Dani Klein Modisett: "Hey, Mom, what's a sexy witch?" my second grade son asked me this afternoon -- the downside of his having learned to read. We were at the Halloween America store, a shop that appears out of nowhere annually and stays around just long enough to transform into Christmas America before disappearing again.
Gabriel was reading the label on the costume. Under the words "Sexy Witch," in what I guess someone thought was "scary font," was a picture of a bodacious woman, all cleavage and slender legs, wearing a pointy black hat.
"A witch you'd like to sleep with," the comic in me wanted to answer. "A MILF who's a witch." Instead, I paused for a minute, searching for the right answer. Becoming a mother has killed my comedic timing.
"A sexy witch is ..." I began, but got distracted looking for my size in the "Sexy Super Woman" costume. "Why don't I see my size here?" I said, wondering in what world an XXL Super Woman is "sexy," and also thinking that my days as a size 4 to 6 are over. These were my choices?
"Mom," Gabriel said, "you didn't answer me!"
"Oh, right. Um, a sexy witch is a witch, like the green one from 'The Wizard of Oz,' only she's not green, she's pretty, and she wears high heels and her boobies are pushed up. Excuse me," I said, stopping a young woman wearing a headset and a bright orange shirt with the store logo on it.
"Do you have 'Sexy Super Woman' in an adult small?"
"Let me check. Will you be needing anything else?" she asked, with scary enthusiasm.
"Yeah, something to make my boobies look like this," I said, pointing to the picture. The young girl laughed and turned red.
"Mom! Gross!" my son said.
"What? All the boobies in these costumes look the same. Sexy Nurse, Sexy Fireman, Sexy Nun, all with the stuffed boobies. I could wear a paper bag and cut a hole around my neck with whatever this bra is and call myself 'Sexy Bag Lady.'"
"That's a great idea, Mom. You should totally do that!" Gabriel yelled. He's learning about recycling, so he's going as "Recycled-Box Boy," which has been about as much fun to put together as an Ikea wall unit and, frankly, delivers very little sex appeal.
The clerk was still standing there, waiting for something serious to come out of our mouths. Not hearing it, she disappeared.
"Mom, I'm not sure about you and sexy," said my son.
"Neither am I," I said, sounding like Bea Arthur
"Those ladies look stupid and fake."
"I think so, too. But ... maybe you could pull it off."
"Thanks, honey. I hope you always feel that way. Not about me; you don't need to find me sexy. In fact, it's probably best not to -- I mean, the part about fake and stupid not being sexy. Intelligent, strong, funny women ... I hope you find that sexy."
"Sure, Mom," he said, stretching a blue latex "Avatar" mask over his face.
"A smart, independent, funny woman who knows where to buy a good bra."