Baboon Redux – Second Hand Rose

Baboon Redux – a series of guest blog re-posts.  This was originally shared in October, 2010.

A Guest Blog by Anna

Halloween in Minnesota is a dicey affair costume-wise. As a kid you need to be sure
that whatever you decide to wear will be recognizable either under a parka or over a snowsuit. It should also be something that will work on the odd Indian Summer evening in the 60s. As a result, there are a lot of ghosts and witches as the size and voluminous qualities of either costume lend themselves well to layering.

I think it was an act of desperation bred in part by lack of time on my mother’s part, but one year I went as “Second Hand Rose.” Sewing something for me was not an option, nor was Mom a fan of cheap store-bought costumes (the masks were horrid), and we certainly didn’t have a lot of money to throw at the problem. So Mom whipped open the closets and decided that one of her large, colorful dresses lent itself nicely to “Second Hand Rose” as a concept piece (and would fit neatly over a parka if need be). Two things that she had not thought of: the average kid growing up in the 70s doesn’t know “Second Hand Rose” from Attila the Hun. Also, explaining a costume at every trick-or-treat door gets old (apparently a lot of adults in the 70s didn’t know “Second Hand Rose” either, so it was good I had been schooled in the singing of my theme song).

Shortly after that adventure I quit trick or treating, at least until college. I went out sophomore year with some pals. We set the whole thing up with a short skit involving a safari and searching for the elusive Suburbanis Shopperus (“take pictures, these are rare”). Once again, having to explain at every door what we were up to got old (but it still got us candy, a few photo ops, and one offer of beer).

As an adult, Halloween parties were hosted by theater and Renaissance Festival friends. Not the sort of affairs where you can dress as a pirate or a gypsy. At these events I was variously: Elvis (with a friend as Priscilla), an Lutheran Church Basement Lady in search of a hot dish, and a pregnant alien carrying James T. Kirk’s love child. One year I “took myself to prom” in a fabulous pink tulle dress, teased and bee hived my hair to a fare-the-well to match the dress, and perched a bird on top of the whole works (friends who had arrived as a haz-mat team were kind enough to drape me in caution tape). With each of these I found if you have to explain it, it should be short and sweet, but best to have something that explains itself (see above: lessons learned as “Second Hand Rose”).

Now at Halloween I’m on the other side of the door, handing out candy to the neighbor kids. Daughter usually goes out with Daddy (in an easily recognizable costume). Barney the Basset Hound hopes that it isn’t a year he is required to wear fairy wings. And we all hope for warm evenings with nary a chance of frost.

Describe a costume you could make out of what’s in your closet right now.

33 thoughts on “Baboon Redux – Second Hand Rose”

  1. Needs must I can always do a toga out of a sheet. Did that last year for the s&h. He goes to a “classical” school, so that actually got a lot of wear.

    The piece of berber fleece whacked with a scissors and worn with a belt as Robin Hood/a barbarian has also shown up many times over the years, the shirt and pants underneath keep getting bigger, the tunic is forever:). It’s all about the accessories.

    My closet is currently in a sorry state. I need just one outfit to wear to Homecoming at Luther next Sunday so I can look like a “prosperous alumna”.

    I got next to nothin’.

    At least I won’t be driving the Buick….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Here is another case where my originality fails me, but my creativity probably shines.

      Tell me you need an X costume in an hour and I can probably come up with something pretty good. Ask me to make “something” out of what I have and I’ve got nothing.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. goodwill Tuesday 1.99 tag day
      everything green tag or whatever color tag is the tag of the week is 1.99
      394 &494 is amazing in selection
      Chanhasson too


  2. The only thing I could dress up as would be a gardener. I keep certain clothing that I wear only when working out in the yard. They are stained, ripped, and well worn. I could carry a trowel and wear my finest accessory – gardening gloves – with this outfit. Impressive, no?

    You can tell by looking in my closet that I hate clothes shopping. And that I don’t care much about clothes and even less about accessories. Hence, there was no raiding my closet for costumes for my kids when they were growing up. When my oldest was 3, she dressed up as a firefighter with raincoat, rubber boots, etc. She went trick-or-treating around the block with a neighbor kid and his dad. The reason I remember this is because the poor kid was soaked and freezing cold when she got home – she was inadequately attired to meet the onslaught of the 1991 Halloween blizzard. I had known it was “bad” out there, but I hadn’t realized how bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I could probably dress up as a “Mother of the Groom”, since I have the dress i wore to my son’s wedding. I have some of my old prom dresses in the basement, along with my wedding dress that has, unfortunately, been attacked by one of our cats and has holes in it. It was a pretty simple knee length dress that cost $100 and isn’t anything that I would have wanted to hand down to future generations. The clothes in my closet indicates that they belong to a woman who likes to be warm and comfortable and who doesn’t do much clothes shopping.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I could probably recreate the nun costume I wore to a party in Oakland CA in 1972… long black skirt and sweater, white pillow case pinned at the nape for the wimple, black rectangle of fabric for the veil. I was teaching in a Catholic school at the time, so was able to come up with a rosary… it looked pretty authentic from a distance, and I had a ball at the stares when I stopped to fill my VW with gas.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. O very Catholic friend of mine was dressed like a nun for Halloween, and was driving through town in her costume when a guy in another vehicle cut her off and nearly crashed into her car. She was smoking a cigarette at the time, which looked bad enough, but, without thinking, gave the guy the finger. He looked really stunned, she said.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Reminds me of this joke:

        A cabbie picks up a nun. She gets into the cab, and the cab driver won’t stop staring at her. She asks him why is he staring and he replies, ”I have a question to ask you but I don’t want to offend you.

        She answers, ‘My dear son, you cannot offend me. When you’re as old as I am and have been a nun a long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I’m sure that there’s nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.”

        ”Well, I’ve always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.”

        She responds, ”Well, let’s see what we can do about that: first, you have to be single and second, you must be Catholic.”

        The cab driver is very excited and says, ”Yes, I am single and I’m Catholic too!”

        The nun says ”OK, pull into the next alley.”

        He does and the nun fulfills his fantasy. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying. ”My dear child, said the nun, why are you crying?”

        ”Forgive me sister, but I have sinned. I lied, I must confess, I’m married and I’m Jewish.”

        The nun says, ”That’s OK, my name is Kevin and I’m on my way to a Halloween party.”

        Liked by 9 people

  5. Another post that predates my discovery of the blog. Great job, Anna. Love that photo. As I did yesterday as well, I went back and read the comments to the original question, what a fun and creative bunch of baboons. Several of the comments made me laugh out loud. Funny

    Oh my! This is worse than I thought. Cobbling together a costume out of what you’d find in my closet would require more than a little creativity, and more skill than I possess.

    Norwegian Bachelor Farmer, perhaps? I do have an old plaid shirt and a pair of coveralls. I think I could fake the accent – ha ha. For an accessory, a grease stained paper bag with the Buttermilk Biscuits logo. For some reason, this evoked the wonderful memory of Garrison in that long red dress, feather boa and high heeled shoes at Tom Keith’s memorial service. What a sight!

    I could probably pull together a reasonable hippie costume, but I’d need to get a wig from somewhere, and some more colorful beads than what I have.

    Perhaps an old fashioned Bag Lady would be my best bet as most of my clothes are old and completely out of style, and like Renee’s, designed more for warmth and comfort.

    Gone are the days of fake leather miniskirts, frilly blouses and go-go boots. They were fun while they lasted, but I’m glad they’re behind me.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Yeah, I think I usually have decent hippie attire, jeans jacket, tie-dye shirt and some beads on leather cord. That’s my fall back costume. Otherwise, I dress as a black belt martial artist and carry my nunchuks in my belt.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I think I could still manage a Lutheran Church Basement lady, mostly because I can’t bring myself to get rid of the assortment of organza half aprons I inherited from my grandmother. Might find something that would suit for “hard-charging business woman” (if I dig into the deep recesses of my closet) or I could easily put together over-worked scenic artist (lots of paint clothes, a tool belt, pencil tucked behind my ear…). As for the toga idea, that I could manage – though might have to harken back to a time I went out with a toga-ed group, each of us as our own made up god/goddess – I used a plaid flannel sheet with my hair in braids and some big boots and went as the Goddess Zumbrota, goddess of hot dish and offering three times before giving up.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Somewhere in my basement in a plastic bin is an Italian army uniform I bought in San Francisco at an early Banana Republic booth (before they got upscale and were buying old military goods). I also bought 1940-sh style riding breeches that I could accessorize with boots, blazer and a whip. Oh, and my grandfather’s leather chaps could accompany a Stetson style hat and lariat…though the chaps weigh more than I want to wear. Actually I also have 19th century style dresses from my days of directing community theater plays. Yup, too much stuff….

    My mother once dressed me up as a Christmas Tree for a holiday party. She used a white choir robe decorated with Christmas ornaments. I was so embarrassed, but didn’t have any better ideas. Then I won first prize.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I wish I knew who has my paternal grandfather’s First World War gas mask. It was so cool! I bet my cousin in Columbus, OH, has it. I have his Odd Fellows sword and scabbard.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. True, but the only videos of Barbra performing it were either a series of photos of her, or a single photo, nothing live, so I went with the live performance. I rather like it.


  10. I could wear the “bridesmaid’s dress” that I wore to do yardwork chez PJ a few years ago. Otherwise my closet sounds about as adventuresome as other Baboons’.
    I don’t like to pack for trips because I dislike most of the clothes I own but I hate shopping so much that I do nothing to replace any of them.

    I guess I could dress up as a Zumba, Nia, or Contra dancer but I am all those things so it would hardly count as dressed up.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I happen to have a pair of Frankenstein boots with 10″ lifts in my closet. I picked them up at a costume sale a couple years ago when my wife my daughter and I went nuts picking up costume stuff for unbelievable cheap. I could build around rge boots and do a Frankenstein boots based theme.
    cowboy is too easy
    boots and hats galore vest and buckle no sweat.
    hippy in a pinch
    there is the Vikings accessory stuff
    tux pin strips Nashville cowboy jacket screams for an opportunity and my scream mask is kind of cheating but where else would you keep it
    nerd dweeb would be a hoot. I would don a bow tie and suspenders
    and a pee wee gray jacket
    other closet for flasher or motorcycle racer the Yorkshire fisherman or a ww11 fighter pilot

    my last good costumes were wolf man with clay m
    nose and trip to barbers for hair to rubber cement.

    big closet hoarders collection, storage if I want to dig, enough to get into serious trouble thinking about and variation on a thought if I go that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Morning all.

    I have a couple of outfits that I can always whip up. “Gypsy” is my first fall back costume. Colorful skirt, white blouse w/ big sleeves, lots of jewelry and some of Young Adult’s make–up. It’s been my default costume for most of my life.

    I can also do “Crocodile Hunter”. Khaki shorts, shirt and boots and then the coup de grace: a large crocodile made from green upholstery foam that I wear over my shoulders. I made it two years before he died and haven’t worn it since his death, but now that Bindi is getting all grown up, I don’t think it would be indelicate anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have a red bandana in a drawer some place that I could tie around my head as the start of a pirate costume. Then I think I could find some black pants and a black shirt. There must be a bright scarf around the house that I could tie around my waist. To complete the costume I could fashion something that would look more or less like a sword from some cardboard. Of course, I would also change my speaking voice to sound like Captain Billy, right boys? AHRRR!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Oh, I don’t think there’s a blessed thing in my closet that would inspire me if I had to come up with a costume. It’s a good thing no one requires me to dress up for Halloween these days. It’s one of the advantages of being an adult – you can buy your own candy, as much of it as you like.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. i share a closet with my wife so i could do the luthern basement church too. that might be kinda fun.
    think i will do it for halloween this year.
    what do you think with the frankenstein boots or without?


    1. I was blue, there was an A-line lame dress involved…a friend found a similar dress in a different color, so she (obviously) came as my mother, on the warpath for that ne’er do well Kirk…it was silly fun.

      Liked by 2 people

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