This post is dedicated to my friends and family who have only temporarily lost their power.
When I was seven years- old I wanted to be Wonder Woman for Halloween. Do you remember the plastic costume of the seventies that came in a box with a small window of cellophane on the lid that showed the super-awesome plastic mask inside?
The one with the sharp-edged eye cut-outs, nostril-size holes and an opening outlined with painted red lips – just wide enough for a small mouth to peek out from but not big enough for a Babe Ruth to easily fit into? Do you remember forgetting to let go of the elastic band behind your head nice and easy when pulling it over your face? I don’t.
My mother scoffed at these cheap, flimsy, highly-flammable, dime-store costumes. Year after year, she made mine.
One year I was Mickey Mouse with a white crocheted sweater vest, the next, a sad little clown in baby blue gingham and white ric-rac, another year, a witch in a black dress and black cape, trick or treating half-heartedly in a wig made of thick bright- orange yarn stiched into a pointy witch’s hat. I do, however, remember fidgeting all through the measuring and re-measuring of my head as I twisted this way and that way every time It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown returned from commericals.
Each year, as soon as the maple tree in my front yard began dropping its skirt of red leaves all over the lawn, I was overcome by that same irrepressible longing to be Wonder Woman for Halloween. The straight-out- of- the- box kind and definitely not the pinned- to- a- pattern kind Mom would begin working on in the beginning days of long nights of October. I can still see the shape of her hunched over the sewing machine beneath the bright light above our dining room table.
The world needed the protection of a second-grader turned super-hero who swishes around in synthetic red, white and blue with an extra-majestic eagle’s wings fanned out over breasts drawn too large for a sixty-pound girl missing her two front teeth. No matter, the red patches at the bottom of the legs where her tall stiletto boots should be seemed just as reasonable.
Bad guys beware on Halloween because your bullets would be no match for my gold – plated titanium bracelets and crown! Quick! Right arm up! Ching! Quick! Left arm up! Ching! I would stop them all! The whoosh – whoosh of my lasso twisting the air into a cyclone above my head would be the last sound you’d hear before feeling the gold rope tighten around your chest, pinning your arms to your sides -you’d flail about like a crazed boa constrictor desperately trying to break free, spitting out the word “Drats!” at the sudden jerk and tug as I spun you towards me and to justice!
Ker – Pow! I, Wonder Woman, had just foiled your evil plan! There would be no Halloween candy for you.
This Halloween I wish my friends and family in New Jersey and New York the spirit of Wonder Woman. In keeping with the culinary nature of this blog… May you find the ingredients you need to create your own super hero recipe during the tough weeks ahead as homes are repaired, giant trees are cleared from the roads and power lines safely put back in the sky. And as the water returns to the ocean from this perfect storm, may your own super hero powers shine beneath a waning Harvest moon in a perfect balance of fierceness, strength and compassion. Finally may there be trick or treating for your children on Halloween night.