Recently, a couple of my friends had a baby. This isn’t the first baby in my life, but it’s the first in our immediate group of friends. The first to directly impact the way I live – obviously not as much as it has for them. Sure, I have a niece and nephews, but they aren’t part of my day to day, or even week to week, life. This new little addition means less jumping up and deciding to do last minute things with these friends. We go to restaurants instead of bars so that we can all still hang out together. I know that anything after 7:30 is probably out. It’s a pretty big change to a dynamic years in the making. But different doesn’t mean bad. Yes, we’ve had to make some alterations, but change is good. New adventures and all that stuff. It’s allowed the opportunity to spend more time with other people and strengthen new and old friendships. And now we’ve got this new little person to watch grow and develop. And he’s a pretty adorable little guy. He’s reached this exactly perfect, chubby, smiley, starting to show his personality stage just in time for Halloween. I can’t wait to see what he looks like in his first tiny costume. That got me thinking about my favourite Halloween costumes from my childhood.
My mom made most of my costumes. Now that I think about it, I have no idea how she did this. She worked full time and often out of town. My dad had many skills. He did almost all the cooking in the house. He built a lot of our decorations. He was handy but sewing has never really been his thing. But somehow, they came up with our costumes. I’m sure my parents have pictures from when we were little, but I don’t have any of those. I have to go from memory. There are two costumes that I remember pretty distinctly. A princess dress. This one I remember because I had to fit it over my giant snow suit for an exceptionally cold winter. But the one I really remember was the year I went as Jem – from Jem and the Holograms.
I was obsessed with Jem as a little girl. Obsessed. There was nothing I loved as much as I loved Jem. I dabbled in Barbie and the Rockers. I liked My Little Pony. I enjoyed the crap out of Centurions. I owned Rose Petal’s house. But I adored Jem. My heart’s desire was to collect every single one of the dolls. Each doll came with a cassette tape containing a song by one of the bands. I needed all the dolls and all the music. And I (by I, I mean my parents) did a pretty bang up job. I remember the Christmas morning I finally got my Synergy doll. I was so excited that as soon as my mom would let me, I ran down the street to my best friend’s house so I could show her. I’m not entirely sure I even put on my coat. The only item that topped that doll was my Rockin’ Roadster – which you could actually use to listen to the radio!
Then the day arrived. That horrible day. A formative day in my young life. I came home and our family dog had gotten into my dolls. My precious, precious dolls. And he had chewed the hands and feet off Every Single One of them! I now had dozens of amputee dolls. None of these dolls can play the keytar! How would Jerrica become Jem if she couldn’t pinch her earrings? Okay, yes, I know she just needed to touch them, and she could do that with her new wrist stump, but not the same! I cried over that piled up grave of dolls until my parents made me throw them away. Grown up me still remembers this day vividly. Grown up me does not love dogs (except for the one owned by the couple mentioned in the beginning of this post). I believe this is probably the root of those feelings.
If you were a fan of Jem, here are a couple of songs that hooked my six year old heart that you will probably remember. If you’ve never seen it, here’s your introduction. You can buy all three seasons on DVD. They come in a shiny pink box. You know you want to do it.