Friday, October 31, 2008



Well, it’s here. Do you love it? I was never a fan. Not as a kid or an adult. As a kid I always felt pressure to have a better costume than I did. I know, woe is me.

Anyone who grew up in the seventies or before has suffered at the hands of parents who didn’t give a damn what the cool costume was a given year. And I know, that means we were forced into situations where creativeness could develop, etc. etc. But sometimes it was just pure embarrassment when for some reason your creativity did not show itself.

As an adult, I never understood the appeal of grown-ups dressing up in costume. I know, I know, boring. I am, that’s true. My husband and I did our best to devise non-costumes when we were invited to parties. Our favorite was to go as Pitt fans as many a party fell on football Saturday.
But, I have to say, now that I have kids, I’m seeing the spooky holiday through a different lens.
I’ve not poisoned my children with my negative attitude toward the creepy, dark fun of Halloween.

They’ve coaxed, no pushed me into decorating inside and out, and it’s been fun to see them plan costumes. My favorite they’ve worn so far were good old fashioned ghosts, fashioned from sheets. As I watch them traipse down the sidewalk, out into the street tonight, dressed as a black cat and a combination skeleton/vampire who boasts a Clone Wars firearm, I’ll wonder how they’ll remember Halloween, whether someday they’ll dread it. And, I sincerely hope they always think it’s fun, that they always find fun in everything they do.

How about you? What are your best/worst Halloween memories?


Annette said...

My favorite Halloween was when, as a teen, I won an award (scariest costume, I think it was) at our annual 4H Halloween party. I donned a longish black dress, spray painted my hair green (it was the kind of spray paint MADE for hair, so, yes, it did wash out) and gave myself an Alice Cooper makeup job. I proclaimed myself Miss Transylvania 19**. I choose to forget the year, thank you very much.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

All my Halloweens were great.

I LOVE Halloween.

I took off today to finish the decorations on my haunted house. Have to get started, one of my fog machines is giving me problems.

Dana King said...

I should be ashamed to say this, but the statute of limitations ran out on this long ago.

Several of us were tossing eggs at some select houses when the police showed up. Having the foresight to only egg houses with easy escape routes, we disappeared into a vacant, grown-over filed behind the target house.

Just our luck, we got the one cop out of 15 in our 13,000 inhabitant town who spent too much time watching Adam-12. He gets the flashlight and comes looking for us. His partner isn't going to get his shoes wet, but positions himself in the one place--probably by accident--that blocks our route of we choose to run for it.

Everyone dropped to the wet grass and spread out. The cop in the field actually stepped between my outstretch hands looking for me, and missed me. I flet like I was in THE GREAT ESCAPE. (Work with me here; I was 15 years old in a small town; standards for excitement were pretty low.)

That is by far my most memorable Halloween.

Does anyone know what happened to the apostrophe that used to be there when we were kids? (Hallowe'en.)

Joyce said...

Dana, that's a great story!

As for Halloween, I can take it or leave it. I don't remember any of my costumes, except for one in college when I put my hair in pigtails and wore footed pajamas. I think I only remember that one because I had way too much to drink and got sick as a dog. Someday I would like to dress up as Xena Warrior Princess.

I still have some of my kids costumes that I made, though. One is a green crayon. The last costumes I made were Civil War uniforms--one blue and one gray. Do you know how long it takes to sew all those buttons on???

jnantz said...

I literally just got done blogging about this myself. There was a time when Halloween was my favorite holiday, because for one day I could be someone other than me. I wasn't exactly well-adjusted as a kid.

Gina said...

I don't remember any special costumes from when I was a kid - most were of the make-do variety. As a grown-up, though, I like to dress up. My favorite is the costume I came up with for a folk dance party. I didn't have any good ethnic costumes, so I wrapped up in a blanket and wore a pig nose and went as an ethnic food - a pig in a blanket.

mike said...

My best costume memory was the year Mom dressed me up as Mamie Yokum--corn-cob pipe and all! We lived in the country and houses up on the main road were spread out, so trick-n-treating was a chore. Then, the fun was taken out of Halloween after my older brother's dog, Lassie (yes, a collie--it was that long ago) was killed by a hit-and-run driver while following Fred from house to house.

But I've always loved to disappear into a costume...during 20 years of being an extra in the opera company I got to dress up as a ghost bedeviling Macbeth, a 19th-century English tourist, ribbon seller, priest, monk, mime, soldier (more times than I can count), and servant to Herod.

To combat my growing rep as the neighborhood curmudgeon, I do hand out candy every H'ween...along with a final word, telling the kids to make sure they brush their teeth before going to bed. You'd be surprised at the number of parents of thank me for saying that!

kathie said...

Annette, that sounds spectacular--like a girl who knew here inner ghoul!

Wifred, how cool! I don't know if you have kids or not, but I'm sure they--or the neighborhood children love that. And, I guess of all the things I did love about Halloween as a kid it was people who had haunted houses at their homes...that was fun even when I didn't like the holiday as a whole.

Dana, that's awesome! Devils night was always fun for the teens in my neighborhood, my brother and his friends were always up to no good...and yes, I did enjoy that stuff, but I think it had more to do with being devilish, out roaming around, etc. than it did with Halloween. You really sparked my memory with that story.

Joyce, I think you should be Zena this year...why wait??? Civil war costumes, huh? That's motherly love in material form if I ever saw it.

jnantz--I think that was the difference between you and me--I was too self-conscious (spX) to enjoy the dressing up, wondering if I was looking dumber than my usual self was prob. too much to handle...I like your view of it.

Gina, that's freaking hilarious!!! Now I have a go-to costume when in desperate need. Hope this year is fun for you!

Mike, you're right, being a performer, actor, singer, etc. is the ultimate in costuming...I know many many people who love that state of being more than their regular clothed one! I hope you get to wear one of your Opera costumes while handing out those treats and good advice as well!