Not to be confused with reporpoising*.

Chickadee's father talked her into being a cheerleader for Hallowe'en this year - a fine costume, to be sure, and easy to implement. But once out of his tender clutches, she decided she wants to be a vampire cheerleader. That's my girl!

This should go over well with the very pious principal of her Catholic school, who suggested that students' costumes should reflect the school theme of "Faith in Action". Isn't it every kid's dream to dress up as their favourite saint? What?!? You don't have a favourite saint? What the hell's wrong with you?

As a non-Catholic, I'm being totally supportive. Or I was until my mother suggested that I donate my $200 cashmere shawl for her black cape. Her argument was that it was a gift from my ex-husband and, since none of us like him, I should be glad to get rid of it. Except that it's black cashmere, and I look totally excellent in it, combining the best qualities of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly (OK, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but girls, you know what I'm talking about - it's one of those garments that makes me feel incredibly elegant and sophisticated, just for owning it). The cape was becoming an issue.

But I've always had trouble getting rid of clothes that I no longer wear. The Closet Nazis say you should toss anything you haven't worn in the last 6 months, but I've got favourites that haven't been off the hanger for the better part of a decade. Some because I hope to have occasion to wear them again. Others because they just have too much potential to be thrown out. One of the latter was a black velvet, ankle-length skirt I bought in about 1990. It was pretty snug around the waist before I had two kids, and I've known for many years that I'd never wear it again. But it's 4 yards of black velvet - I knew it would come in handy sometime.

And I was right. Slit the back seam, remove the zipper, and it's the perfect cape for a vampire cheerleader.

*Which, as we all know, is job training for injured dolphins.