Halloween is one of the few major holidays that does not necessitate gift giving, family stress (Although it is my stepmother’s birthday. Irony?), or a trip to church. It is a holiday of pretending that you are someone or something else for a few hours. It can lead to debauchery or chocolate fueled silliness.
I love Halloween, but in the past few years it has morphed into the fall equivalent of Valentine’s Day for me. I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Unfortunately, my Halloween besties now reside hours away on opposite coasts. My current circle of geographically convenient friends are not really Halloween enthusiasts. They don’t throw Halloween parties themselves, or spend hours agonizing over costume details, but they do get invited to Halloween parties by their next tier of friends. Because I don’t know the next tier of friends, it’s not really kosher to ask to be dragged along even though I love playing dress up. So much like Valentines when I’m stuck looking on as all those involved in a couple post their lovey dovey tidbits and photos of the flowers they received, I’m stuck scrolling through the Halloween postings of those cool enough to get invited somewhere where they can legitimately wear a costume without being questioned.
The sugar to me swallowing my bitter pill is that, with a few exceptions, their costumes just don’t follow the rules. Many resort to the pre-packaged plastic fabrications that run along the same design lines as the “Slutty (fill in the blank here with whatever you want to see a slutty version of).” While I’m not opposed to the occasional slut, I am saddened at the lack of ingenuity. Similarly, my Central Ohio locale seems to promote people simply donning OSU jerseys and announcing, “I’m a Buckeye Fan.”
No, you are lame.
If you really want to be a Buckeye Fan, get a fan of some sort, your glue gun and go to town with some found or crafted Buckeye fruits. Then you can come to my party…if I ever threw one. If you can’t put together a costume with what’s in your house, a trip to the Dollar Store or thrift store, some glitter, glue and imagination then the Great Pumpkin will probably never show up for you. My childhood costumes were never purchased, but were pulled together with some face paint whatever was on hand. That’s my overall rule on costume creation and the reason why I own these handcrafted items: a bejeweled bra made from Christmas decorations (Bellydancer), a glittery meat cleaver headband (June Cleaver- see my “About” page), a velvet dress with leaves sewn all over it (Woodland Fairy) and a fish purse made from a fish pillow and a purple and green re-purposed prom dress tail (Mermaid). These all reside in crates in my closet so I am ready to go at a moment’s notice. Sure, I’ve wandered into a Halloween Express or two over the years, but it’s generally for a supplemental item; fake plastic meat cleavers are hard o find elsewhere.
The Halloween gods smiled upon us when they directed the universe to put my college roommate and I together freshman year at Ohio University. First, we would attend the Best Damn Halloween Party In The Land together for the next four years. Secondly, her craftsmanship with a glue gun and costume rules surpassed mine.
The Rules According to Jill. Costumes must be:
3. Scary or gory
4. Sexy (Note: may be slutty but not pre-packaged sluttiness)
The unwritten rule is that this combination doesn’t come already made. You have to assemble it and manipulate the components. It’s also incredibly tough to meet all four requirements. At best, we can usually achieve 3 of the 4, at worst only half.
Regardless, given the opportunity to live for a night as a cat; pirate; fallen trapeze artist; mermaid; Care Bear; bellydancer; fairy – woodland or meth, don’t ask; Cheshire cat; or Hooka smokin’ caterpillar we will seize the chance with creativity and enthusiasm.