For more than four decades
as a journalist I’ve written about aging, from Social Security foul-ups to
criminal intent. People age 50 and older are my target.
So it would be easy to
write all the time about all the negative aspects of aging. There are many. But
often I prefer to demonstrate that some people handle aging as though it were
gold. Instead of denying it, they embrace aging.
All this to preface a fun
Halloween party I attended for seniors in a retirement home. Age range was from
65 to 90s. You could never have guessed their ages.
Residents were invited to
wear costumes to the party. Not required, but only if you wished.
My take for the event was
that few would don costumes. How wrong I was.
Many came in beautiful
costumes varying from elegant gowns to glamorous military.
But a few blew me away with
their creative and in some cases homemade costumes. The winner came dressed as
a bag lady. She wore a multitude of scarves around her waist, lots of padding
under her dress, lots of junk jewelry, a huge straw and floppy picture hat
decorated with pin tokens from every possible event, face makeup, and of course
a shopping bag. She won first prize, hands down.
Second winner was a woman
who wore a glamour version of a military officer but with sequin tie and shoulder
epaulets. The third place winner, also a woman, told me, “I wanted to go in
costume but didn’t have one and could not afford to buy one. All I had on hand was an old full woman face mask.”
It was pink—and enough to disguise who she
was. To that she added a shower cap and then threw over her clothes a pink
satin bathrobe. Creative and fun. Enough
to win third prize.
More importantly than winners
was how involved everyone got in having an afternoon of fun.
The child in all of us came out that day and proved to doubters once again that
no matter how old you are, there is a fun person inside many who constantly cry
to come out. What better time than at Halloween?
And I witnessed that transformation
once again at a 2012 Halloween party, senior style.