For Halloween, of course. And let me tell you, an Oompa Loompa costume for a six-year old boy is not easily found – at least not in a pre-assembled package for $19.99 plus tax.
Believe me, I have looked.
So, I have been forced to go at this Oompa Loompa thing in retail piecemeal: two different green, altogether unwearable-ever-again wigs have been purchased, along with a unattractive brown turtleneck and a yard of white fleece hopefully destined to fashion itself magically into a suspender-like accessory worthy of the Chocolate Factory.
Really, I had no idea how lucky I was these last few years, skating by, producing a very streamlined Spiderman, a muscular Superman, a princessy princess.
This year, instead of a quick stop at the gaudy Halloween end cap, I’m spending an inordinate amount of time searching for elfin shoes and little people socks. Specifically, ones that:
A) a six-year old boy would find “cool”
B) that Gene Wilder’s “little people” might actually don.
(By the way, in case you were wondering, there is no sock or shoe in existence that is both A and B.)
Now, it’s not like I haven’t been Halloween challenged before; I have previously styled a blue M&M (twice), a Denver Bronco Cheerleader (twice), even a samurai warrior with a (pretend) sword larger than the costumed child himself.
I have to say that truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of Halloween; maybe it’s all the ghosts and ghouls and their frightening effect on my soft, easily startled heart. Or maybe I just don’t get the whole spectacle of it all: the outlandish costumes, the gooey props, the orange Rice Crispy treats in unappetizing shapes of scythes and bats.
Something I do get however, are our infrequent opportunities for imagination to take flight – for the chance to be in someone else’s skin; only one night a year do we have full license to be terribly bad, to be really good, to be scary, to be, well, an Oompa Loompa.
If only discovering who we really are, was as simple as finding the right wig and suspenders; as I witness my children as they make their way to their future selves, it’s a relief to know that for now, for one night at least, with the help of a green wig and some orange face make-up, I can help them get there.