“Make it classy.”
“I thought we were supposed to be sexy.”
“It is possible to be both.”
-Sushi for Beginners, Marian Keyes
Halloween was easily my favorite holiday growing up. I have fond memories of strategically mapping out my plan of attack in neighborhoods in the search for candy, staggering home under the weight of a bulging pillowcase, and spending days or even weeks on my costumes. For a chunk of my childhood we lived in Germany so we had Fasching instead of Halloween (German version of Carnivale), but since the concept of costume + candy + pranking remained the same, there wasn’t too much of a difference to me.
See back in my day, darlings, we made our costumes. Sure some kids were starting to run around in polyester store-bought Power Rangers outfits, but I always regarded them as sad, unimaginative creatures more to be pitied than envied. Even the year I went as a ghost, I took the time to shred my own sheets and drape them hauntingly about my white and black smudged face. My mother would take me to fabric stores to wrinkle my six year old forehead over the merits of historically correct Indian vs. Polar Bear, rifle with me through the chest that held my hats, boots, and scarves that I used for dress up, and applaude my ideas enthusiastically.
The crowning achievement of my dorkiness trick-or-treating career was the year I announced impressively that I wanted to go as…wait for it…Anubis.
That’s right. Egyptian god of the dead. I think I was seven or eight at the time. As an adult I can now only begin to fathom what thoughts might have scrambled through my impressed/perplexed/weirded out parents’ minds as they heard this plan, but they rallied with admirable self control. My dad helped me fashion a jackal head out of a baseball cap for the base, wound about with wire to form the long snout, face, ears, and Egyptian headpiece, and then mummified (pun!) in paper mache. This whole contraption was then painted with black, gold, and glaring white eyes. A baby towel wrapped around my waist, a white tee-shirt, and a cardboard collar painted gold with blobs of color for the gems completed the look.
No one I begged candy off of had a clue who I was. It was also sweltering hot so by the time I made it home, black streaks of sweat and paint had slithered down my face, but I had the most absolutely amazing costume ever!
And nowadays what am I left with? The only Halloween costumes available to me (since I can’t sew) are cheap, mass produced trashy stuff usually involving thigh-highs and not much else. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a touch of tart as much as the next girl, but I also firmly adhere to the “time and place” mentality. I also believe absolutely that sexy and slutty are not the same things at all. For example, one year one of my flatmates went as a Victoria Secret Angel: bras, panties, wings. Fin. Kiri and I were saloon girls, complete with fishnets and garters, but we took the time to make sure that the OK stayed corralled!
Trick-or-treating seems to be on the decline, too many weirdos out there I suppose, but I’m still debating how to get in on the holiday this year. Perhaps a party with fabulous friends? Or be boring and just watch Hitchcock movies? I’ve never been to a haunted castle/cornmaze/whatever which seem to be all the rage in these parts, so I’m going to try to trick (or treat) J. into taking me to one. Small Dog has no comment on the possibility of thigh highs.
EDITOR’S ADDITION: COURTESY OF DAD