I’d thought about including a bumper sticker, something like, “Bombing For Peace Is Like Fcuking For Virginity,” but then I thought, “Down the line, I might need to wear this to a classroom party or something.” A good friend of mine was having a “Hippie Groovy” birthday celebration, where we were to arrive in costume to come party between the hours of 10am and 2pm, while the kids were at school. Turn up in go-go boots, bell-bottoms, or macrame and mud and braids. The first prize for best costume: an area of Botox. Please keep the snark out of the comments because this is an exceptional woman, and I want nothing to ruin her day!
As for my costume, I decided to make a Volkswagen Van out of a cardboard box! I painted my LUVBUS “parchment” then drew the bus outline, then began to paint the shapes (the Woodstock bird and guitar morphing into ocean waves), thinking there would be time to paint lots of images (Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix), or at least a forest of mushrooms and daisies. Time was not on my side. I did my best and went with it. I’ll continue to add to it in the coming days, as I plan to save it for Halloween. Why not? I used acrylic paint, paint pens, and Sharpie markers, some PrismaColor pencils. I punched holes on the sides and ran kitchen string through as the makeshift straps. For the headlights, I headed to Home Depot and picked up those under-cabinet stick-on lights. They come with batteries and Velcro backings, ready to just stick right onto the cardboard. To turn them on, you simply push on/off. Abigail made me the necklace with a shoelace and plastic beads, and I made the crown of daisies with a garland of flowers I purchased at Michael’s. I tried on a few tie dye shirts, but it felt like overkill, so I went with a more ethereal flowing flower lover, paired with a fringe boot (it was snowing outside). The costume came in second place, and I have to say, it was a blast to make! It made me realize how much I love doing art projects! Even just silly ones. I’ll eventually draw some funky curtains and maybe even hang some “privacy beads” in some of the windows.
I also need to work on my mushrooms! Abigail said they look like seat belts. Oh, how I miss taking my water color classes! Except every Tuesday night when it was time for watercolor class, I groaned. I wonder why. I think it’s because it was portraits. I’d much rather do a watercolor of a croissant or a peony. Then I can never make up my mind on the subject I want, so I’m debilitated by choice and wind up painting nada. I digress…
The energy, the decorations, the DJ, the food, the conversation, the prizes, it was all memorable. I am so thankful for the new friendships I am making here on Long Island. It’s still very much a new process, one that is slowly growing and moving. Celebrations along the way are nice reminders to stop and say thank you, even when you’re celebrating the milestones of someone else’s life. I am thankful for my friend Gabriela, for the way she’s opened her heart and home to me and my family, for her inclusiveness and for the way she accepts herself. It’s a very graceful thing, to live in who you are.