This Is Halloween – Part One

I love Halloween.  J’adore.

This is me saying that Halloween is stinkin awesome, you guys!

I mean, what other day can you dress up in a fab costume and become someone (or something) else and get rewarded for it by stealing candy from kids with minimal negative consequences?

No other day.

I love the art that is Halloween costuming.  I’m a purist in that I don’t support the personal usage of entirely pre-packaged Halloween costumes.  That’s too easy, that’s a sell out, plus who wants to pay $49.99 to wear a piece of tissue paper that barely covers one’s ass?  Thanks to the fact that I grew up with an awesome, crafty mom who made my costumes and also freaking loves Halloween (up until the year she retired, she also dressed up for All Hallows Eve), my costumes have been original, creative, and epic.

My first H-costume was classic.  Timeless.  The Balloon-filled Pumpkin.

check out my embarrassingly large and saggy breast-o-lanterns

Looking back, this costume was brilliant because I was still getting the hang of this walking and running thing, and I was basically wearing a bright orange sack filled with balloons, so if I fell (which, my parents gleefully report, I did several times in the time it took to visit the 4 houses in our court), I simply bounced around on the pavement, unhurt but also unable to get up.  And goodness forbid that one of those babies popped and scared the crap outta me, cuz the only logical explanation for a sound like that would be a warning shot fired by hooligans wanting to take my candy.  Oh hells no.

A favorite costume from my years as a youngin was a fairy princess (I learned at a young age all about the fairy monarchy, and my plan was to come out on top).  And by favorite, I mean that I wore it several years in a row.  It was actually a leftover costume from dance class my mom put me in when I was 5 and all I did during performances was stand there and cry, so I figured I should get some mileage out of that otherwise wasted, yet totes fab, tulle.

this photo was candid, not posed. you can see how much I loved my little brother, at that time doomed to wear my hand-me-downs.

Even though I’ve always lurved Halloween like a zombie lurves brains, I developed a more primal obsession for the ghostly holiday after I executed the most awesome costume in the history of fun-sized candy bars:

excuse me…la, la, laaaa, la, la….

That’s me as Daria and my best friend as Jane, from the MTV cartoon show.  This show was witty and sarcastic and smart, and it was ME.  I loved this show so much, I wanted to lose my virginity to it.

My friend and I got way into these costumes and into character.  We got the boots at a discount store, the wigs at a Halloween store, the green blazer was my mom’s, and pleated skirt I found in a thrift store, and the orangey shirt I just had and still wear to this day.  We practiced not smiling for pictures, and we practiced our dry, witty comebacks to rhetorical questions like “Where’s the beef?” and “Who let the dogs out?”

Well, all that hard work paid off, cuz our unsmiling mugs made it into the yearbook that year.  Yup, we were famous.  In high school.  For like 5 minutes.  But the experience sparked something in me, something that had been lurking ever since my mom painted those rosy pumpkin whore cheeks on me.  I loved the challenge of turning myself into a current, recognizable character that got reactions from people.  (Like, favorable reactions.  Nothing that involves throwing food at me.  Ok, you can throw candy.  And cake, if thrown expertly into my mouth, but let’s not get too crazy.)  My quest to outdo my smug Daria self has continued every year since then.

Mary Poppins – My mom helped a lot with putting this bad boy together.  We already owned most of the pieces, but my mom found the perfect hat and glued on all the daisies.  And the red bow tie was practically perfect in every way.  I am very proud of this costume!!

The building in the background is South Hall on the UC Berkeley campus, which was the inspiration for the rooftop for the “step in time” scene in the movie.

Over the years, I have gradually conquered the majority of characters from the Wizard of Oz.   All I have left now is the crowning glory of becoming one of the flying monkeys.

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore – My mom captured that cheap whore quality with copious amounts of makeup.  She sewed the blue dress from scratch and glued on hundreds of sequins to make those smashing ruby slippers.  Please also note the 101 Dalmatians plush toy as Toto – a new take on an old friend.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Hello, my pretty! – The Wicked Witch of the West rocked it hardcore.  She wore her green skin with pride, and so did I – that’s green eye shadow slathered on my face for a full day of grad school classes.

…and your little dog, too!

Ding dong the witch is dead – After reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire and going to see the fabulous musical by the same name, I decided to bring the Wiz costumes full circle and be the ill-fated Wicked Witch of the East, who was the first true owner of the ruby slippers…until something large and heavy probably crushed her skull.

this must have been the view from under the house

I found these absolutely perfect red shoes in a thrift store for $2 and painted them with red glitter.  I even picked up these tights in Salem, Massachusetts.  That’s how legit they are.

Hokai, so I have several more amazing costumes to share with y’all, but this post has already grown longer than this election season.  Stay tuned, bloggers.

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12 responses

  1. Pingback: Halloween in District 12 | Psychobabble

  2. Pingback: This Is Halloween – Part *Boo* | Psychobabble

  3. I haven’t always been a fan of Halloween… My parents kinda ruined it for me at a young age. My mom wasn’t crafty at all and it was a burden for her to help us find costumes. :o( So, we stopped trick or treating pretty young. Add to that the crappy and freezing weather we have at Halloween over here and you get both my parents not too happy and whimsical in the streets of our neighborhood! When we chose to have kids, I decided that their childhood would be magical! We have dressed them up every Halloween since they were born! :o) This next Halloween, it will be the first “outside” trick or treating for Alice! We’ve brought her to the mall last year where a lot of stores give out candy but this year, it’s going to be for real! :o) Plus, she can know eat them! Now, if I can just get them to stop dressing up as princesses, I’d be happy! There’s no challenge dressing up as princesses!!!!!! Emma will be wintery Cinderella (she has a faux-fur cape), Clara as Princess Jasmine and Alice… as a girly and glitzy lady bug (because she won’t make a big fuss yet at two if she’s not dressed up as a princess! Lol!).

    I loved reading your entry and looking at your pictures! More please! :o)

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