I am a documented scaredy cat, but I still love Hallowe’en.
Not the vampires, blood and gore Hallowe’en that some prefer.
Rather, the pretending, dressing up, revert-to-childhood version that lets me carry on like I did when I was 11, when I spent weeks designing, building and painting my mailbox costume (complete with chute for candy).
Or, the year before, when I was a die:
In Canada, all Hallowe’en costumes have to fit over a snowsuit.
None of those wispy fairy/princess/superhero costumes for us, no sireee. The foolish (or newly immigrated from warm climates) among us might try for that kind of nonsense but they just end up shivering their way around the neighbourhood with frost coming out of their nostrils and goosebumps the size of the Rockies all over their fairy wings/tiaras/capes.
We are a hardy Hallowe’en bunch, us Canadians.
As an adult, each Hallowe’en season is just a big excuse for a whole lotta dancing. I am Dancing Queen. I am Boogie Nights. I am Disco Fever.
Or, you know, something from this century.
Hallowe’en is an excuse to dream up a costume that lets me play for a few weeks in advance of the big event, plotting and planning, building and dreaming, all with a goal of creating something fun, flowy, and breezy to wear as I groove the night away with some serious tra-la-la.
Yes, I am 44. No need to point that out.
I probably should have been a kindergarten teacher. Lots of tra-la-la opportunities there. Tra-la-la is practically a job requirement.
Not to mention, twirling. Love the twirling. Five year-olds don’t look at you strangely when you do it, either. They just join in, like we should have been twirling all along.
I love that about them.
Due to my bookish nature, I have often gravitated for past Hallowe’ens to children’s literary characters including:
Raggedy Ann: white skirt, top, apron, fun socks, wig, doilie. Presto-bongo: homemade costume!
Dorothy: white skirt, blouse, apron, pigtails, ruby slippers. Presto-bongo: homemade costume!
Pippi: white skirt, white top, pinafore, red wig, pigtail with coathangers, fun shoes. Presto-bongo: homemade costume!
You may be noticing a theme here.
Even though my costumes no longer have to fit over a snowsuit, I’ve never been a woman who does that whole sexy nurse/fairy/butterfly/witch/pirate wench thing that many women do. I don’t feel any such inclinations to harness my inner hottie, but rather, my inner 4-year-old. With a side dish of twirling and dancing with gleeful abandon.
Then, there’s the chocolate, of course. Yummy.
This year, I got slightly more ambitious in the costume department.
There was architecture involved.
First, I got a top hat.
Practical Man generously donated several pounds of bubble wrap he had stored away for practical occasions such as this.
We recycled the corrugated presentation board from a Career Jeopardy game we had made for my work back in 1999, and cut it out in the shape of a doughnut.
But this isn’t a doughnut costume (although I’m sure if I could have managed to convert a white skirt and an apron into a doughnut, I would have tried).
I built up the presentation-board-formerly-known-as-Career-Jeopardy-game with tons and tons of the bubble wrap and packing tape. I stuck a lot of packing tape to my other fingers, the floor and my hair along the way. I may have cut my finger slightly with the scissors.
All is fair in Hallowe’en costume creation.
I cut clear plastic garbage bags into strips and strips and strips (mostly wiggly, because I hate measuring and plus, it’s more realistic, and have you already forgotten that I hate measuring?)
I cut ribbons and iridescent tulle.
Practical Man cut long strips from an old pool solar cover (he measured, of course. His strips are very straight.) He also strung some foam balls on fishing line (also measured precisely for varying lengths and distances).
Then, work began on the accessorizing.
First, the finger and toenails became party blue:
We still have 80 feet of solar blanket left from the pool, so I fashioned a little clutch.
It’s important that my costume have a place to put my lipstick.
Ta da! I think it’s practically like Dolce and Gabbana, don’t you think?
Then, I donned a white long-sleeved t-shirt, white skirt (we’re back to my usual antics) and an iridescent blue skirt that was in my Tickle Trunk. I pulled it up to my chest so it covered more of my body.
It looked swishy and sparkly. Perfect for twirling, if I do say so myself.
My friend Pippi (not her real name) thought I was…
I have forgiven her because by the time she was beholding my magnificence, she had already consumed half a bottle of white wine so it was hard for her to remember the correct word for my epic costume:
JELLYFISH, of course!
Rockin’ the jelly.
I’m a fresh water, Lake Ontario jellyfish. Hee hee.
Glow sticks from the local dollar store added just before dance time made it glowwwwwww.
Next time, I’ll use more, but still….
I love Hallowe’en.