As a child, my Mom would always make my costumes. She was a decent seamstress. Always made me clothes for my Barbies and my baby dolls, and when Halloween came around she would sew up whatever I wanted to be. I have friends that tell me they would be the same thing every year. Not I. October came along, and it was an opportunity to embody a whole new character. Perhaps that was the actress in me. I was Raggedy Ann, a care bear, a cat, Pinnochio, Mary Poppins, a hippie, a cavewoman, etc.
My last year of trick-or-treating was at 13 in 8th grade. That was the car hop costume--roller skates and all. The candy was supposed to be put on my tray in between the fake hamburger, coke bottle, and fries. I loved that costume so much because of my obsession with the 1950's, and yet it was the first Halloween I became self-conscious about my age. I still felt like a child, but many of the candy givers were telling my friends and I that we were too old to be trick-or-treating. I had seriously never even thought that there would be a time that I wouldn't be able to trick-or treat anymore. After all, my Aunt Syl would often put on this old hag mask, bend down, and trick-or treat with me when I had been even younger, and she was in her thirties. She used the candy she got to barter with me and win all my Tootsie Rolls. That night in 8th grade, however, I realized that she unfortunately was unusual. Only kids were supposed to trick-or-treat, and I obviously wasn't a child in the eyes of those candy givers so trick-or-treating was soon going to be absent from my life.
I had dressed up for Halloween almost every year of my life, but during high school I became too insecure to brave the ridicule of wearing a costume unless I was in the theatre. I felt like I had to hide my love for Halloween because it seemed so childish. The Halloween after I graduated high school, I forced my boyfriend at the time to dress up with me even though we had absolutely no costume parties to attend or anything at all to do. Luckily by the time I was 20, I moved in with a group of girls that enjoyed dressing up as much as I, and creative costumes entered my life once again. My roommates and I would dress up in a foursome theme, and then once I moved to L.A., I continued dressing up and would think up wonderful costumes for the parties I attended.
Last year I went to a party on the top of the W Hotel on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Some guy came up to me and said he couldn’t tell if I was hot or not because of my costume. Apparently being dressed like the 1920’s version of Minnie Mouse instead of a slutty version of her, made me an outcast. This time negative comments on my costumes were okay, however. I wasn’t in my first year of teenage hood shocked out of childhood or a high schooler afraid of mockery. I was just myself: someone that doesn’t look at Halloween as an excuse to dress like a hooker, but as an opportunity to bring back that goofy 13 year old girl that adores Halloween and was so disappointed that costumes and trick-or-treating were over.
MY ADULT COSTUMES:
Lucy and Ricky from I Love Lucy, 1997. The only red wig I could find was a clown wig...sorry Lucy!
Superhero roommates, 2000. Kirsty as Sheera, myself as Spiderwoman (I know I know! Spiderwoman doesn't exist, but Halloween is not about reality), Erin as Wonderwoman, and Kelly as Batgirl. The year before we were Jem and the Hollograms.
Tippi Hedren from The Birds, 2003. I bought this green floral early 1960's skirt and top at a vintage store in Venice, CA a couple hours before the party (I have worn it so often since then), already had a blond wig for some reason, and grabbed some birds at Michael's craft store (they weren't that scary, but they were all I could find with only a couple hours.)
Janet Leigh from Psycho ,2004. I was moving that day,and wasn't going to do anything until a friend begged me to come to her party. Not knowing what to wear and having absolutely no time to put anything together, I scoured my stacks of boxes for the one labeled "bathroom" thinking I could do something simple with make-up. In the box, I found a white shower curtain, and voila the idea to be Janet Leigh came to me. I cut the blond wig from the year before short, put on some slippers, wrapped myself in the curtain, and stopped by Target for a big fake knife.
Rainbow Brite, 2007. My favorite doll as a child. This costume took weeks to sew and assemble and I was kind of frustrated that I couldn't find rainbow tights and only thigh highs. I was practically bald under that wig...it had only been a few months since I had finished my first year of chemo. When I was hit on at the Halloween party, I would snicker thinking how these guys had no idea what I looked like sans red wig.
Samantha from Bewitched, 2008. No matter how many times I wiggle my nose so I can suddenly be transported to another location (Costa Rica would be nice), nothing happens.
My Carmen Miranda (2009) looked a little more like Lucy since my fruit headdress was ridiculously heavy. I got the idea the month before while visiting Brazil and seeing Carmen's image all over the place.
Minnie Mouse c.1929 in 2010. Last year's costume.
Friends were also Disney characters, although I was the only one in a black long sleeved crew neck.