I’m probably going to get in big trouble for sharing this. But it’s worth the risk; I think it’s a great story. When I was a kid our school held “Dress-up Days”. Some of the more popular ones were 50s Day, Cowboy Day, Hippie Day, you get the idea. Well…
My brother was in the third grade and his school announced, “on Monday we’re going to have Hobo Day!” One of my duties as big sister was to play the role of costume designer. I could not wait to make-over my eight-year-old brother! Over the weekend I planned my strategy. I pulled out all the stops! A pair of worn-out jeans from Dad’s closet held up with a rope belt (of course), the rattiest old shirt I could find and to finish the look, Mom’s bowling shoes. Perfect!
On the big day, we got up early. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to transform this blonde-haired cherub into the most disgusting derelict Hurst Hills elementary had ever seen! We dressed him in his outfit. After giving him the once over I felt like something was missing and then I realized he needs a beard! There wasn’t time to rush to the store to get a fake one so I improvised. I painted a beard on his milky white cheeks with waterproof mascara. I had no doubt it would last all day! The masterpiece was complete. Surely my baby brother would have an incredible day.
Little did we know how incredible this day would be.
Mom picked me up from the Jr. High and we headed straight for the elementary school. I couldn’t wait to hear about his awesome day as a Hobo. Was there a contest, did he win a prize? I had high expectations.
We drove up to the school; we immediately knew something was terribly wrong. He was on the sidewalk and his teacher was standing beside him as if to console him. As we got closer we noticed that his eyes were red and puffy he had been crying, a lot! I also couldn’t help but notice that there were NO OTHER HOBOS walking around the schoolyard!
I got a bad feeling.
The teacher approached the car and explained “last Friday we announced that Hobo day was moving to NEXT Monday. We’ve been trying to reach you all day but you didn’t answer the phone.” (Olden days before cell phones). My brother had a bad case of bronchitis and missed school on Friday! He didn’t get the memo! Instead of having an amazing, fun, exciting day as a hobo, he experienced what he still claims as his life’s most embarrassing moment! Can you imagine how awful it was for him to have to be at school all day in that crazy get-up? I still get a kick out of teasing him about it! Forgive me, Lord!
So many lessons learned!
That hobo day catastrophe still resonates with me. So many lessons learned. When you don’t show up, bad things can happen! I never want to miss out on an opportunity to learn something. That experience taught me that I never want to be “out of the loop”. Not knowing what’s going on can be painful! I know it’s an old cliché, I heard my mother say it 100 times, but I can’t think of any better way to say it “school is never out for the Pro!” I’ve enjoyed learning all throughout my life. It’s a commitment that I have made that has served me well. Life is an amazing classroom!
By the way, if the “Hobo Look” ever comes in fashion, I will be ready. However, it’s safe to say my brother will not be participating!