Back in the Halloween Saddle

When your breakfast is a coffee and a fun size 100 Grand bar, you know A. it’s Halloween, or B. you’re in for trouble, and by trouble I mean sweaty sugar shock. In my case, it’s both.

I love Halloween, even though I haven’t done much to celebrate it over the past few years. As I’d just finished my final round of chemo last October, my look was probably a little TOO scary for most sensibilities. And in the years prior, my husband and I ran into some bad luck with trick-or-treaters; namely, parents going in for a grab at the candy bowl after their kids had already indulged, and after-hours solicitations from surly, uncostumed teenagers.

Last night, I decided it’s time we got back in the game. I have a basket full of the good stuff (the aforementioned 100 Grands, along with Snickers, 3 Musketeers, and some Peppermint Patties thrown in, just to keep it interesting). Now, all I need is a costume.

When I first celebrated Halloween, I wore the traditional costume-in-a-box; the mask and accompanying plastic tie-back onesie, both made of a plastic that smelled flammable. By about fourth grade, I’d had my fill of toxins, so I decided to assemble my own costumes from then on. This would have been fine, if not for the fact that my mother insisted I wear a full suit of long underwear beneath any ensemble; this faded, pilly, baggy, saggy, waffle-knit underwear was always too big on me (another hand-me-down, no doubt). So no matter what costume I devised, the concept was lost on my audience.

I went as a cheerleader. I was mistaken for: a hobo.

I went as a pirate. I was mistaken for: a hobo.

I went as a tube of toothpaste (cleverly wearing a white pleated lampshade on my head). I was mistaken for: a hobo. Or, by a more literal-minded few, a lamp.

Talk about being a misunderstood artist. And even back in those pre-PC days, I never would have found humor in dressing, in essence, like a homeless person, which made the experience ever MORE frustrating.

I was sour on Halloween for years, and didn’t rekindle my love for it until college, when I was old enough to not only choose what costume I’d wear, but also what I would (and wouldn’t) wear beneath it. When I finally had that creative freedom (and let’s be honest, FREEDOM in general), the real fun began.

Speaking of fun, Scott Magoon and I will be appearing at the Blue Bunny in Dedham on Saturday, November 5. We’ll be reading and signing our books, AND we have a craft planned for the kids. A sweet way to spend a Saturday — and no candy, we promise!

So, what are you doing for Halloween this year? Got any last-minute costume ideas for me? And, most important, did you eat any candy for breakfast today?

Image from The Graphics Fairy.

2 thoughts on “Back in the Halloween Saddle

  1. I was thinking this morning about how we used to dress as a hoboes, particularly in middle school. It was hoboes or gypsies, whatever you could raid from Dad’s or Mom’s closet.

    I realized that by dressing as a hobo, you are dressing as a homeless person.

    I don’t think that’s PC anymore.

    Glad this October is bringing you good health–may all your trick-or-treaters be adorable and may there be just enough leftover candy.

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