Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Still Pretending?

When our sons were young, they loved to play Robin Hood. They'd swipe coat hangers, grip them like bows and shoot pretend arrows at pretend baddies.

Our daughter would have none of that. She fashioned a school room out of her bedroom floor and lined it with a row of diligent stuffed animals. When she wasn't busy teaching, she was walking down the aisle in a tangle of bridal frills and frou-frou from the dress up box.

Childhood games of pretend are so much fun. Even better when swords and pink tulle turn us into something amazing. Something out of the ordinary and closer to the characters we love to read about.

Not to be left out, I've relished the odd dress up party. Our little costume box has grown to 6 boxes now, and friends know to come to Crabapple House when they need something crazy for a party.

My favourite is a red cape I wore as part of an 1850s costume, when I went on a school camp with my son Tom. There was no way my posse of ten year olds would lose sight of me. I looked and felt the part, and knew I'd nailed my costume when a Japanese tourist asked if I worked in the historical park, during our bathroom break.

' Oh no.' I retied the ribbon at my chin and found my best gold rush smile. 'I just love to wear olden day costumes.'

Because you're never too old to play with aprons and bonnets. Never too old to walk the plank with a crooked eyeliner moustache. And you're never, ever, too old to dress your Beloved as the Big Bad Wolf.

Yes, if you have one, there's always a good reason to don a red hooded cape. Always.

Are you a fan of fancy dress? What was your favourite pretend game when you were young?