Sorry I’ve been out of touch for a little while, I was fighting to meet a deadline. Now that it’s behind me I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to celebrate Halloween. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. One of my fondest memories is of Halloween of 2001. Less than a week before that Halloween I was sitting in a Starbucks in San Jose with my friend Brenda and we were talking about all the recent changes in my life. I had filed for divorce approximately two months earlier and I was telling her that I was ready to start dating again (albeit casually). Brenda’s eyes lit up and she grabbed my hand. “There’s a Halloween party this Saturday, there are going to be lots of single men attending and you have to come with me. Can you get a babysitter?”
I immediately called my mother (who was actually watching my son at that moment) and told her about Brenda’s invitation. Saturday is “date night” for my mother and stepfather so I wasn’t sure if she’d agree. The woman didn’t even hesitate. “Of course I’ll watch him,” she said. “You need to go out and have some fun.”
I conveyed the good news to Brenda and then focused on my second problem; I didn’t have a costume and I couldn’t afford to buy one since at that time I was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Brenda waved my concerns away. “I’m taking you to downtown Santa Cruz right now and I’m going to buy you a costume at Camouflage!”
There’s a few things you should know about Camouflage. The first is that it’s owned by a friend of my family, Joan Levine. Second is that it’s kind of an upscale sex shop. In fact I pictured Camouflage when creating Dena’s shop, Guilty Pleasures in Sex, Murder And A Double Latte. Camouflage is also famous for their fun, sexy Halloween costumes. So we got there at 9:45 pm and Joan was there preparing to close up. When she asked how I was doing I just laid it on the line for her. “Here’s the deal,” I said, “I just recently filed for divorce and this Saturday I’ll be going to my first party as a newly single woman. I need a sexy costume but if it requires a matching thong it’s too short.”
With a knowing smile Joan ushered me into a dressing room and handed me several outfits to try on (and despite my request some of them did have a matching thong). She actually let me stay an additional hour after closing just so I had time to find the perfect costume. In the end I decided to be a nurse---you know, the kind of nurse who wears skintight, vinyl mini dresses and five inch platform-stripper-shoes.
The next day I called my friend Shawn Cavlan and told her about the party and the costume. “You have to let me do your make-up!” Shawn exclaimed. Shawn is actually a make-up artist and a rather successful one at that. She is always booked so for her to fit a complimentary make-over into her schedule was kind of a big deal. I got to her house a few hours before the party and she went to work on me as her three year old daughter Ella looked on.
I remember Ella examing my costume that was at that time still in a shopping bag. “What’s this?” She asked.
“It’s a dress,” Shawn answered. “The kind of dress that you will never be allowed to wear."
Needless to say Shawn did a spectacular job. I went to the party with Brenda and yes, I did meet lots of single men. It was such a stressful time in my life but that one night was so much fun! And it was incredibly special too, not because of the guys I met but because of how it came to be. Brenda bought me the costume, Joan kept her store open late for me, Shawn did my make-up and my mother took my son overnight. Everyone worked together in order to give me that one night of fun. I’ll never forget that.
Sex, Murder And A Double Latte IN STORES NOW!!!
For The Love Of A Dog--A fun online read!
Moms Of Mystery--An e-newsletter!