Thursday, October 29, 2015

A History of Halloween: Or, That Time I Was Almost Dracula

Halloween was always a big deal in our house when I was a kid, because our mom went all out on our costumes. October would bring huge lists of characters we wanted to be, narrowed down through a painful process based on practicality. Awesome candy packages were always given out at our house, and every year we went trick-or-treating.

One time when I was in third grade my mom pointed out that I'd never been anything scary for Halloween, which was weird because that was what Halloween was about, wasn't it? I'd been a Smurf, an angel, a princess, a ballerina . . . but never anything actually scary.

Sister P went as a witch.
Sister L was a gymnast.
So we decided, for some reason, that for my first ever "scary" costume, I was going to be Dracula.
My mother went all out to sew this beautiful cape with a shiny inner red lining, and she went through no small amount of effort and time to get the stiff collar to stand up. But when Halloween came and I donned the cape and slicked my hair back, I looked in the mirror and scared the piss out of myself, and wouldn't stop crying and refused to wear the costume.

Mom was understandably upset with me, especially since I refused to wear the costume but still wanted to go out trick-or-treating with my sisters. She was presented with the problem of a costume to dress me in with absolutely no notice. Out she came carrying a pillowcase and some safety pins.

"What's that for?" I asked.

"Your costume," she said. "You're going to be a baby."

So my mom made a makeshift giant diaper for me out of the pillowcase, put me in a leotard, and handed me one of my sister's old bottles as a prop. Believe it or not, despite being well aware that she was doing this to send me a message about my behavior, I was too relieved that I didn't have to be Dracula to give a rat's ass.

And since then the scariest thing I've been for Halloween was perhaps when Mikey and I did Jay and Silent Bob in 2007.

Er, and dressing as a Catholic schoolgirl in 2010 was actually pretty horrifying.

But yeah, no zombies. No monsters. No skeletons. No ghosts. Fairies and elves and cartoon characters and pretty superheroes ever since.

Seventh grade: I was a valley girl.
Sister P was an old lady and sister L was a devil.
Ninth grade: Joke costume. I told everyone I was going as a white girl.
And then I wore all white.
That's my friend Emily the Grim Reaper.

Dot from Animaniacs!
I think this was 1995.

In 1997, I went to college in this outfit on Halloween.
I was Electra, a comic book character my friend had made up.
First and only Halloween party at a bar, in 1998, dressed as a pixie.
College friends, 1999! I'm a fairy of some kind.
Another fairy costume, 2003.
Dressed as Galadriel, in 2005.
2006 looks like this. I'll be damned if I know what it was supposed to be.
2008 included several fairies!
I was some sort of Renaissance chick in 2009.
Renaissance again in 2011.
In 2012 I was a ballerina.
In 2013 I was an utter dork and dressed as one of my own book characters.
In 2014 I inexplicably did not have a party but I wore a witch hat to work.

I'm just not scary, guys. Even as a witch I have pigtails.

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