‘In the cupboard’ 

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Week 32: in the cupboard
‘Clothing myself with the best character is more appealing than clothing myself with expensive labels.’ This statement is so me when I look into my cupboard. It is messy I know but I realise that I own more fancy dress clothes (on the too shelf) than regular day clothes. That says a lot about our family and who I am as a person. I have gathered several pieces of fancy dress clothing over the years and the collection in my cupboard has gotten bigger as my children have added theirs to mine as to make more room in their cupboards (never mind my space – like a heart full of love it just keeps getting bigger). I don’t mind looking at all the bags that fill the shelf in a mixture of colour and fabrics as I lay in bed with the cupboard door open. As I look at the fancy dress bags I run a photographic slideshow in my mind of all the different times we’ve dressed up and different characters we’ve become. I’m usually a quiet and introverted person but let me loose in fancy dress and I become another person able to sing, dance and act on stage at our local theatre. I have far less nerves performing in a Christmas pantomime as a tap dancing reindeer or a hippy fairy waving her wand around casting spells and wishes than singing the psalm at Sunday mass. It gives us the opportunity to play and be a totally different person and character and not be afraid of what you are doing and what others are thinking about you, like putting on a different mask.

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My husband has bought us wigs, funny hats and all sorts of weird looking false teeth mouth guards to bring a smile on our faces as he’d pop his head around the corner and give us a scare at how ridiculous he’d look. We’d have fancy dress birthday parties, games nights and sometimes a good dress up just for no reason at all. I always bring in several bags during book week at preschool for the educators to dress up just in case they’d forgotten or hadn’t got anything. Shopping for bargains at the local opportunity shops and markets is lots of fun. You can see the creative buttons being pushed just by looking at certain clothes on the hangers thinking this will go with that and that will go with this till you’ve got the perfect outfit. The looks we’d get when you stop at the traffic lights dressed in all your gear beside another car and remembering not to take their awkward stares to heart.

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Jacob used sense of humour in his true form in several of the little movies on his YouTube channels. He even dressed up with a mullet wig and really small orange t-shirt that I bought him from our trip to Hawaii at the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant stating on the front – ‘my mama says I’m special.’ He blitzed the quiz that the waitress asked us to get a free cup. It was his love of movies that gained the prize. Ben pulls lots of odds and ends together to come up with a fine looking costume out of next to nothing. Rachel and Amy buy us these funny games to play that use peculiar props that make us look ridiculously silly. Pete and I have rocked up to a party as a nutty professor and a pirate decked out with a real scars on my face from a skin cancer removal. I’m sure I’ll sort out the bags on the top shelf in the cupboard when the next need arises and the dress ups will be worn again.

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In our family – ‘playing dress up begins at age 5 and never truly ends.’

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