halloween was all about the costume for me. not that i had any good costumes mind you, pretty much we thought about our costume a day or two before halloween and then dug through the house to find something to wear. my mom spearheaded the development of most of my costumes, which was a problem because most of the time i had no idea what i was. she told me what i was, so i would repeat what she said, but it was invariably something obscure or esoteric and people didn’t know what the hell i was taking about. i just felt stupid most of the time.
we never had scary or gory costumes and i really don’t remember that many scary costumes around back in the day. all i ever wanted to be was a princess. we never had any princess-like clothes around, so i never got to be that. same for a fairy, an angel, tinkerbell or anything else pretty. i do remember that we had a tutu in the garage once that a neighbor had given to us for dress-up, but i never wore it for halloween and i don’t know why.
i was puss from puss and boots once and i only know that because there’s a picture of my brother and i dressed up for halloween. he wore something related to the puss (which was me) but i don’t even know what that was. and puss from the fairy tale was male and i was a cat in a blue dress with no boots, so you get the idea of my halloween costume history. one other time i was a gaucho. don’t know what that is? i didn’t either, except they’re male too.
<img src="<a href="http://photobucket.com/images/gaucho"
basically, i found an old pleated plaid skirt and wore my mom’s black straw hat with my white school uniform blouse. i remember saying that i was a south american cowboy and most people made a face and asked why.
i know i did the gypsy costume a couple of times, maybe threw in a deck of cards to make it a fortune teller. i do remember that my mom had some large rectangles of stiff canvas from somewhere and she had my sister paint them like they were a playing card then tied the front and back together with rope and i wore it like a sandwich board. i guess that was from alice in wonderland.
my costumes might not have been the greatest, but at least they didn’t out and out suck like these.
maybe that’s why i really worked to make costumes for our kids that made them happy. i got such a kick out of figuring out how to make what they wanted inexpensively, often having to figure it out myself without a pattern. i made a crayon costume for each one of them with their name in place of the color of the crayon. i saved those costumes for them.
E was a darling pumpkin, a scary over-the-top ghost with teased hair, and angelica from rug rats, among others. she was unmercifully teased for the angelica costume and i remember wanting to punch a couple of kids. but she loved that costume to this day and doesn’t even remember the teasing.
J was a dinosaur, a werewolf, a vampire and his all time favorite, captain hook, among others. i made him a red jacket piped in gold with gold buttons and he wore that for years afterward whenever he felt like it. because there’s always a time to be a pirate.
L was a glitter ghost, a cat with a top hat and cane (her idea and design), ariel, jasmine and a wizard, among others. we couldn’t afford a red wig for ariel, so i made one out of shredded red fabric and she hated it. to this day she still loves the cat with a top hat and cane idea.
there’s nothing like the way a child’s face lights up when they put on a costume that they love. the candy is just the sugar on top.