I have always loved Halloween. My mother required all costumes be homemade so they were always rather shit but I didn’t let it stop me. I was oddly obsessed with the idea of becoming someone else.*
I can only think being PC was not a thing in the early eighties because while reflecting on my homemade costumes, I cringe and cannot imagine my parents encouraged much less PHOTOGRAPHED ME DRESSED IN SUCH ENSEMBLES. The incredibly tasteless getups were all due to my mother’s inherently cheap approach to what she considered frivolous spending on a ready made costume. Thanks, mom.
Here are a few that come to mind:
1- Doll- painted on cheeks in my Sunday church dress with a price tag tied round my wrist.
2- ‘Hobo’- with mismatched socks and sucking on fake cigar, carrying around an empty Scotch bottle and a bundle of clothing tied to a stick.
3- Old lady- wearing stuffed bra with boobs dragging to my hip bones, wrinkles drawn on my face and hunched over.
4- Miss Piggy- but not one that could be identified bc I had a pig nose but then just shoved extra clothes into my mom’s bra so I looked like a prostitute with a pig nose. Did I mention I made my own wig out of the crotch of old panty hose? (Again why the theme of enormous boobs?)
These costumes have no place in 2019. Slavery meets child trafficking just wouldn’t get the laughs and I think you’d find few people that think homelessness alcoholic children are sweet. Seven year old sex workers with pig prosthetics are the stuff of nightmares. Thank Christ the times have changed. I can honestly say that I don’t know a single person who doesn’t feel sick at the moronic antics of Justin Trudeau or Prince Harry and for that, I am grateful. Change is good.
As an adult I see Halloween as dividing holiday. Those who like any reason to dress up and those who hate fun.
I don’t mean to judge. Really I don’t. My husband is British so his feelings about Halloween are quite different from mine being an American. He hates everything about fancy dress because his parents were also rather useless with costume direction. He still nervously recounts cutting McDonald’s straws and sellotaping them to a pair of old skanky gardening gloves, putting on a bowler hat (not a trilby) and traipsing the streets of south London pretending to be Freddy Kruger. These are the crosses we bear. For the ten-(ish) years I lived in London, I found the Brits were still rather confused about the holiday and simply thought it was a morbid holiday imported from America and something that required gallons of fake blood.
I suggested to my friends in my baby group that I would host a Halloween party for the our nearly one year olds. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I got the cutest lamb costume for my son!
Friend: Oh, so are you going to cover the costume in fake blood?
Me: No. He is 10 months old and that would be an image I could never un-see.
Friend: Silence and a look of confusion.
My British husband was taught that Halloween is about ‘tricks’ and begging for candy from strangers which meant you were poor. My boys need only mention an idea of what they are thinking of dressing up as and the Amazon basket is full. I want them to love Halloween as I always have, even though it is rather surprising I don’t spend more time in therapy discussing my parental approved costumes of the eighties.
As an adult, you don’t have to be a slutty cat, BUT THIS IS YOUR ABSOLUTE RIGHT FOR ONE DAY OF THE YEAR TO BE ONE IF YOU SO DESIRE and no one should be given the authority to shame you for doing so. Just steer clear from the child trafficking…it is creepy.
How are you celebrating Halloween in Lux? Let me know if you hear of anything fun. My front porch light will be on and I will be ready to hand out candy to all the little beggars. Fear not, none of my eighties costumes will be recycled this year…or ever.
*It could be said that since I am now a mother of two young boys, on a rainy October Sunday in Luxembourg, I would prefer NOTHING MORE than to be ANYONE else.