Mom was working as a cashier in the cafeteria of a psychiatric hospital. I think it's where the staffers ate.

Anyway, it was nearing Halloween, and the cafeteria staff were being encouraged to come in costume for Halloween.

My mom decided she would go as Mr. T. Now, a bit of physical description is in order here. Mom was 4' 8", and white. Not at all like Mr. T. However, she was small enough to buy a childrens' Halloween costume and wear it, which is exactly what she did. Yes, the flimsy nylon jumper with Mr. T printed on it, and the plastic Mr. T mask requisite of such a costume.

Of course, I was mortified as the geeky pre-teen that I was. How could she be so, well, strange?

It's only with the passing of years that I wonder if in fact she knew precisely how absurd she was being, and didn't care if people laughed at her, as long as they were laughing. Perhaps this bit of costumery was her way of saying, "I'm confident enough in myself that I can do this." Mom as the absurdist comic genius.

mrichich's mom

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