Author\’s Note: This TRUE story was inspired by my good friend and mentor, Prill Boyle, who truly IS a Cinderella.

Ask any psychiatrist worth their weight in Prozac and they\’ll tell you that children can be traumatized at an early age by a parent\’s lack of understanding and their insensitivity. Take Halloween night, for instance. Its one night for Pete\’s sake. It comes ONCE a year and you don\’t get to celebrate it again until the following year…same time, once a year. Are we clear on this? So, one would think that one\’s parents would have understood a little girl\’s fantasy of being Cinderella for that ONE night. Ahem … NOT.

Year after year, costume after costume, Cinderella lost, homemade costumes won. There was the Hobo…Mother borrowed Uncle Frank\’s work pants which were held up by a rope. The next year, the clown … Aunt Dorothy\’s wig and makeup, plus Uncle Frank\’s work pants, rope, shirt, coat, and Derby hat. Next, the Hobo revisited … Uncle Frank\’s usual Hobo attire, plus one pair of shoes that fit like a boat. This meant that one night, every year, there was a grown woman going around with no makeup or hair, and beside her was a grown man completed naked except for socks.

Last but not least, Mom\’s favorite: Casper, the Friendly Ghost. One pillow case with holes cut in the top for eyes, nose, and mouth outlined with a magic marker. How hard is it to cut holes in a pillowcase that will match a 6-year olds eye level? Apparently its rocket science because I can distinctly remember adjusting those holes this way and that every few steps, just to avoid breaking my neck. You know…it\’s hard to beat the bigger kids to the house with the “good stuff” when you\’ve just run into a tree and have to wait till the bells quit ringing.

Oh and don\’t even think about crying in front of the big kids. One night after tripping over old man Callahan\’s lawn furniture, doing a flip that would rival any Olympic hopeful, and then landing on his dog Sugar, I screamed to no one, “Good Grief people! Why can\’t I be Cinderella just once?” It was then I heard what would follow me the rest of my trick-a-treating nights…the shame, the taunts, the sneers, the laughter that would greet me in the future as I walked the streets in search of the perfect popcorn ball. And to top it off, a crowd of kids had gathered around me, not because I was hurt and crying, but because my bag of candy had also become airborne just as I did, and everybody knows its fair game when it hits the ground…Vultures.

Anywaaaay … it was then that Scooter Parker (who later went on to be an Elvis impersonator) was bending over holding his belly laughing, pointing at my pillowcase and hollering, “Because you\’re CinderPILLOW that\’s why!” After that, every single Halloween I would hear one or more of the trick-or-treaters shout, “Hey look, it\’s CinderPillow! Let\’s follow her, maybe she\’ll fall again.” Being totally devastated and traumatized, I\’m sure this is why I cannot to this very day chew gum and walk.

However, I am a survivor. I am woman. I\’ve learned to totally put the past behind me. Well, gotta run for now. It\’s Friday night and I\’m almost late for my date.

Hmm, now where the heck did I put those glass slippers?

© Copyright 2005-2007

Georgia Richardson Author, Speaker, Southern Humorist