I’ll state right now, for the record, that I was never a fan of pre-made costumes and gave my parents plenty of anxiety on more holidays than just Halloween. Growing up with more imagination than common sense, I chose each Halloween costume as carefully as one chooses a new car. It needed all the right features, whatever those may have been at the time.
The only problem was, I had a hard time showing off my new “car,” because most people had no clue what model I was wearing.
It began with Peter Pan, who was mistaken 99% of the time for Robin Hood. Then came my papier mâché dragon costume, which well-meaning candy purveyors mistook for a crocodile, despite the cardboard cut-out flames issuing menacingly from my dragon’s mouth.
I got kind of tired of correcting people over and over, but did I learn my lesson? Of course not! In following years, I dressed up as a scorpion (spider?), a haunted tree (log?), a can of Lysol (what are you?). Yes, folks, even having “LYSOL” emblazoned across my chest and a hat that sprayed air freshener, was not clear enough.
It was in high school, shortly after losing a costume contest to a popular girl wearing a boxer’s robe and short shorts (I was Rich Uncle Pennybags, the Monopoly guy), I called it quits for a while and simply started staying in on Halloween or going out as myself. In black, maybe. Actually, I got a fair number of screams when I went into a haunted house as myself, but that’s neither here nor there.
When I finished college and moved into the workplace, I experienced a radical change of perspective. Actually, I dressed as a Radical Change of Perspective, having concluded “To heck with it.” I put on a black shirt that said “Radical.” On top of that shirt, I taped a slew of paper coins. Then I made an elaborate poster board cut-out of a vanishing point, fully equipped with trees of gradually shrinking size leading to “Radical.”
One person actually got it. I was very impressed.
The point here is, costumes are really expensive. Should that get in the way of having a spooktacular celebration of Halloween? Absolutely not. Should the pre-conceived notions of others determine how you should dress on Halloween? Ha ha ha ha! On Halloween, as in regular life, if you want to be something special, or a little out-there, be it. Sometimes the trick is the treat.