It’s Story Time Tuesday! Here’s a theme story just in time for Oct 31!
It’s Halloween; the time of year where children dress up in whatever costume reflects their subconscious desires and run around the neighborhood asking for candy. It brings back memories. As I’m working a job-job on the party night this year I will be avoiding any fancy dress-up celebrations and thus side-stepping any costume decision making I’d normally have to do.
However, it got me thinking about the ghosts of costumes past.
My mother made all my costumes up until I was twelve years old. These were incredible detailed creations made with love and care. Some of them are still hanging up in the basement, gathering dust and begging to be thrifted on.
The first Halloween that I can remember is when I was five years old. I was a black cat and my little brother was a clown. Not a scary clown. He was dressed in the classic french clown style like a harlequin with a tall cone hat, pom-pom buttons on his front, and triangles drawn on his cheeks. I was very jealous of his costume and how adorable my three year old brother looked. I think. Perhaps I don’t actually remember this at all but recall the photographs that were taken before my brother and I went Trick-or-Treating with our little pumpkin bowls. Either way, I don’t think a little boy has ever looked as adorable as my brother did in that costume. My mother is a genius.
The next Halloween I was a butterfly. This costume came with a glittery mask and a pair of antennae. I flapped and danced around the living room before going out. I don’t remember what my brother was that year, but I have a hunch he was a black cat. Oh, the perils of being second born.
When I was seven I began my rein of “I am a Princess.” Therefore I was a princess that year with a costume modeled after Cinderella in blue and silver. My mother made me a crown made out of silver fabric and she stitched on gems and sequins for my crown jewels. Whenever I see the store bought princess dresses I scoff; sure, they might be more sophisticated but do they have sewn on jewels? I think not.
I was eight years old when I was a “Girl from the 50s.” This costume consisted of a pink felt poodle dress and a white shirt. I remember getting very snarky when one of the candy hander-outers asked me what I was. “Are you a princess?” they’d ask while dropping one of those teeth-removing caramel squares into my bag. “No! I’m a girl from the 50s! Isn’t it obvious? Jeeze.” I mean weren’t all old people from the 50s? Wasn’t it obvious that there was a frickin’ poodle on my skirt and my hair was in a pony tail. This was the year I began to develop my ‘attitude.’
The next few years are lost in my memory but I recall in Jr High when I was trying to be part of the cool kids I dressed up as a Clown (but not the cute French kind) and a Hobo. Apparently these were cool costumes in the early 90s in suburban SW Calgary. In grade nine I stopped trying to be cool and went as a witch. I remember putting little girl stick on earrings on my face and sparkly eye shadow. This may have been the first indication that I was going to be a raver in a few years to come.
I have zero memories of what I donned in high school at Halloween. Although most days I was in some sort of costume with all my vintage clothing and taking fashion backwards risks like wearing retro men’s pajamas to school. I think in grade 11 for Halloween I pulled out my 70s funk style with a pink leisure suit and curled my hair tightly so that I could ‘frow it out. I probably wore the same look three weeks later only with army boots.
In my 20s my go-to costume was a Doll. I had bob style wigs in bright red and orange from my raver days. I’d throw on a jr high baby doll dress, some white tights, mary-janes and circles of blush and presto! Instant doll. This I thought was a smart costume as it had elements of ‘sexy’ in it without crossing the line into ‘ho-bag skank.’
This year I’m thankful to be working. I wont be wasting any time fretting over my wardrobe decision. But if I could be anything I wanted, it would be either Marie Antoinette, Lady Miss Kier from Deee-lite or … a sexy Justin Beiber.
I really feel the empty nest at this time of year. I used to so love dressing the kids up. I suggested Ned go as the Old Spice Guy this year, but they are both well beyond my sphere of influence now. It killed me to freight most of the tickle trunk contents off to the Sally Ann.
If you were going to be in costume – this might be the one: