The ghosts of costumes past

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In honor of yesterday's holiday, Wendy over at Pound shared recollections of some of her past Halloween costumes. I had so much fun reading them, I decided to write my own. Years are approximated to the best of my recollection:

1985, Care Bear: I was the red Care Bear with the hearts on its belly (Tenderheart Bear, Google tells me). My mom made the costume out of footsie pajamas. I believe there was a headpiece involved as well. My brother, who was about six months old, was another Care Bear, as was my cousin Jessie, who was around 4. I think Jessie was Grumpy Bear. She was pretty cranky at that age. I saw some Care Bear costumes for kids when I was at Target the other day, and my mom's were vastly superior.

1986, Minnie Mouse: Another mom-made costume, this one included a polka dot skirt with matching suspenders, which I wore to school for the next year. I was so not a cool kid.

1988, The Secret Garden: This was probably my mom's most impressive costume for me (though the ones she's made for herself over the years have been even better). She used some kind of big box and drew the cover of the book (the old skool cover, as shown) on it, coloring it all in with pastels. Then I dressed in a green leotard and tights underneath, with my hair up in a top ponytail and sprayed green (I was the bookmark, see). It was a great costume. Massively uncomfortable, though, so I spent most of the night running around in just the bookmark part, and people thought I was supposed to be a blade of grass.

1990, pirate: At this point, it became uncool for my mom to make my costumes, and so I began making them myself. All I remember about this pirate costume was that included an eyepatch, a sword, and spandex. What made think pirates=spandex, I cannot tell you. The most memorable thing about this Halloween was my acquaintance, Jenny, who dressed as a Playboy bunny. Who the hell lets their 11 year-old dress as a Playboy fucking bunny?

1994, Nicole Simpson: Of all of my Halloween costumes, this is the most horrifying one. A few months after her murder, I actually dressed up as Nicole Simpson. I have no excuse for this, other than that I was 15 and I sucked.

1997, devil: My first year in college I dressed as a devil. Not a particularly enlightened costume, except that it was based on a my freshman prom dress, which was a wide-skirted knee-length red number with a halter top, and was the perfect basis for a devil costume. I also had just bleached my hair platinum for the first time, so the effect was kind of frightening.

1998, showgirl: Again, not a particularly enlightnened costume. However, I was mostly just an accessory anyway, as Simon (the ex-boyfriend who bears a striking resemblance to Johnny Depp) dressed as the Las Vegas-era Hunter S. Thompson that Johnny Depp portayed in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. My costume was mediocre, but his was truly great. Also, my showgirlness was accented by the fact that I was at that time sporting inches long magenta hair.

1999, Medusa: This was my best college Halloween costume. I got these really cool shiny colored stretchy rubber snakes from The Discover Store and made a wig out of them. I don't remember what else I wore, but man that wig was cool.

2001, Vince Neil: I believe this was the last time I dressed up for Halloween. Perhaps the experience was so traumatizing that I'll never dress up again? My roommates, Natalie and Jenny, and I, as well as Mark, were heavily under the influence of the Motley Crue biography, The Dirt, and decided to dress up as Motley Crue for our Halloween party. Being, at that time, blonde, I was Vince Neil. My costume included a leather vest with no shirt underneath it. Vince Neil does not have breasts. I do. it was an ill-advised costume choice.

I need to start dressing up for Halloween again, though, because I really love costumes. I think I get it from my mom. Her costumes are something to be reckoned with. My mom and her three sisters, as well as her mother, generally dress up together for Halloween. One year, my mom and her sisters with the four queens from a pack of playing cards (my super-artistic mom made sandwich boards with card front and backs on them, then they dressed in all black or all red and wore Burger King crowns) and my grandmother was the joker. Another year, they did the Wizard of Oz. Mom's sister Joan was Dorothy, because she had red shoes; Pam was the scarecrow, Lisa was the lion, and mom was the tin man (she spray painted all of her clothes silver and had a funnel on her head, as I recall). Grandma was the wizard. Another year, Pam was Cinderella and the other sisters were evil stepsisters, with grandma as the fairy godmother.

And mom gets it from her mom. Besides being involved in all of the costume schemes above, my grandmother ALWAYS dresses up. She has a clown costume and a Mrs. Claus costume she pulls out for some occaisons, but when I was a kid, she used to dress up as Uncle Remus, complete with black face. Horrible, I know, but if you knew my grandmother, you'd see that she meant it in the best possible way. And, blessedly, she had stopped before I was old enough to figure out what the problem with it was.

So I come from a long line of costumed women. I have to remember that next year.


I think my mom and your mom would have gotten together and opened a shop if they knew each other. I also went as Minnie Mouse one year, the Sea, and the Statue of Liberty.

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