Just when I thought my costume days were over, my husband came home recently with a big announcement.

   Some months ago, in what might be the world’s longest rehearsal, he started meeting once a week to “jam” with a group of guys who, much like him, temper their passion for music with the nagging sense that they are probably not ready to quit their day jobs.

    Which somehow brings to mind what my grandmother used to say about my granddad, a part-time Baptist preacher: “He works for the Lord when he can’t find a paying job.”>

   Preaching and playing music are not all that different.

   But back to the big announcement.

   One of the guys in the band is planning a Halloween party.

   And guess what? The “Not Really a Band” is going to play.

   “You’re invited, too,” he said.

   “Fine,” I said. “We never get any trick-or-treaters anyhow. No reason to stay home. I can eat the candy later.”

   He grinned the way he does when he knows he’s on thin ice and thinks being cute will help him skate. “Uh, there’s just one thing….”

   I gave him a look. “What?”

   “You have to go in costume.”

   “Excuse me?”

   “They said it’s not costume optional. You have to wear one or they won’t let you in.”

   I snorted Diet Coke out both sides of my nose. “And you believed them? Don’t you know that old trick? If somebody tells you’ve got to wear a costume, you can bet your last piece of Halloween candy that you’ll be the only fool in costume.”

   “Not if you go, too.”

   He is nothing if not persistent.

   I started to tell him that my grandmother rarely went to church with my granddad, and she never would’ve gone at all if she’d had to wear a costume.

   But he was playing his bass and couldn’t hear me. Again.

   He knows how I feel about Halloween costumes. It’s not that I don’t like them. I just don’t have any luck with them.

   Growing up, I always had to take my blind brother along trick-or-treating. For a costume, I would throw a sheet over his head. People would say, “What a cute little ghost!” And he’d get mad and yell, “I ain’t a ghost, I’m a mattress!”

   When my oldest child was 10, he went to a church party for which children were told to come as Bible characters and avoid anything “scary or gory.” I dressed him up as John the Baptist and let him carry his “head.” He was the hit of the party, but I nearly got excommunicated.

   And once, when I was old enough to have had better sense, I twisted my hair up in buns around my ears, sprayed them with an entire can of mega-hold hairspray and went to a party as Princess Leia from “Star Wars.” That was 1978. My hair has never recovered.

   I have no clue what to do for a costume for this party. If you have any suggestions _ provided, of course, they can be easily assembled from materials found around the home by a woman with little patience and no sewing skills whatsoever _ I would love to hear them.

   Meanwhile, I asked my husband if he has decided what his costume will be.

   “Yes,” he said. “I’m going to the party as a bass player.”

   Maybe I’ll wear a sign that says, “I’m with the band.”

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