I have always loved Halloween.
The first one I can really remember I must have been around five or so. I had insisted that I wanted to go out trick or treating like my friends so my Mother thrust me on my Sister and HER friends, (who were needless to say overjoyed to have me along) put me in a fur trimmed jacket, plonked her faux-fur had on my head and voila! Russian spy. This took care of her costume duties AND kept me from catching my death.
I remember my Sister explaining the whole concept to me about walking up to strangers doors and shouting these bizarre magic words and then people hand you candy. I was a VERY shy kid so the first couple of times I hung near the back of the group and walked up just as the home owner was about to shut their door. I stood there silently and opened my pillow case. I remember a number of them asking what I was supposed to be (I told you it was lame) and I couldn’t even get the words out. After several doors of this my Sister got impatient and yelled out “SHE’S A RUSSIAN SPY!!” and then shoved me forward. I remember the two parents who had come to the door exchanging looks. Clearly at a time where the cold war was still a sticky subject a Russian Spy maybe wasn’t the best of costume choices. Oh well, I still got the candy.
The following year my Sister made it clear that I was NOT going to spoil her Halloween fun anymore (by then she had hit her teenage years and I’m sure her idea of fun no longer involved trick or treating) so my friend’s Father agreed to take me out with his kids. Score!
I insisted that year that I wanted one of those store bought costumes with the masks. I had seen so many kids wearing them that first year and you could ALWAYS tell who they were supposed to be so no more embarrassing questions. I’m trying to remember what I was that year but I can’t… Super Hero? Princess? Something girlie that involved a nylon suit with a tie in the back and a plastic mask. What I do remember is my mother insisted on me wearing a coat OVER my costume. I tried to convince her that I could put a sweater on underneath without spoiling the look of my costume like my friends but no dice. She said the mask would still show. Speaking of the mask, who knew that it would be so hard to see out of those eye holes never mind breath through the tiny mouth hole and ewww did the inside of the mask get all gross and full of condensation. Back then they hadn’t figured out the concept of non-flammable costumes either. Ah the 70’s. Safety first!
The lure of store bought costumes wore thin and I ended up raiding my parents closets and/or thrift stores for costume idea which fanned the creative flame a little more. I discovered the fun (not to mention convenience) of makeup instead of masks. I wasn’t all that good at making them but I sure had a great time with it.
I only wish I had photos of all my costumes, unlike me my parents didn’t capture every little burp and fart of their kids on film.. one of my faves was me dressed as Princess Leia in grade 7 with the danish pastry shaped side buns, laser gun and all.
By the age of 15, my first year of senior high, Halloween meant school dances. I had a great group of girlfriends and we all dressed up and hit the first school dance of the year. I was a pirate that year wearing one of my Mom’s oh-so-cool puffy polyester elastic necked tops (but stretched off the shoulder to try and be sexsay n stuff), a scarf, big dangly earring and an eye-patch. Oh yeah and pants, I must have been wearing pants right? At that dance I was introduced to a handsome young guy who was on school council along with one of my friends. He draped his arm around my shoulder and kept it there most of the evening much to my teenaged starry-eyed joy and by the end of the night I was smitten. Halloween had provided me my very first boyfriend who happily stayed a very good friend even when we no longer dated.
House parties followed in subsequent years, full of the same teenage debauchery that was at most of our other parties, but in costume! I would drink my limit of one or maybe two beer (cheap drunk) dance and most likely make out with somebody. Ah youth…
Once the kids came along Halloween was more about them and less about me though that hasn’t stopped me from dressing up, are you kiddin’ me? My company embraces dressing up for Halloween and I’m all over it like a dirty shirt. In fact our Dept within our business unit picks an annual theme and whoever wants to participate can. It’s a complete riot. I’m draggin’ my butt to the office for it this year, that is how much I enjoy it. This year we’re thinkin’ of going with zombies, not just any zombies but a SOMETHING zombie. You know like umm bride zombie or cheerleader zombie. It leaves the costume pretty flexible but with a “zombified” overtone.
It’s the one day a year I can act as immaturely on the outside as I feel on the inside. ;)