Marilyn Monroe, Edith Piaf, Hilary Clinton, Cleopatra, Madonna, Honey West with a removable mole… a plaid kilted field hockey player, Isadora Duncan with a scarf I knit that wrapped around my neck 3 times and almost strangled me on the dance floor….these are just of a few of my memorable Halloween costumes. I never say no to a costume party. The fantasies that play out when costumes are involved are worth the price of admission — usually.
Maybe because I fell in love with Gary when bobbing for apples in my Tina Turner outfit in 10th grade and made out with Michael in my Nancy Sinatra white boots and mini skirt the next year. These moments are indelible. Maybe because I loved dressing in angel wings in the Christmas play in grammar school (I was the only jewish kid in my class and I really loved that Christmas play). I graduated to the real plays in high school and lived for the costume room dressing for a Dorothy Parker train in my tailored honeymoon suit, wearing rags as a homeless child living on the train tracks in a Tennessee Williams play and to the ever proper Emily Webb in Our Town. I loved being on stage and particularly loved the musty smell of the costume room.
My December birthday parties were in my Nana’s closet when I was allowed to try on all her magical outfits from the roaring 20’s and beyond with my 2 best girlfriends. Truly that was the best birthday party and it was a coveted invite of my besties Debby and Ellen. We donned the poodle skirts and mink wraps, felt hats lined with silk and elegant walking sticks and acted out all kinds of stories.
So yes, I love Halloween and the permission it gives us to play, not necessarily by the rules. Permission to step out of character. Permission to rifle through our kids (grand kids) pillow cases stuffed with candy and squirrel away our favorites. Permission to gorge on Kit Kat bars and Snickers as a late night snack once the Red Velvet mystery cake is barely digested.
Yes, that’s Halloween. It’s got the right kind of mask, the fun mask, the one we are happy to put on which brings out our silliness versus our fears.
Happy Halloween everyone. What are you dressing up as?