When the doorbell rang, I glanced around the room and counted. I had a clown, belly dancer, hobo, large mouse, a gypsy and Carmen Miranda. All of our invited guests were present. Who could be at the back door? Assigning my twelve-year-old daughter the job of passing glasses of vile-looking green punch to our guests, I went to see.
Standing on the deck at my back door was an old woman dressed in a long, colorful skirt and shawls. She stood so hunched over a black cane, it was hard to see her face. Despite that, I was able to tell that her long nose and wrinkles were soft rubbery plastic. Wisps of gray hair stuck out from under the babushka that she wore on her head. She spoke no words, but motioned to indicate she desired to enter my house.
Mesmerized by this mysterious stranger and sensing only benevolence radiating from her, I stepped aside. The unidentified party guest (UPG) hobbled into the dining room. My two daughters and our guests all fell silent. After greeting each costumed child with a one-armed hug and motions to indicate her approval of them, our UPG finally retired to a chair in the corner of the room. Continue reading