Halloween Through the Years

Without children of my own to parade about with this evening, I decided to take my dogs for a walk. I figured that they needed it anyway, and it would give me a chance to see this year’s ridiculous trendy costumes without having to man the door for a couple of hours.

The dogs enjoyed their walk, and I caught some glimpses of angry birds mixed in with more traditional fairies, bunnies, and pirates. If nothing else, I could use my task of “dog walker” as a costume; my dogs would overwhelm strangers with their cuteness long enough to distract them from the fact that I didn’t actually have a costume.

One little rabbit in particular reminded me of how little my family cared about Halloween when I was a kid. My mom considered it a waste of money to buy a costume I’d only wear one night a year, so we often had homemade costumes that strangely had a lot to do with our every day lives. Case in point? I was a soccer player, a ballerina, and a genie. Okay, so maybe I got one year costume year with the genie bit, but the others were identities that I tried on anyway.

In my ballet outfit and tap shoes, long before I realized that posing with your elbow popped out does not, in fact, make for a great picture.

My favorite memory from Halloween in high school were the years where we built mazes for a week and them crawled through them with smoke machines and black lights leading the way. Sadly, the fire marshals found something wrong with our use of cardboard boxes as a structural base, so the second year we had to use plywood with a tarp stapled over it. Way to take the fun out of it, guys. We tried to redeem the night by creating our own costumes and calling ourselves various barbies. I got stuck with Princess Barbie in a bubblegum pink ballgown and a wand. Yet another aspect of that night I’d love to forget.

Before finishing our maze after 3 days’ work.

My embodiment of evil. I “matched” a girl who looked at me and dressed up as “good.” Definitely didn’t make it into the running for best costume.

College revealed to me how much I’d absorbed my mom’s belief that costumes weren’t worth paying for. One year I decided to embody “evil” and murder my friend who went as a “Cereal Killer”; another year I dressed as the “Spirit of Christmas” with an outfit worthy of an ugly Christmas Sweater party mere weeks later. Call me cheap. Call me creative. Call me lazy. I am what I am, and I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about a costume this year.

No drunken parties or harvest parties, no slutty/sexy/completely inappropriate anything. Instead, I’m a dog walker, a reader, and an underemployed 20-something. The most radical thing I’m doing tonight is going to the gym and then going to bed tonight without the faintest idea why this holiday is such a big deal to so many people.

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