Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sorry 'Bout That - I Didn't Know - Really!

From yesterday's post-college apology episode, now we move back to my elementary school days. 36th Street School, now known as Bright Elementary, somewhere in the middle elementary grades.

Every Halloween almost everyone in the school would don a costume and wear it to class. Everyone except me, that is. I just didn't want to wear a costume because I was too self conscious (even though if I wore a costume, who the heck would know it was me?). But just so I wasn't totally out of it, I'd wear one of those cheap plastic masks held on by a rubber band.

And every Halloween the school would have a parade in the afternoon with all of the classes in attendance on the school yard, along with all the parents and teachers.

Well this particular Halloween, I came up with a great idea for a Halloween costume so I decided no mask, this time it would be the full nine yards! I enthusiastically told my mom about my idea and she made my costume.

It was simple enough. I was going as a ghost, so all she had to do was get a white pillowcase and cut two holes in it so I could see. And that was that.

On Halloween day I proudly took my ghost costume to school. Then the afternoon rolled around and it was time for the traditional annual parade. We donned our costumers and we marched to the play yard, me feeling like one of the gang because this time I was fully decked out, not just wearing a cheap plastic mask.

Oh, let me tell you one other thing, about the demographics of our school: the students were about 99.9% African-American. Which meant so were their parents. Which meant except for the teachers, just about everyone in attendance at our Halloween parade was Black.

And here I was, marching around the yard wearing a white pillowcase over my head with two holes cut in the middle. I'll let you imagine the scene.

Well, no one ever said anything to me about it but I'm sure there were plenty of horrified looks and dropped jaws among the parents who came to watch. Honestly, I thought I was a great ghost and came out none the wiser after our parade but I am sure I made quite the impression on the parade goers. I must have unintentionally been the scariest thing they saw that day.

So to all of the people at 36th Street School in attendance that day, I offer my apologies for being so stupid and naive!






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