This week’s assignment is very close to my heart, since Halloween is my favorite holiday. Seriously, you know how people start talking about Christmas as soon as the last gift is unwrapped? Talk to me November 1st, and it’s very similar. I get antsy around the end of August, lamenting the fact that stores still haven’t put out Halloween stuff. So what’s the assignment?
Remember when Halloween was a big deal? I mean, a BIG deal? What was the most legendary costume you ever wore? What would you dress up as this year?
Most legendary? Weeeelll, I wasn’t know for my legendary costumes. I had a signature costume most years (with the exception of a couple of years as a bobby soxer, a ghoul, and a gypsy)–I was always a witch. I guess I shared Lucy Van Pelt’s philosophy: you should always select a costume in direct contrast to your personality. That, and I thought witches were pretty cool. I mean, in The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West was the best part. She was mean, green, and she had all those ginchy monkeys at her beck and call. And in the book, she was even meaner.
Unless I was a witch as a baby, this was my first witch costume. This is your typical early ’80s Ben Cooper/Collegeville mask/poncho ensemble. As I recall, this was the only one of these I ever had–apparently I wasn’t much for the licensed stuff when Halloween rolled around. I guess I spent so much of the rest of the year being Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, or She-Ra that I didn’t really need to do it on All Hallow’s Eve. I was much more enamored with ghosts and goblins, reading Edgar Allan Poe every year (or the early elementary school equivalent scary stories).
I love these old pictures because they’re like little time capsules. My sneakers are very Adidas-like, and I’m carrying that most classic of candy containment devices: the plastic pumpkin. Check out this picture, though. Not only do you get a close-up of the witch mask (which is pretty frightening, by the way, especially when the witch with the evil face is kid-sized), but you also catch a glimpse at my parents’ sweet stereo hi-fi and tape carousel.
Here’s another Halloween. This year, I’m a witch once again, but this time, my mom made my costume. I loooooooved this costume. It was witchy, but cute, and it incorporated two things I’ve adored since a very young age: glitter and glow in the dark accents. Seriously, I used to play in this thing after I was supposed to have gone to bed just because it glowed in the dark. Obsessed with glow-in-the-dark, I am, er, was. Note also that my mom frizzed my hair out like crazy, because that’s how witches look. (Um, Hermione, anyone?) Also pictured are my best friend at the time, Alesha (as the crazy beautiful butterfly), her brother (as the vampire), and their little sister (as the harlequin). If my cheeks look a little rosy, it’s not surprising. I had a lot of ear infections as a kid, and this was one of the years I happened to be sick on Halloween. Luckily, my mom loves Halloween and me, and she humored me when I begged to dress up and go trick or treating when I probably should’ve been in bed. (This one is not as bad as the year I was a clown–my face was about as red as my painted-on nose.)
So there you have it. Legendary? Nah. Consistent? Yes. I think if a costume works, you should rock it. (Also, it’s really easy to be a witch, even as an adult. All you need is a black dress and a witch hat and voila–insta-witch!) As an adult, I’d rather spend money on decorations than costumes, so on the off chance that I get to attend a costume party, I like to dress up with things I find around the house. This year, should I find myself invited to a party where some attire other than a t-shirt and jeans is required, I will dress as my favorite comic character (maybe my favorite character overall), Enid Coleslaw from Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World. I already have the thick, black cat-eye glasses. I own a plaid skirt and tons of t-shirts, and I’m buying boots in the next few days. So I’ll probably just be dressed as myself wearing my reading glasses out in public somewhere other than work, but it just so happens that looks like Enid, OK?
So what about you guys? What was your favorite costume as a kid? What would you dress up as now? Check out some of the responses from around the League!
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