I lit the Black Flame Candle

Those of you who know me know that I LOVE  Halloween. There are so many wonderful things about this holiday/time of year! Just in case any of you need convincing, here’s a brief, non-comprehensive list:

Awesome Things About October/Halloween

  • It’s brisk and autumn-y outside! Time for scarves and boots!
  • There is candy everywhere!!
  • You can dress up as anything you want!
  • CANDY!
  • Scary movies!

Now, sugar addiction aside, I come by my love of obsession with Halloween honestly. My whole family loves Halloween, and it was always a big deal in our house. Around September 15th, my parents would sit my sisters and I down and solemnly inform us that they expected our Halloween costumes to be creative and original this year – no procrastinating allowed! Also, store-bought costumes were frowned upon. I railed against this until my parents relented one year in the 90s and let me buy a Lisa Simpson costume. I thought I was hot shit until I was trick-or-treating and  came across a woman in a Marge Simpson costume who saw me, yelled “My daughter!”, and chased me down to give me a hug. I was a shy 6-year-old and this stranger danger encounter scarred me for life. I never bought a store costume again.

Perhaps my best era of Halloween costumes occurred during that wonderful time of life we all look back on so fondly…Middle School. Some back story: I was not a typical “tween.” I was amazingly awkward, but blissfully unaware of that fact. I wasn’t embarrassed by my parents, I didn’t want to grow up, and I did not buy into the whole sexy costume thing. Couple that with the fact that I trusted my parents completely, and you’ve got 3 years of stellar Halloween costumes. What’s especially awesome about these costumes is that they were worn at the annual Halloween Dance…in front of all my peers.

6th Grade: Gypsy

I played it safe for my first Halloween Dance and probably looked pretty cute, but I didn’t win the costume contest.

7th Grade: Uncle Fester

Determined to take my costume to the next level and win the contest, I decided to go with something that involved makeup and a skull-cap. I painted myself white, stuffed a pillow under a fugly jacket, and went off to the dance as Uncle Fester. My friend Kat won the costume contest that year. She went as Mr. Clean (with a skull-cap!). I was happy for her, but I also felt insanely jealous/stupid for not thinking of using cotton balls as eyebrows the way she did.

8th Grade: Virus
This was my last chance! It was not lost on me that this would be my last middle school Halloween Dance, and I decided to bust out the big guns: I went to my parents for ideas and help. My mom came up with the idea that I should go as a virus. When I asked her what that entailed, she explained, “It’s easy! You wear all black, paint your face black, get a pair of black pantyhose, fill them with balloons, and put it on your head.” DUH!! Looking back on this, I wonder if my mom was just trying to see how ridiculous I was willing to look in public. I also wonder what kind of information she received in school about viruses. Anyway, being the trusting 13 year-old I was, I went with it. We made a sign that said “VIRUS” just in case anyone was stupid enough not to realize what I was. I looked something like this:

Needless to say, I did NOT win the costume contest that year, but I did have a great time dancing with pantyhose on top of my head. Also, I did not go on my first date until I was 15.