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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Anyone need a Quote? (Oct. 31, 2010)

Already it’s been a fun Halloween for me, and it’s barely 7am. I know my kids will have a terrific time, and they look so adorable in their outfits, but today, in this blog, this Halloween tale is about me!

In truth, this Halloween started about a year ago. I’ve been planning my costume for that long. Last Halloween I was 7 months pregnant and just getting together costumes for my two kids was enough of a challenge. (Picture a very pregnant me, stuffed into the costume section of Party City two days before Halloween, with my son and thirty or forty other costume-seekers. Hot, crowded, competitive vibe. This hadn’t been my plan but the costume we ordered online never showed up.)

Last year I thought briefly of being Pregnant and Progressive, but my To Do list was very long and I opted for a big orange t-shirt (I’d glued eyes, nose and mouth on it) and rather than trying to disguise my round shape, I used it to be become a true jack-o-lantern. Fun, but I knew I had big plans for the following Halloween: I would be Flo, the Progressive Girl, whose commercials I see almost daily. If you haven't seen her commercials, here is a link:

I’ve never attempted to dress like a specific public figure for Halloween, and while I like it when others dress as current politicians or celebrities, it hadn’t occurred to me to do so. But I’d noticed that with her dark hair, blue eyes and light skin, Flo looked like me! (Or that I look like her. Whatever.) Plus, she’s fun and spunky. Like me!

Over the summer my preparations began. At a thrift store I found white pants and shirt (doing this the thrifty way seemed in line with representing someone who offers low cost for insurance!). I bought a white apron from Michael’s and a navy headband. I made the name tags and painted “Progressive” on the apron, after Googling the logo so I could print it up and paint it just right. It’s hard to tease my fine hair into the 60s bouffant that Flo has, but I did my best. Black eyeliner? Check. Red lips? Double check.

Two days ago there was a Halloween carnival at my son’s school. Last year some of the parents were in costume so I decided to arrive in disguise this year. The little kids stared blankly at me (probably thinking, “Why is this woman wearing an all-white outfit? This is a costume? Poor lady, she forgets that you’re supposed to be scary for Halloween. Maybe we shouldn’t tease her. It’s not her fault.”).

HOWEVER, the parents loved it! The bigger kids got it, too, and called out to me, “Flo! Hey, Flo!” I winked or waved in response, happy with my friendly insurance ambassador role. I posed for photos. I offered insurance quotes. People laughed. I laughed.

What made the day so cool was two things: having my costume turn out just right was great. But there was also the symbolism of deciding to dress up. As mom of three, I often don’t prioritize doing something extra, just for me. Just getting the kids into costumes is a victory. So to take the time to make a costume that would give me a laugh is a gift. It also brought me back to my high school years, when I dressed very creatively and did crazy things at school, just to be fun and free and make people laugh. Bringing a little joy to the every day. Being Flo was like that. Flo, thanks for being my muse. Happy Halloween, everyone!

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