Sunday, November 1, 2009

Costumes and Politics

I don't get some people. My 12-year old is, in his own words, a history geek. His latest reading, starting as homework but he's branching out on his own, has been about the Civil War. His favorite movie right now is Glory, but living south of the Mason Dixon line as we do, most of the battlefields are known as Confederate, and we've heard people still refer to the Civil War as the War of Northern Aggression. I digress. On one of our battleground forays or another, Troy picked up the gray slouch hat, and seeing it surface in his room, he decided to round out the uniform for Halloween. Gray jeans, navy jacket (the gold buttons were key), silk sash, leather belt across his chest, white gloves. . . I thought he looked great.

When I asked him if all the kids were going to be dressing up for a school party Friday evening, he expressed some concern that some people would think badly of him dressed as a Confederate soldier. I scoffed. "Would people think badly of you if you dressed as the Frankenstein monster? Or think you were a better person if you dressed as Superman?" As far as I know nobody gave him a hard time at the party. I even offered to ghoul it up with a bloodied bandage or something, but he thought that cheapened the costume.

Then last night, long time friends/neighbors asked how he was dressing for the holiday. When I told her, she says, "Really? That's. . . ummm. . . interesting. . .Confederate? Kinda scary. . ."


My first response was, "Well, we are in the south!" I think that was the wrong thing to say.

Molly wanted to go along for the trick or treating, but Troy said no to the dogs of war. Troy's buddies agreed to pose with him. The friend on the left scared the bejeesus out of the toddlers when he helped answer the door. One literally ran screaming to mommy. He felt really bad! The friend in the middle wasn't nearly so creative, but they all made a good haul.

So what do you think? I thought the neighbor was making a political big deal out of it. I can't believe she was offended!


ELS said...

Sadly, the political and historical implications of this costume choice are lost on me! But thanks so much for your funny comment and kind words - so lovely to hear from you, look forward to following your adventures too, great to meet you.

Kathy said...

ELS-- it's an old, long, sad story in American history. And even 150 years later, it apparently still rankles. Thanks for stopping by! I'm sure I'll be by your place in a bit.

Kathleen said...

Agreed. How silly to judge a boy's Halloween costume. I can guess which neighbor.

ELS said...

Well fear not ladies, the Colonel has just plonked several large tomes of US hsitory on the kitchen table. It's gonna be a long night...