The earliest record of me dressing up for Halloween is a picture of me as a fat one year old. I’m either a witch or a pumpkin. Or both. I’m wearing an orange onesie with a pumpkin face on it, but I’m also wearing a long black wig. And a hat with a pumpkin on it.
In first grade I was a mummy. This was one of my few costumes that wasn’t handmade by mom. I know it wasn’t handmade because it didn’t have individual wraps. I had a poncho thing that had a print of bandages on it, with snakes crawling in and out of the bandages. Also, my face was painted white, because I guess mummies had really, really white faces. And bent glasses with paint accidentally smeared on the lenses.
The next year I was perhaps the least terrifying bat of all time. Black sweatsuit, hat with bat ears, black facepaint. There is an old picture of me sitting cross-legged in this costume, yelling at the camera, as bats do, I suppose. The camerawork is remarkably steady, not blurred at all, so I can only assume that I failed to frighten. And I was wearing bent glasses.
The next year I was a spider. A black widow! Because as you know, they’re super-poisonous and super-terrifying. My mom sewed me into a black spider’s body that she made. When I lifted my own arms, there were three other pairs of arms that waved and menaced. I had a black beanie on top of my head, with googly eyes sewn on. Unfortunately, I also had a red hourglass on my belly. I had no idea that only the females have that marking. Neither did my mom, apparently.
Then: Alien! A three-headed alien, to be precise. This was my favorite costume ever. A couple of my handy uncles pitched in. Now that I look at the photo, the spider body, red symbol and all, got re-purposed for this, but it’s still pretty good. Under the black body I wore football shoulder pads. My mom made two papier-mache heads, one for each shoulder, each appropriately alien. My own face was painted gray. My glasses in the picture have gray paint all over them.
Next: grim reaper something or other.
Next: a nerd. Pocket protector, high pants, glasses (!), finger up nose, etc. I doubt it was half as hilarious as I thought it was.
And then I hit Junior High and I don’t have any memories of dressing up. In High School I was a huge Nirvana fan. I went to a dance once as Kurt Cobain. My date was Courtney Love, but was actually way too hot to be Courtney. True story.
As an adult, I don’t think I’ve ever dressed up, but this year I’m thinking it might finally be time for a tall slutty nurse on the reference desk.
How about you? Are you dressing up? What’s the best costume you ever wore?