I remember my Halloween career having three distinct eras.
The first era was the cute school-age Halloweens. My mother or my sister made beautiful custom tailored costumes. While I secretly coveted the costumes that came it the box from the Woolworths, I knew that I looked spectacular and that my mom really loved me. I remember vividly these costumes from this golden era of uninhibited, candy addled Halloween fun which after a turn at a school parade was followed by the climatic trick or treating. Some of these costumes where:
- Sonny and Cher (with brother Brian)
- Raggedy Ann and Andy (again brother Brian)
- Little Bo Peep (small family pet terrier was lamb)
- Gypsy (what girl hasn’t been a gypsy for Halloween?)
- A beautiful Ghost (I had false eye lashes)
- Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (better casting for pet terrier)
Then things got more complicated around 11 or 12. Want the candy but don’t want to look stupid. It is a tough balance to maintain and finally around 14 or 15 you give up all together and you just slap a bloody mask on and power trick or treat around 8:00 and target houses that leave the candy outside in a bowl. During this period I can remember being
- Thomas Jefferson (such a dork for colonial history)
- Car Accident victim (not very funny)
- The ghost of Colonel Saunders (mask give-a-away at KFC)
- Coal Miner (I was very pro-labor even then)
- An assortment of ugly masks in teenager clothes
The third era is the College/Adult epoch. Its funny that even though there must have been 20 costumes in this time-frame I can barely remember a handful. I wonder if the diminishing short term memory is in play or maybe if I drink I will remember. In college, I can remember conceiving of the costume the afternoon of whatever party or bar (or both) we were going to. I remember being Pebbles from the Flintstones going to Prom (re-splendid with a raw hide bone in my hair) and another year, finally living the dream of a costume in a box, being Ace Frehley from Kiss with 2 other girls friends being Gene Simmons and Peter Criss. There was no Paul Stanley costume in a box for purchase. As I moved on into early adulthood I aimed for high concept but requiring little in the way of execution. Two standouts in during this time was a refrigerator magnet (Rectangle of black construction paper on the back of me and what ever kiss ass party outfit I wanted to wear and the Toilet (or Kitchen) towel holder. Again not infringing on my need to look cute, it only required the said roll of paper and a finger from each hand. In most recent history I have been a bullet riddled Qusay Hussein, a Stepford wife and a Cleveland Browns Fan.
My husband takes Halloween seriously and as an opportunity to offend. Here is a sampling of his topical and politically incorrect costumes over the years…
- Jessica McClure (girl who fell down well)
- Christie McCaullife (featuring a torched jumpsuit)
- Leon Klinghoffer (borrowed wheelchair from paralyzed buddy)
- Tawana Brawley (to his surprise, it was a popular costume that year)
- Lyndsey England (Abu Ghraib editorial model)
- Uday and Qusay Hussein (I was the smart one, GM was the one with the jumper cables)
- Costumes that never were: Barbaro (Preakness winner who was injured and died), Steve Irwin, Terry Schivo and, and probably a big one this year in the states, Larry Craig
Well those were Halloweens of days gone by and tomorrow there is a new generation of kids that dress up as things that unless you play video games (or are forced to arrange for the costume’s manifestation) you have no idea who they are…more tomorrow with photos.