant to us. There have been plenty of times that no one knew who or what we were or I wasn’t as hilariously clever as I thought I was, but we do not care. We know who we are and we have fun.

This duo, on paper should have been easy.

DC was going to dress as Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks and I was going as The Log Lady.

No sweat!

Wrong!

DC’s costume was relatively easy. Fortunately there are plenty of “Castiel” overcoat costumes out there. All we needed was a shirt, tie and a wig and then I had to come up with a trick-or-treat bag.

Bags and props are important. One just cannot use your standard everyday trick-or-treat bag.

When we did the Oz theme it was DC, Doug and I. We did not have a forth for the Loin. I decorated his bucket as a loin. When he was Dr. Horrible, he carried a “Penny’s Frozen Yogurt” bag – The Doctor;  a Dalek bag – Elf; a Christmas bag – Jareth; The Babe with the power bag – you get the point.

I decided he needed a giant coffee cup and believe it or not, I found a giant coffee cup! The cup arrived and in the continuing saga of “what was I thinking” I realized that it was just much too heavy for him to carry around with him. Shocking, that A Giant Ceramic Coffee Cup would actually be heavy, I know. I decided that we would use it for photos only and began my search for a Coffee or Twin Peaks bag.

 

Finding a bag was not as difficult as I assumed. Mission accomplished.

The Log Lady:

Sweater, Wig, Glasses and a log – Easy? As it turned out, no.

Finding an ugly sweater with a belt was next to impossible. I finally had to settle for a men’s sweater and added a belt, but I wasn’t happy with it.

A wig. I bought 3 – destroyed 2 trying to cut them.

Log. I could have gone out to the yard but I wanted something that was not too heavy. I was extremely excited to find a log pillow – perfect!

The final wig made me look like a very old version of Velma from Scooby Doo and it was HOT! I decided that since my real hair is in a pretty disastrous state right now, I would just go with that. I never even made it out of the house wearing the wig.

By the time I was ready, I pretty much looked like some random woman with questionable taste in sweaters and eye-wear. Not quite the Log Lady.

Oh well. DC looked good

He had fun eating pizza and trick-or-treating with his friends.

 

 

They had an enjoyable candy-filled night and DC had a fun Halloween season. The Aladdin costume will never see the light of day again and I am left with a pretty cool looking log.


 

****

Don’t forget to visit our Halloween Page – Imaginatively Titled: WE LOVE HALLOWEEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes Fezzes are still cool

My final Halloween 2015 re-run for the season (Re-run, I said. There will be a 2016 wrap-up after Halloween).

 

“Fezzes are cool”

Fezzes are cool

(The last Halloween post for 2015 – I promise. It’s a Halloween wrap, one could say.  This post is not as long as it appears to be – there are a good number of pictures because, you know…. it’s Halloween and I have no restraint)

As costumes go, this year was really not all that difficult.

  • He chose costumes that actually existed.
  • We were able to find all of his requests in his size.
  • The two that I did have to buy in pieces to make up the costumes were not all that difficult to put together because the pieces actually exist.

It was a relatively easy year.

Yes, we had the whole “Jim Dear” bump in the road but luckily and unexpectedly it worked out  so – Jim Dear will be counted and included in his “costume parade” this year and of course included in his annual Halloween book that he receives for Christmas each year.

Various 207

– We do take this holiday very seriously.

We may be a little bit over the top, but he loves it and I am perfectly happy to encourage and go with it!

Onward….. his first second choice – the costume that he wore to his Work/Day Program Halloween Dance and the reason (well partially the reason) he was so excited when I brought out that nightmarish pair of glass slippers….

Prince Charming – the REAL Costume this time.

IMG_1658IMG_1588

He even had the opportunity to escort a real princess to the dance. We were not allowed to call her a princess, she is the “Zombie Prom QUEEN!” But to DC, she was a princess – just don’t tell *Salli. Her costume must and should always be identified properly using the official name. Never a Princess!

A few days later we were going to the Haunted Miniature Golf Course to work at a table to support DC’s summer camp. Wearing a costume was not something I had thought about, believe it or not. When I realized the day before I ventured into my costume closet to see if there was something in there for him to wear at the last minute.

The Costume Closet: Let’s talk about the costume closet. DC and I live in a very small duplex. There is no storage and really nowhere to put anything, but still I have an entire closet devoted to Halloween Costumes (Priorities, people!). This closet is beyond ridiculous. I really can not find anything. I don’t even know everything that is in there at this point, but I was hopeful. The other issue with pulling out an old costume is that many of them will not fit him any longer. DC is a big boy.

I saw something with a black cape. I was able to get at it without the rest of the closet caving in on me. It was a Jack the Ripper costume. The only reason that I can think of for having a Jack the Ripper costume is that I must have thought I could use all or part of it for one of DC’s requests for a costume that did not exist. I don’t recall ever using it though. It had a black vest, a black cape and a top hat. It was trimmed in red. I showed it to him and asked if he would like to wear it to the golf course. I got an emphatic “Yes”. The boy just loves a cape. We tried it on. I was worried about the vest but it fit – PHEW. He went to look at himself in the mirror.

I asked: “DC who are you?”

“Captain Von Trapp”

????!!!!?????

I have no idea why he thought he looked like Captain Von Trapp unless there is some obscure scene in the Sound of Music where either Christopher Plummer or Stephen Moyer is wearing a cape. If DC thinks so, then there probably is.

Only because I was still a bit confused about the Captain Von Trapp thing, I asked him again who he thought he looked like. This time the answer was “Doc Terminus” (Jim Dale from Pete’s Dragon for those of you that have not seen every Disney movie ever made). That actually made perfect sense. He did look like him, more than he looked like Captain Von Trapp, anyway.

IMG_1648Of course we did have a mustache on hand to complete the look.

We were scheduled to man the table a second day and fortunately I did not have to venture into the dreaded closet again. I remembered his Grease garb from a Grease Sing-A-Long that we attended a few years ago that was hanging in his own closet – SCORE!  It had a jacket which was perfect as it can get mighty cold out there and there is nothing worse than having to wear a coat or jacket over one’s Halloween costume.

Nothing… Seriously… Look it up..it is just not done!

The second best part was that it was easy and recognizable……

IMG_1818

except that everyone called him “Elvis” – everyone.

His camp party came just two days after the golf course. His choice……. “Hook” but not the Disney Captain Hook (yay!)- Captain Hook from the television show “Once Upon a Time” (yay, again). I was happy with this choice. It is a popular character on a current TV show. Other than the Big Bang Theory last year, he really never chooses or has any interest in anything current, so usually No One Knows What He Is Supposed To Be. 

HookPirates UNITE!

He even ran into another pirate at the party.

Fortunately no swords were drawn – it was all very amicable.

Moving on to my very favorite costume of the season!  This one for the Best Buddies Halloween party.

Dr. Who – the 10th Dr.! (DC’s favorite DR (mine as well)  and the greatest challenge of the season – David Tennant’s hair.

  • Two ruined wigs
  • DC loosing his stuff over the hair clippings – everywhere.
  • DC loosing his stuff over the hair glue (extra strength mouse, but I really think it IS glue) everywhere.

I finally had to give it up or the costume that he was so excited about would turn into something he did not want to wear or hear about – ever again. I think we still made the point even with the rather ridiculous hairdo.

bb halloween 008

One could truly say the was “The Madman with a box.”

DC and his Best Buddy

DC and his Best Buddy

Traveling in his “Big” (very, very big) Blue Box through space and time to somewhere in New England – coordinates set for October 31, 2015 and regeneration complete…….

comes…….The 11th Doctor.

Fezzes are very cool

Although David Tennant, the 10th Dr. is DC’s favorite – He would not pass up the opportunity to wear a FEZ.

But seriously……Who could??

“Fezzes are cool”

Happy Halloween!

After years of asking, he changes his mind….

So….. it is almost October and October means Halloween, If you have not been here long, you may not understand just how much Halloween means to us here in the Taking it a Step at a Time house. Never fear…..you will soon learn.

DC has chosen his costumes (yes, plural – he has one for every party because, just one would be very boring) and I have to say that I was a little disappointed by his choices this season – but…… this is not about me. It is, but we will pretend that it is not….

October is also the time for Halloween reruns from the previous year, so to kick the month off, here is the first Halloween themed post from last year….

“Jim Dear?” – Not this year….

 

hat

So Halloween is upon us.  It is already September and we are a little bit behind schedule this year. We usually have our costumes chosen and purchased in August. We did pick out our “official” Halloween night costumes way back in April or May so we are not 100% behind, but we are still behind. There are plenty of parties to attend for which DC must have different costumes (gotta love this boy!).

Okay maybe we like Halloween just a little teeny tiny bit -but we’re not obsessed or anything….

Last week we discussed what party costumes he wanted to wear this ‘Holiday’ season. This is always a little bit of a challenge.  At times the costumes that DC requests are just people that he likes who happen to be wearing regular everyday clothing, or it is an obscure character that nobody knows but him (he might get that from me).  Most of the time there is no such costume available so my mission is to come up with something or make up something that at least in his mind, makes the point.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

 But, this year I was prepared.

Last October we attended a fundraiser/gala with Tony Orlando. The gala had a 1940’s theme. It was not a costume party, it was a theme, but in keeping with DC’s love of costumes, I bought him a 40’s style hat to wear with his suit. There was also the added incentive to get him excited about going to the event of calling the hat and suit a costume.  While I was shopping for said hat, I came across a derby style hat that closely resembles the hat that “Jim Dear” wears. I purchased that to save for this year.

While looking for items to make a “Timekeeper – Spy Kids – All The Time in the World” (yes, we must use the proper and entire title) costume last year I came across a tremendous amount of steampunk costumes.  I discovered them too late for last years’ costumes (they had already been chosen and we can’t mess around with the costume line-up)  but I knew that they would be a great option for this year.

2015 would finally be the year of “Jim Dear”.

I had everything ready when we sat down to choose his costumes. I had a choice of two suits up on the screen, I had a few options for “Lady” stuffed animals for him to carry. I even found a “Tramp”…. and I had the hat.  I was excited because I knew that he would be so excited when he saw that one of his costumes would be “Jim Dear”. I saved the surprise costume for last.

He chose a Disney Character – surprise! He also chose a character from a television show – whoo hoo! – a current television show – bigger whoo hoo! When we had only one more to pick, I started to wonder why he hadn’t yet brought up “Jim Dear”. I thought he may have been so overwhelmed by looking at all of the other costumes that it had just slipped his mind, so I opened up the windows that I had saved, expecting him to be over the moon….

He said “No! No, Jim Dear!”

What ?!?  

“No, Jim Dear!”

I asked him again just to be sure he was not confused, I showed him the hat that I already bought. I showed him the photos of the suits and stuffed animals – “NO! Jim Dear!”

sigh…….

Anyone in need of a black derby hat complete with decorative feather?

– in great condition – never been worn….

 

 

“Fezzes are cool”

Fezzes are cool

(The last Halloween post for 2015 – I promise. It’s a Halloween wrap, one could say.  This post is not as long as it appears to be – there are a good number of pictures because, you know…. it’s Halloween and I have no restraint)

As costumes go, this year was really not all that difficult.

  • He chose costumes that actually existed.
  • We were able to find all of his requests in his size.
  • The two that I did have to buy in pieces to make up the costumes were not all that difficult to put together because the pieces actually exist.

It was a relatively easy year.

Yes, we had the whole “Jim Dear” bump in the road but luckily and unexpectedly it worked out  so – Jim Dear will be counted and included in his “costume parade” this year and of course included in his annual Halloween book that he receives for Christmas each year.

Various 207

– We do take this holiday very seriously.

We may be a little bit over the top, but he loves it and I am perfectly happy to encourage and go with it!

Onward….. his first second choice – the costume that he wore to his Work/Day Program Halloween Dance and the reason (well partially the reason) he was so excited when I brought out that nightmarish pair of glass slippers….

Prince Charming – the REAL Costume this time.

IMG_1658IMG_1588

He even had the opportunity to escort a real princess to the dance. We were not allowed to call her a princess, she is the “Zombie Prom QUEEN!” But to DC, she was a princess – just don’t tell *Salli. Her costume must and should always be identified properly using the official name. Never a Princess!

A few days later we were going to the Haunted Miniature Golf Course to work at a table to support DC’s summer camp. Wearing a costume was not something I had thought about, believe it or not. When I realized the day before I ventured into my costume closet to see if there was something in there for him to wear at the last minute.

The Costume Closet: Let’s talk about the costume closet. DC and I live in a very small duplex. There is no storage and really nowhere to put anything, but still I have an entire closet devoted to Halloween Costumes (Priorities, people!). This closet is beyond ridiculous. I really can not find anything. I don’t even know everything that is in there at this point, but I was hopeful. The other issue with pulling out an old costume is that many of them will not fit him any longer. DC is a big boy.

I saw something with a black cape. I was able to get at it without the rest of the closet caving in on me. It was a Jack the Ripper costume. The only reason that I can think of for having a Jack the Ripper costume is that I must have thought I could use all or part of it for one of DC’s requests for a costume that did not exist. I don’t recall ever using it though. It had a black vest, a black cape and a top hat. It was trimmed in red. I showed it to him and asked if he would like to wear it to the golf course. I got an emphatic “Yes”. The boy just loves a cape. We tried it on. I was worried about the vest but it fit – PHEW. He went to look at himself in the mirror.

I asked: “DC who are you?”

“Captain Von Trapp”

????!!!!?????

I have no idea why he thought he looked like Captain Von Trapp unless there is some obscure scene in the Sound of Music where either Christopher Plummer or Stephen Moyer is wearing a cape. If DC thinks so, then there probably is.

Only because I was still a bit confused about the Captain Von Trapp thing, I asked him again who he thought he looked like. This time the answer was “Doc Terminus” (Jim Dale from Pete’s Dragon for those of you that have not seen every Disney movie ever made). That actually made perfect sense. He did look like him, more than he looked like Captain Von Trapp, anyway.

IMG_1648Of course we did have a mustache on hand to complete the look.

We were scheduled to man the table a second day and fortunately I did not have to venture into the dreaded closet again. I remembered his Grease garb from a Grease Sing-A-Long that we attended a few years ago that was hanging in his own closet – SCORE!  It had a jacket which was perfect as it can get mighty cold out there and there is nothing worse than having to wear a coat or jacket over one’s Halloween costume.

Nothing… Seriously… Look it up..it is just not done!

The second best part was that it was easy and recognizable……

IMG_1818

except that everyone called him “Elvis” – everyone.

His camp party came just two days after the golf course. His choice……. “Hook” but not the Disney Captain Hook (yay!)- Captain Hook from the television show “Once Upon a Time” (yay, again). I was happy with this choice. It is a popular character on a current TV show. Other than the Big Bang Theory last year, he really never chooses or has any interest in anything current, so usually No One Knows What He Is Supposed To Be. 

HookPirates UNITE!

He even ran into another pirate at the party.

Fortunately no swords were drawn – it was all very amicable.

Moving on to my very favorite costume of the season!  This one for the Best Buddies Halloween party.

Dr. Who – the 10th Dr.! (DC’s favorite DR (mine as well)  and the greatest challenge of the season – David Tennant’s hair.

  • Two ruined wigs
  • DC loosing his stuff over the hair clippings – everywhere.
  • DC loosing his stuff over the hair glue (extra strength mouse, but I really think it IS glue) everywhere.

I finally had to give it up or the costume that he was so excited about would turn into something he did not want to wear or hear about – ever again. I think we still made the point even with the rather ridiculous hairdo.

bb halloween 008

One could truly say the was “The Madman with a box.”

DC and his Best Buddy

DC and his Best Buddy

Traveling in his “Big” (very, very big) Blue Box through space and time to somewhere in New England – coordinates set for October 31, 2015 and regeneration complete…….

comes…….The 11th Doctor.

Fezzes are very cool

Although David Tennant, the 10th Dr. is DC’s favorite – He would not pass up the opportunity to wear a FEZ.

But seriously……Who could??

“Fezzes are cool”

Happy Halloween!

Gorn? No…… October reruns #TBT

So we’ve come to the end of the line – the last Halloween/Spooky/TBT/FBF post for October 2015. Never fear,  there will be just one more Halloween post in early November – I know you were worried 🙂

Recently, after writing “Leave the Shoe; take the chocolate” I commented to the only two people that “got it” that this was usually the case – I am sitting here just cracking myself up…… alone.

The last costume in the following post is another one of those times when I just thought I was being so clever and hilarious and no one got it. Part of the reason that no one “got it” was because there was actually a Star Trek species called Gorn, lizard-like aliens that I did not even remember until people brought it up. (My bad – Defeated again)

So here’s some hints for the very last costume:

  • Big Bang
  • Game
  • Stones – document – cutting instrument – reptile – Leonard Nimoy…

Trust me….. it’s hilarious (but you do have my permission to just humor me)

but….. no one will know what you are supposed to be

In the event that it still isn’t apparent to everyone…….. I LOVE HALLOWEEN, and I couldn’t be happier that DC loves it as much as I do!

“But, no one will know what you are supposed to be”, is something I have been told quite often on Halloween over the years. I sometimes have a very odd sense of what is funny or what, I’m sure other people will get. They don’t always ‘get it’ but I am cracking myself up so no one else needs to join in.

DC and I begin planning Halloween in August. He must have a costume for every event he attends and me, being me, just LOVES this!

As I can always come up with the odd costume, again, thinking I am just totally hilarious, more often DC will come up with a costume that is not a costume at all, just a character wearing regular clothes or worse, a costume that does not exist or that no one has ever heard of except for DC – who is watching very old or obscure musicals or Disney movies.

There was the year that he wanted nothing more than to be “Charlie Bucket” for Halloween……..

Basically, Charlie Bucket is a boy with blonde hair.

Charlie Bucket - Photo Credit - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Alrighty, then…….

In my mind Charlie’s birthday scarf was red – it wasn’t,  but I think I duplicated the jacket (doesn’t show up well in the photo, but it was very close), the hair and hat as closely as I could. I added a Golden Ticket to his trick-or-treat bag, for added recognize-ability  and I think I came pretty close to turning DC into “Charlie Bucket”.

and ……on a side note, the bag must always match the costume….

Even with the addition of  Willy Wonka and an Ooompa Loompa , people who did not know DC personally had no idea he was in a costume..

Then there was the year that DC wanted to be “Daddy Warbucks” from one of his favorite musicals,  Annie. I had planned to dress as Annie, but I broke my toe – the first in a very long line of toe-breaking incidents – so I could not walk around the neighborhood with him. Still,  I assumed that most people would know who Daddy Warbucks was even without Annie by his side………They didn’t.

Even with the addition of Sandy the dog to his trick-trick-or-treat bag, most people thought he was Mr. Six.

(Mr. Six was one of his choices a few years later and yes, everyone “got it”)

Photo Credit - Six Flags Amusement Park and *Al (at work) - Graphic Artist who works magic with my Halloween Pics every year.

I always do try to embrace his costume requests especially when he does come up with a character from a TV show or movie that is more age-appropriate than his usual choices. Generally when he does actually choose something or someone from a television show, it is usually a show that has not been on the air for years. He tends to discover favorite TV shows long after they are out of the public eye, but progress is progress and I will take it.

This year, he surprised me.

DC’s first costume of the 2014 Halloween season was “The Doppler Effect” (Sheldon – The Big Bang Theory) – He loves the Big Bang Theory and as I said,  I will go out of my way to encourage anything he might like that is more age-appropriate than the TV shows and movies he normally gravitates to. Obviously, he did not say “I want to be the ‘Dopper Inact’ (DC-speak)” but he did want to be Sheldon, which would have been easy to do,  as he has worn his Bazinga shirt to death, so we went for the Doppler Effect.

Sheldon, The Doppler Effect - photo credit teamliquid.net

No, not everyone knew who he was “supposed to be”, but he didn’t know or care. It was funny to the people that did “get it” and that is good enough for me.

Our next party costume was one that, not only did I think no one would have any idea about, but it was really difficult to find a photo on-line to copy from – The Timekeeper from “Spy Kids, All the Time in the World” – and yes, we are required to say the full title of the movie every time it is mentioned.

Timekeeper - Spy Kids All the Time in the World - Photo Credit: Disney - Spykids

Fortunately, I found some “Bag O’ Gears” on Amazon along with goggles that looked close enough even before gluing said gears all over them. The costume, of course was not exact, it really wasn’t even close, but gears were added, a pocket watch and a flask with a compass, looking close enough to a clock to fit the theme. I thought it made the point and more importantly, DC loved it. As it turned out a few people other than DC  had actually seen this movie and knew right away who he “was supposed to be”.

The Timekeeper, the challenge of our Halloween season, “nailed”, according to a few reviews, we moved on to our final party before Halloween night.
The Beast…. because of course, there must be at least one Disney animated character in the mix.
This was not DC’s first Halloween as the Beast, but years ago, it was much more difficult to find a Beast costume, so again, we had to go “makeshift” and put random pieces together to get the effect. A friend of mine happened to have a mask, so that really helped.

This year, he had the real thing, straight from the Beast’s wardrobe – because, as you know, the Beast is no longer a Beast, he is a handsome Prince, he has no need of this outfit anymore.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young and still to this day is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

This year, while purchasing a 40’s style hat for DC to wear to an event we attended, I came across and purchased a derby type hat as well.
Next year I will give in to his request for a  “Jim Dear” costume. I suppose I will be shopping for a stuffed Lady and Tramp, and whatever else I can come up with to make “Jim Dear” recognizable. I have 10 months to think about it.

I began writing this post almost two weeks ago after DC attended his first party of the season, holding off publishing until the last costume of our season ‘dropped’ – on Halloween night.

The following is a combination of my encouragement of DC’s affection for something popular, age appropriate, something he actually thinks is funny, and me thinking myself quite hilarious.

Lizard Spock

Alright already…….. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock – come on… that’s funny (you’re humoring me, remember?)

Leave the shoe; take the chocolate…..

IMG_1378

I am sure at this point it is very clear to everyone that DC is a big fan of Halloween as am I. How great is it that he loves something that I do just as much as I do? How often does that happen?

When he was young, he’d wear his costume and we would drive to the houses of family members and friends, only time for 4 or 5 stops, but it was enough for him. When he was a little bit older we added Trick-Or-Treating at a few houses close by to our evening. He always had a hard time trying to figure out why we were going to the door and ringing the doorbell but we weren’t going inside. I had to stop him at every door from trying to walk right into people’s houses.

When he got older still, we stopped driving to friends and family because that could take all night and just began trick-or-treating around our own neighborhood. He did finally get passed trying to walk in to every house.

DC loves Halloween, he loves wearing a costume and of course he loves getting the candy – he just really didn’t want to have to walk for it. So our trick-or-treating around the neighborhood usually consisted of 3 or four houses willingly and then I would push him to do just a few more.

He was not very old at all when he realized that my costume ideas were always in theme (yes, I know, I am really hard to put up with at Halloween). When he was old enough to make the costume decisions himself, he always chose his, mine and Doug’s (this was before Doug decided he’d had enough of Halloween – BOO!)

With DC at the helm, the costumes as one would imagine were almost always from Disney. I have dressed as quite a few Disney characters, very many of them princesses. I did have to put my foot down at Princess Ariel, but otherwise we were usually able to pull off the theme. DC is very particular about his princesses. He had to make sure I wore lipstick (the one and only day of the year that I would) and he always had to approve the shoes. I could not get away with anything but the proper princess shoes. In most cases I was able to find those glittery shoe covers that went with the costume, so heels or pumps were not always required – PHEW!

Then came the year that he decided that we had to be Cinderella and Prince Charming. I really wondered what took him so long to pick that pair. I really thought that Cinderella, being his all-time favorite princess would have been his request much earlier on.

Under DC’s watchful eye, I was able to find a blue Cinderella ball gown and of course a blonde Cinderella wig. Although we had a hard time finding a “Prince Charming” costume back then – we were able to find a “Handsome Prince”. It was not the same but it would do.

Of course I must have glass slippers. I knew I was not going to get away with shoe covers this time around; this was CINDERELLA – this was serious! It is really a good thing that we make our Halloween costume selections in August every year because these slippers were not easy to find. I did finally find a pair. They were THE most uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn but I figured that it would be fine because he would only make me walk to 4 or 5 houses, tops.

<insert buzzer here> I was wrong, so very wrong……

Whether it was just the fact that it finally kicked in that the more houses he went to, the more candy he would get or just the over the top excitement for the glass slippers or both – he did not walk, but ran from house to house. The only time he stopped or slowed down was to check my feet for the shoes or randomly grab my dress and lift it up to show people my shoes.

I don’t think he cared that he did not look like Prince Charming at all. I had a crown for him to wear but he insisted on wearing the hat that came with the costume – a more casual Prince, we’ll call it. This Halloween was all about the shoes. We did our street and then some. Afterwards I limped home with DC grabbing at my gown the whole way.

011_8A

I do believe he had these shoes on display in his room for quite some time before I put them away. He got awfully excited when I took them out last week to take a photo of them. He did not realize that I still had them. The excitement was due to one of the costumes he had chosen for this Halloween Season – I think he may have thought I was going to pull out the gown again.

No way! Not happening!

I am now quite sure that Cinderella did not leave her shoe behind accidentally. Given the chance to do it all over again, I am positive she would have left the shoes (both of them) and just opted for some chocolate.

 

IMG_1377

I know exactly what she was mumbling under her breath when that darn prince returned that stinkin’ shoe…….

Forget the shoe, forget the Prince… just hand over the chocolate.

#TBT ….and they cancelled Halloween (Part One)

It is October 1st and there are storms approaching – Appropriate Post for ‪#‎ThrowbackThursday‬ .

….and they cancelled Halloween (Part One)

(In a recent post, Second Star to the right……. and hang a left, written about our ‘escape’ from hurricane Irene, I mentioned that we were not as lucky a few months later)

It was Friday, October 28, 2011 we were gearing up for a marathon Halloween weekend. Now,  I can be a lot of pressure on Halloween, I know this, but my friends seem to put up with it and fortunately DC loves Halloween as much as I do, so the “pressure” is not too much for him; he enjoys it.

On Friday night we met my friend Coach and her daughter, Candy at the haunted mansion. The ‘kids’ looked quite terrified, but they made it through. DC, although he looked like he was about to fall apart, wanted to go again, while Candy decided to sit out the second go-round.

Coach, Candy, DC and I met Doug at a local diner for dinner afterwards. Doug was leaving that night for another leg of his quest to golf in all 50 states. He would be away for more than a week.

After dinner we all went home to get prepared for the 3 party marathon we had scheduled for the following day, one more on Sunday and then of course, Monday was Halloween. Usually the parties are spaced out a little more, but this year they were all crammed into the same weekend. It took a lot of planning costume-wise. The parties were back to back, and DC has grown accustomed to having a different costume for each party and another for Halloween itself (I love this child!!!) so I had to plan the best way for him to make quick changes between each party.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day. I took this photo at noon outside the house right before we left to meet Tonya and DC’s friend, Salli at their house to begin our marathon.

As soon as we arrived, Tonya told me that her husband, Rick mentioned that the weather people  were predicting snow; heavy snow. He warned that it could get really bad out on the roads and there still being  leaves on the trees, may make matters worse.

What????

It’s October!

How much snow could we possibly get in October?

(We totally missed the “leaves are still on the trees”, point – What could that possibly have to do with anything?)

We decided that he didn’t know what he was talking about and even if he did – the sun was still partially shining – this probably would not even begin until much later in the day. We were used to the weather people making a mountain out of a mole hill, so we decided to go full speed ahead with our party plans.

It took only 30 minutes to arrive at Camp for the party. The change in the weather in those 30 minutes was drastic!

The snow was really coming down!

Puck in the SnowSalli in the snow

Still in denial about all of this….How long could this possibly last – It is October! We went inside and joined the rest of the party-goers that were probably in much denial as we were. It seemed as though everyone that RSVP’d  attended and no one left early. It IS October, after all.

We met up with Coach, Candy, Katie and her daughter, Kate (who was dressed as Ariel; this made DC’s day). No one seemed overly concerned about the snow, the party went on as if nothing was going on and we really intended on moving on to the next two parties…..
until we had to get back on the road, that is….

roads

Okay, so maybe we should skip the other parties – they had already been cancelled at this point, we just did not know that.

Katie and Kate witnessed a terrible accident on their way home, but made it home safely. Coach and Candy got home safely as well. We arrived at Tonya’s house to find her son in the driveway, looking at the very large tree branch that had fallen on his car.  Okay – got it –  “leaves still on the trees” – it finally clicked. Their power was out. Tonya went into panic mode (panic mode is usually my role – Tonya is normally relatively calm about everything) – yelling at everyone to get out of the driveway and out from under the other low-hanging branches. Her son, on the other hand, looked relatively calm about the branch laying on his car. DC and I got into my car which was parked under another very large, now very low-hanging branch and started home.

Okay, allright, I’ll say it…….. Rick was right.

We live only one mile from Tonya’s house but it took us 45 minutes to get home. DC was stimming wildly and scripting loudly about the power – his worst fear – all the way.

We made it home and YES we had power, a little unbelievable as our neighborhood seems to lose power quite often, but we did have power and we were thrilled.

Home safely, WITH power, DC and I went about our normal routine assuming that all of this would be over by morning. Within 45 minutes of our arrival home, the power went out. DC was screaming from the bathroom, I told him to stay there, got a flashlight and went up to get him. I hunted about for more flashlights, got DC’s pillow and blankets and brought them down to the living room. THIS IS THE MOMENT, right here that the “sleeping on the couch” situation began. 3 years later, we are still sleeping on the couch most nights.

It was early but I tried to convince DC to try to go to sleep and the power would surely be back by time we woke up – I really believed that, I really did. Of course I had to stay right there on the other side of the couch, so I tried to get some sleep as well.

We woke up on Sunday morning and still no power. Still convinced it would be back soon, DC had breakfast, under protest. Even though losing power is one of the things he obsesses about, he just can not understand that I can not make toast. He can have bread with Peanut Butter (something he ate everyday for lunch), but it was morning and mornings are for toast, not bread. There was plenty of other non-refrigerated items that he could have, but no, he HAD to have toast. He finally gave in and had some “un-toasted” toast and we set out to find coffee.

My landline was down, my cell was only working sporadically. Most of the time, I had to drive to the center of town to get any reception at all. We kept taking short trips throughout the day in search of coffee. I didn’t want to drive too far as with no information to be had, I never knew what we’d be driving into, but on the other hand I needed coffee and DC needed something to do. He loves to and will read his books for hours, normally, but not during a power outage – he is just much too distracted and upset to do any of the things he normally would do.  I have driven him around for hours in the past when we had an outage, but this was different, there was really nowhere to go, trees and branches were still falling and I didn’t want to waste gas. I didn’t know where we would find an open gas station.

It was a very odd and unsettling feeling not really knowing what was going on out there. I felt cut off from the world. Between feeling cut off  and my “dropping dead and how long will DC be alone before anyone knows?” obsession – I was not having a good time.

The day was spent, dealing with what I affectionately named the “raw sewage room” -RS Room for short –  (Did I forget to mention that DC clogged the toilet the very second that the power went out? Did I forget that?) – and taking quick, not too long trips to find coffee. I did finally find a Dunkin Donuts (because apparently I always do) open at about 4pm. They did not have power and were just about out of everything but coffee was still available.  I’m not quite sure why or how they still had relatively hot coffee available with no power and I did not ask; I ordered the bucket size.

At this point, DC was no longer fixated on the power coming back, he was just defeated, very quiet, no emotion, just going through the motions. We got ready for the night to come, I made another attempt at fixing the “RS room’, we read for a while and went to bed. Worried about the cold, I had DC wearing thermal underwear, thermal socks, slippers and his very heavy robe. I began piling blankets and comforters on us and at the point when he had just about enough, he yelled, “Mom! I don’t want to be warm!” – of course he wanted to be warm, but it was his way of telling me that I was putting way too much stuff on him.

Monday, morning came. It was Halloween –  and still no power. Halloween was looking grim!

To be continued in “and they cancelled Halloween- Part 2”

 

“Jim Dear?” – Not this year….

hat

So Halloween is upon us.  It is already September and we are a little bit behind schedule this year. We usually have our costumes chosen and purchased in August. We did pick out our “official” Halloween night costumes way back in April or May so we are not 100% behind, but we are still behind. There are plenty of parties to attend for which DC must have different costumes (gotta love this boy!).

Okay maybe we like Halloween just a little teeny tiny bit -but we’re not obsessed or anything….

Last week we discussed what party costumes he wanted to wear this ‘Holiday’ season. This is always a little bit of a challenge.  At times the costumes that DC requests are just people that he likes who happen to be wearing regular everyday clothing, or it is an obscure character that nobody knows but him (he might get that from me).  Most of the time there is no such costume available so my mission is to come up with something or make up something that at least in his mind, makes the point.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

 But, this year I was prepared.

Last October we attended a fundraiser/gala with Tony Orlando. The gala had a 1940’s theme. It was not a costume party, it was a theme, but in keeping with DC’s love of costumes, I bought him a 40’s style hat to wear with his suit. There was also the added incentive to get him excited about going to the event of calling the hat and suit a costume.  While I was shopping for said hat, I came across a derby style hat that closely resembles the hat that “Jim Dear” wears. I purchased that to save for this year.

While looking for items to make a “Timekeeper – Spy Kids – All The Time in the World” (yes, we must use the proper and entire title) costume last year I came across a tremendous amount of steampunk costumes.  I discovered them too late for last years’ costumes (they had already been chosen and we can’t mess around with the costume line-up)  but I knew that they would be a great option for this year.

2015 would finally be the year of “Jim Dear”.

I had everything ready when we sat down to choose his costumes. I had a choice of two suits up on the screen, I had a few options for “Lady” stuffed animals for him to carry. I even found a “Tramp”…. and I had the hat.  I was excited because I knew that he would be so excited when he saw that one of his costumes would be “Jim Dear”. I saved the surprise costume for last.

He chose a Disney Character – surprise! He also chose a character from a television show – whoo hoo! – a current television show – bigger whoo hoo! When we had only one more to pick, I started to wonder why he hadn’t yet brought up “Jim Dear”. I thought he may have been so overwhelmed by looking at all of the other costumes that it had just slipped his mind, so I opened up the windows that I had saved, expecting him to be over the moon….

He said “No! No, Jim Dear!”

What ?!?  

“No, Jim Dear!”

I asked him again just to be sure he was not confused, I showed him the hat that I already bought. I showed him the photos of the suits and stuffed animals – “NO! Jim Dear!”

sigh…….

Anyone in need of a black derby hat complete with decorative feather?

– in great condition – never been worn….

 

 

but….. no one will know what you are supposed to be

In the event that it still isn’t apparent to everyone…….. I LOVE HALLOWEEN, and I couldn’t be happier that DC loves it as much as I do!

“But, no one will know what you are supposed to be”, is something I have been told quite often on Halloween over the years. I sometimes have a very odd sense of what is funny or what, I’m sure other people will get. They don’t always ‘get it’ but I am cracking myself up so no one else needs to join in.

DC and I begin planning Halloween in August. He must have a costume for every event he attends and me, being me, just LOVES this!

As I can always come up with the odd costume, again, thinking I am just totally hilarious, more often DC will come up with a costume that is not a costume at all, just a character wearing regular clothes or worse, a costume that does not exist or that no one has ever heard of except for DC – who is watching very old or obscure musicals or Disney movies.

There was the year that he wanted nothing more than to be “Charlie Bucket” for Halloween……..

Basically, Charlie Bucket is a boy with blonde hair.

Charlie Bucket - Photo Credit - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie Bucket – Photo Credit – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Alrighty, then…….

In my mind Charlie’s birthday scarf was red – it wasn’t,  but I think I duplicated the jacket (doesn’t show up well in the photo, but it was very close), the hair and hat as closely as I could. I added a Golden Ticket to his trick-or-treat bag, for added recognize-ability  and I think I came pretty close to turning DC into “Charlie Bucket”.

and ……on a side note, the bag must always match the costume….

Even with the addition of  Willy Wonka and an Ooompa Loompa , people who did not know DC personally had no idea he was in a costume..

Then there was the year that DC wanted to be “Daddy Warbucks” from one of his favorite musicals,  Annie. I had planned to dress as Annie, but I broke my toe – the first in a very long line of toe-breaking incidents – so I could not walk around the neighborhood with him. Still,  I assumed that most people would know who Daddy Warbucks was even without Annie by his side………They didn’t.

Even with the addition of Sandy the dog to his trick-trick-or-treat bag, most people thought he was Mr. Six.

(Mr. Six was one of his choices a few years later and yes, everyone “got it”)

Photo Credit - Six Flags Amusement Park and *Al (at work) - Graphic Artist who works magic with my Halloween Pics every year.

Photo Credit – Six Flags Amusement Park and *Al (at work) – Graphic Artist who works magic with my Halloween Pics every year.

I always do try to embrace his costume requests especially when he does come up with a character from a TV show or movie that is more age-appropriate than his usual choices. Generally when he does actually choose something or someone from a television show, it is usually a show that has not been on the air for years. He tends to discover favorite TV shows long after they are out of the public eye, but progress is progress and I will take it.

This year, he surprised me.

DC’s first costume of the 2014 Halloween season was “The Doppler Effect” (Sheldon – The Big Bang Theory) – He loves the Big Bang Theory and as I said,  I will go out of my way to encourage anything he might like that is more age-appropriate than the TV shows and movies he normally gravitates to. Obviously, he did not say “I want to be the ‘Dopper Inact’ (DC-speak)” but he did want to be Sheldon, which would have been easy to do,  as he has worn his Bazinga shirt to death, so we went for the Doppler Effect.

Sheldon, The Doppler Effect - photo credit teamliquid.net

Sheldon, The Doppler Effect – photo credit
teamliquid.net

No, not everyone knew who he was “supposed to be”, but he didn’t know or care. It was funny to the people that did “get it” and that is good enough for me.

DC as the Doppler Effect

Our next party costume was one that, not only did I think no one would have any idea about, but it was really difficult to find a photo on-line to copy from – The Timekeeper from “Spy Kids, All the Time in the World” – and yes, we are required to say the full title of the movie every time it is mentioned.

Timekeeper - Spy Kids All the Time in the World - Photo Credit: Disney - Spykids

Timekeeper – Spy Kids All the Time in the World – Photo Credit: Disney – Spykids

Fortunately, I found some “Bag O’ Gears” on Amazon along with goggles that looked close enough even before gluing said gears all over them. The costume, of course was not exact, it really wasn’t even close, but gears were added, a pocket watch and a flask with a compass, looking close enough to a clock to fit the theme. I thought it made the point and more importantly, DC loved it. As it turned out a few people other than DC  had actually seen this movie and knew right away who he “was supposed to be”.

The Timekeeper,the challenge of our Halloween season, “nailed”, according to a few reviews, we moved on to our final party before Halloween night.
The Beast…. because of course, there must be at least one Disney animated character in the mix.
This was not DC’s first Halloween as the Beast, but years ago, it was much more difficult to find a Beast costume, so again, we had to go “makeshift” and put random pieces together to get the effect. A friend of mine happened to have a mask, so that really helped.

This year, he had the real thing, straight from the Beast’s wardrobe – because, as you know, the Beast is no longer a Beast, he is a handsome Prince, he has no need of this outfit anymore.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young and still to this day is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

“Jim Dear” and Lady – Photo Credit – Disney’s Lady and The Tramp.

This year, while purchasing a 40’s style hat for DC to wear to an event we attended, I came across and purchased a derby type hat as well.
Next year I will give in to his request for a  “Jim Dear” costume. I suppose I will be shopping for a stuffed Lady and Tramp, and whatever else I can come up with to make “Jim Dear” recognizable. I have 10 months to think about it.

I began writing this post almost two weeks ago after DC attended his first party of the season, holding off publishing until the last costume of our season ‘dropped’ – on Halloween night.

The following is a combination of my encouragement of DC’s affection for something popular, age appropriate, something he actually thinks is funny, and me thinking myself quite hilarious.

Lizard Spock

We are just going to let you guess.

Knock Three Times

knock three times

DC and I attend many events, activities and parties. Many related to his autism or specifically geared to special needs children and adults, many are not. Although I do write about some of these events or trips, I certainly do not write about all of them as, in most cases, there is nothing significantly related to DC and his autism to write about. This event was not going to become the subject of one of my posts; it had nothing to do with Autism, there would be no princesses, no wizard, no costumes, no bookstore – just DC, my mother and I attending a fundraising event hosted by an old friend of mine.

After attending, I do feel the need to write about it, and write about it from the perspective of DC and his autism and how, at times people really do go out of their way to make DC comfortable.

An old friend of mine invited us to his annual fundraising event.  We could not make it last year, I can not remember why, but we were available to attend this year. We invited my mother to go along with us. Knowing full well that a sit-down-dinner at a table with probably 6 to 8 other people would be tough for him (and me), I tried, as I always do, to relate* the event to something of interest to him.

Tony Orlando, The Honorary Chairperson, would in attendance. Now, I am old enough to know who Tony Orlando is, but I didn’t know how to relate him to something in DC’s world. There have been many times where I am surprised by who DC does know. Usually I find out that they are “the voice” of a character  in one of his movies. I checked on-line to see if Tony Orlando might have been the “voice of” anyone DC might relate to. He was not. But then I realized that whenever we hear “Knock three times” on the radio, I make DC sing along with me. We’ve done it enough times that he does now recognize the song. It is also one of the few songs that DC does not say, “Mom, please STOP singing!”

First hurdle, relating this event to something in his world – check!

The event was being held in the midst of our Halloween party season. We had already attended one party and we had a few more on the schedule in the next few days. The event’s description indicated that it would be a 40’s style gala. I did not know what that really meant but I went out and purchased a 40’s style men’s hat to go with DC’s suit.

Second hurdle, turning the event into a “costume party” – check!

My greatest concern was the seating arrangements. As I talked about in an earlier post, there are not many things that we avoid because of DC’s autism, but we do try to avoid situations where we will be seated at a crowded table with strangers.  There are times when it can not be avoided, and we get through it, but if I can avoid it, I will.

I am usually not a big fan of eating in the dining room with DC. The tables are crowded with strangers. I get anxious because DC, although pretty well-behaved in restaurants, can get a little bit loud and chewing with his mouth closed does not come naturally to him, he has to be reminded continuously. When he does remember on his own, he feels the need to point it out to me throughout the entire dinner. He likes to bring a book with him whenever we go out to eat, but at these crowded tables, it is not always possible, there just isn’t enough room.

I was never of the mind that other people should be made to just accept DC’s behavior. Yes, if I am trying to manage the situation I can live without the stares and comments – but letting him do whatever he wants in the name of awareness, is not something I ever subscribed to. I do not believe that every behavior can or should be blamed on his autism – it is never used as an excuse.

 

I was told that I had to e-mail someone for reservations before purchasing tickets. I am not one that ever asks for special treatment or accommodations for DC, but since I had to send an e-mail, I decided I would just mention that DC tends to get a little bit anxious in crowds and if they happened to have a table that was not full; would it be possible to be seated there? I didn’t want them to go out of their way or change anything around, I just thought that if there was already such a table available, I would appreciate it if we could be seated there. It wasn’t a deal-breaker, we were going either way, but since I had someone’s ear I thought it could not hurt to ask.

DC has issues with many types of clothing, more-so now than when he was younger, but there is nothing better, in DC’s eyes, than wearing a suit. I suspect the fact that people tell him how handsome he looks is the number one reason – if you neglect to tell him just how handsome he looks, believe me he will bring it to your attention. Add the hat “costume” to his already handsome apparel and he was over the moon.

The very first thing DC noticed upon arrival was the sign for the “Grand Ballroom”. I had not thought of this aspect when looking for things relatable for DC. Not only was he going to see the ‘voice of’ “Knock Three Times”, while looking handsome in costume, but we were going to the “Ball”! How did I miss that one?

We were in the lobby with quite a few others who had arrived a few minutes early. We were told that we had to wait a few minutes as the staff was still in the process of setting up. DC was having the normal anxiety he has upon arriving anywhere. I always know it is coming, he just needs a little time to shake it off. The woman at the door noticed he was having a difficult time, and shuffled us into the ballroom. We were away from the crowd and he didn’t have to ‘wait”. He would have been alright waiting with everyone else, but it would have taken him longer to shake his ‘arrival anxiety’, so I was very appreciative that she let us in.

We found our table. It was the very last table all the way in the corner. It was perfect.  DC, who generally is not aware of anything around him in terms of pushing his chair out, getting up from the table without looking to see if anyone is coming or putting his coat on, arms flying outward to accidentally hit anyone that might be in range, had room behind him so he would not bump  into anyone else’s’ chair or knock anyone over when he got up from the table. There was no one behind us to bother if he felt the need to get up and dance. We were the only people in the ballroom other than the staff and a few people I assume were with the organization, for quite some time. Not long after, Tony Orlando came down the stairs. I do not like to bother people. DC has had his picture taken with many people over the years but it was almost always as a photo op. I just do not feel right asking people that are not there for that reason, to take a picture. My mother, had other ideas. She reached into her box of ammunition and pulled out the ‘Mom Guilt’….. “Oh you have to!” , “He won’t mind, he’s used to it” (that went on for awhile),  she stared at me for awhile and then resorted to the sideways glance, “Now, Vickie” in a tone I hadn’t heard in years, I finally gave in, only under the condition that SHE had to do the asking.

She went over and asked him and of course he said yes. I don’t know what else she said to him, but he was happy to do it.

First, he told DC that he looked like a movie star. You know that won DC over completely. I told him that his friend BB and Mrs. H will be so jealous. (That is usually DC’s line when we go somewhere that he is excited to be, but I decided to use it just as an added incentive to help move him out of his anxiety).  Mr. Orlando was very good to DC. They had a little chat and he told DC that they would be “friends forever”, and DC certainly believes they will.

I am officially adding Tony Orlando to the list of people I will always hold in high regard  for not only taking the photo with him, but taking the time to actually try to have a conversation with him and making him feel special.

 

When they began letting all of the other attendees into the ballroom we realized that we were the only people that would be sitting at our table. One of the women that I had e-mailed before we purchased the tickets stopped by to be sure we didn’t feel as if we were being isolated. It was a perfect table and we did not feel isolated at all. We didn’t expect them to go that much out of their way to give us our own table, but I was so glad they did. DC had room for his ever-present book, he was able to get up and dance behind the table when he wanted to. There was a window right there that helped to keep him occupied; he loves to stand and just look out the window. When it got dark outside, the window then served as his own personal mirror.  There is no one that loves looking at himself in a mirror or any reflective surface more than DC does, especially that night , while wearing his new hat.

Third hurdle – Not siting at a crowded table – check!

He enjoyed watching the ballroom dancers they had performing. At one point I did take him out closer to the dance floor where he could watch them (and follow along, pretty well, I might add) from the sidelines. He sang along with “Knock Three Times” and they even had pizza bites as one of the appetizers! What could be better!

Forth hurdle – DC’s very limited food list- check!

He had a wonderful (oops) ‘terrific’** time. Fortunately the ‘drop the chocolate, frosted, cupcake strategically down the opening of his jacket’ incident occurred toward the end of the evening; the smeared chocolate all over his shirt, tie and the inside of his jacket did not ruin the entire evening.

I did contact my friend, Joe the following day to thank him and to let him know how much his people went out of their way to make DC comfortable. I appreciated everything they had done.

They have also been added to my list.

 

*(That “Everything is Related” post I keep threatening to write IS now in progress and will be posted at a later date)

** “terrific” DC’s latest word, replacing “wonderful”.