Halloweens in the village of La Jolla (downtown La Jolla has been referred to as “the village” by locals as far back as I can recall) aren’t anything exceptional.
However, the kids from Stella Maris Academy will typically take a parade around the block in their costumes. Often, workers in local shops and banks will also dress up to one extent or another. One Halloween morning, my mom left the office and went to Wells Fargo to do some banking. This particular Halloween was a bit more festive than others. As she waited in line, looking at each of the tellers and managers in their mostly last-minute and half-hearted costumes, she realized that even a few people in line were dressed up for the day.
One of them–the woman standing right behind her–had what my mom considered to be the best costume of all. Now, as I’ve mentioned, my mom was an army brat and spent a good chunk of her formative years in India. The sights, sounds, and smells are forever vivid in her mind and she holds great respect and love for that country.
My mom turned to the woman behind her and, pointing to the tellers, said, “I think yours is far better than any of theirs!”
The woman was somewhat taken aback and said, “I beg your pardon?”
“Your costume!” my mom exclaimed. “It’s so much better than what any of the tellers are wearing!”
The woman straightened in her flowing saffron sari, a haughty expression on her face, highlighted by the perfectly round bindi on her forehead, and announced, “I am not wearing a costume!”