Mistaken Halloween Identity

At some point in my young human life my mom dressed me up for Halloween as a bunch of grapes. I remember being surprised to discover that I was not the only person to ever experience this necessity being the mother of ingenuity costume design.

Honestly, in hindsight and because I really can’t remember if it was at all awkward running around swathed in a cloud of green balloons, it’s one of my favorite costumes.

Not that I wore a lot of them over the years.

A lot of women experience “imposter syndrome” in their adult work life, but I’ve taken it to the next level I think in not wanting to masquerade as anyone but me in most aspects of life – including on Halloween.

But in all honesty, I’ve pretty much always assumed that for women after puberty all costumes must be slutty, and rebelled accordingly, mostly by not wearing them, but also when I did wear a costume, invariably I’d dress as a man.

There was the year I borrowed my dad’s fatigues (not the blood-stained ones) and boots. The bonus to this was that I could wear long underwear underneath. I was probably the warmest person walking around outside in a costume that October.

For my senior year and the class masquerade I decided to go as an old-timey reporter, complete with fedora and one of my dad’s suits from the 70s (that honestly fit me alarmingly well).

I still can’t fathom the rationale of wearing less clothes at the end of October than you’d normally wear in the middle of summer. It’s never made sense to me. Nor have I understood the “excuse” or opportunity to dress scandalously in the name of…what? Pretending to be someone you’re not? Or having the excuse to be someone you’re not?

I suppose it’s not surprising that a lot of women will seize the opportunity to be sexy under the guise of Halloween fun, but I suppose it’s almost a little sad then that in the heights of fantasy and imagination I sought the freedom and power of dressing up in my father’s clothes.

high school halloween

After all, if you’re never going to be a tough soldier, at least for a night you can look like one.

And maybe I was never going to be a hard-boiled reporter tackling the most important stories of the day, but I could dress like one for an evening.

That’s a lot of pressure to bring to a costume, isn’t it? Picking something to change the way people see you, or to become finally the self you wanted to be.

Makes me think maybe kids are really on to something with their costumes. Like the year I was a red crayon. I can’t tell you why I was a red crayon, and honestly, does there need to be a reason? I was a red crayon cause I could be (also maybe I’m a little addicted to costumes with hats, huh).

early halloween

Anyway, this Halloween maybe do yourself a little favor with your seasonal prep and think outside the box like a kid. Go as static cling, or a globe, or a dinosaur – and not a sexy one, just a rad one. (Ps, I’m not going to post a link to it here because ew, but I did find a sexy dinosaur costume after a terrifyingly brief google search. Sigh.)

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