My kids are continually coming up with Hallowe'en costume ideas. And I do mean continually. I never thought I'd be participating (however unwillingly) in serious Hallowe'en costume brainstorms more than once in the month of April, for example. The list of possibilities is long and growing everyday. I cannot sew and I can barely tape straight so we are limited in what we can hobble together from the dress up box, second hand store and the grocery store. The possible contenders include: a lamp (a persistent contender), a drain pipe (what is that white tube hanging off the side of the house?), followed by a suggestion that I also be a drain pipe and then we could drain into each other (fun!), a witch's cat (with the proviso that I also be the witch), a scary faced ghost, a vampire, a happy ghost, a spooky ghost, spiderman(again), tiger (again),a spider.
Even as a young adult who was free to attend boozy dress up parties I had a hard time getting into it. I loved dressing up to be in plays but I 've always had a harder time mentally pulling off dressing up for Hallowe'en. For me, there is a disconnect at Hallowe'en. There is less requirement to actually be a character and more emphasis on the costume itself. Each and every year I make a limited, rather pathetic effort at dressing up. When my kids were babies, it was enough to show up toting him or her looking adorable as a pumpkin. At that time, in my winter jacket, my costume was "mom of an adorable pumpkin". Increasingly, I notice my son's costume ideas involve more than one person, namely me.
Why am I so resistant? I have a feeling that most costumes and situations I find myself in require half-assed disguises. I cannot come to work as a full fledged, anonymous vampire. I feel like if people can recognize me, it is hardly worth the effort. When I was in theatre, I relished being unrecognizable. I guess the answer is that I need a character to hide behind to make it fun for me. I need a disguise and a masked ball to wear it to to make the hiding behind a mask to feel worth it. In the meantime, I am going to fully enjoy the exploration of all the possibilities through the eyes of my kids.