Okay. I admit it. I’m a Halloween curmudgeon. I just don’t get this day. It’s an outdoor event, in late October, when it’s invariably rainy, dark, and cold, primarily revolving around scaring the crap out of sugar-crazed herds of costumed tater tots, while simultaneously encouraging them to approach total strangers for candy (subsequently undoing years of stern lessons about “stranger danger”).
45 minutes into nonstop ringing of our doorbell, accompanied by shouts of “TRICK OR TREAT!” from shivering, masked children holding up pillowcases, demanding copious amounts of candy in exchange for not throwing food products at your house while you sleep, our two Chihuahuas will begin what invariably become a six-hour barking frenzy, ultimately necessitating doggy downers for either them or us. God help you if you run out of candy. Those sweet-faced little ladybugs get pissed. (And what’s up with the teenagers? Drive up to your house, dressed like killer zombies in low-rider, oversized jeans and black hoodies, trick-or-treating?? Screw that. They’re casing the place.)
My greatest Halloween phobia is The Costume Party. The mere invitation sends my ADHD/OCD, Virgo Perfectionist, Overachieving Middle-Child Syndrome neuroses colliding at warp speed over WHAT TO BE, until they eventually explode into a wine-chugging night of “For God’s sake, woman, it’s a costume. Just PICK ONE.”
This year, I decided to get over my anxieties and try to make it fun. I poured a glass of wine and headed to down the hall to Google “Most Popular Halloween Costumes” for ideas. Welcome to Hell. One look and I headed back to the kitchen for the rest of the bottle, returning to my office and settling in, determined to find something…anything I’d risk wearing in public if there was even a possibility of running into an old boyfriend.
List of Top Choices from Google:
1. Sexy Witch. Who am I kidding? I’m a decade (fine…three decades) past black fishnets, stilettos, and pointy hats. There’s a name for 58-year-olds that dress like that outside the bedroom, and it’s not “hot.”
2. Porky Pig. An oversized, pink fleece onsie, with a snout and eight plastic “teets.” Yeah, no. After years of struggling with literally being the “bigger sister,” I’ll be damned if I’m going to wear anything resembling a pink sleeping bag or that includes the word “porky” in the description. Ever.
3. Toga. Not since the great Tri-Delt toga party debacle during my sorority years in 1978. Don’t ask.
4. Naughty Nurse. By 50+, this can be a little creepy and too suggestive of “Just happened to have this in my closet, right sweetie? (wink, wink).” Great idea until you run into your parents, your children (of any age), or your minister.
5. Catholic School Girl. See #4. Then imagine a short, plaid skirt and white knee-highs on a 58-year-old woman. Or don’t. Some things can’t be unseen.
6. Fairy Princess. What am I? Like, 9? Besides, glitter on a middle-aged face settles into the lines, and sparkling, sagging cleavage is just sad.
7. Wonder Woman. Oh hell, no. If I won’t wear a belted, sequined bustier with black panty-shorts and knee-high boots for Hubs (who’s asked repeatedly), I’m certainly not going to wear them for the neighbors (who have, not surprisingly, never asked. Not even once).
8. Miley Cyrus. Yeah, there’s an idea. Dress up like a coked-out, wanna be rock star, with too much makeup, too little clothing, and zero sexual boundaries, who’s primary claim to recent fame is the development of a new household word. And if you have to ask your children what “twerking” means, you’re too old for this outfit, period.
9. Gogo Girl. This worked for Twiggy and Goldie Hawn in the early 70s. They were tall, anorexic, and 12. I’m 5’3″, curvy, and well, you get the idea. Besides, I grew up with “No white after Labor Day.” Old habits are hard to break.
9. Mad Men Retro. This one requires all-night chain smoking, 5″ heels, and skirts you can’t sit down in. I don’t smoke, I have Parkinson’s-induced balance issues, and wearing Spanx while snarfing down bowlfuls of candy is just stupid.
10. Jeannie (as in, “I Dream Of”). Oh, swell. Sheer, low-rise harem pants, with a sleeveless, see-through cropped top. This ensemble hides nothing. Boobs resemble wet sock puppets? Post-childbearing belly? A little chubbier than you were in, say, preschool? Put this outfit down and run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.
This was going to be tougher than I thought.
I finished my wine (yes, all of it), and decided to go as a 58-year-old writer, in bunny slippers, an oversized t-shirt, and Pajama Pants, who desperately needs to get off her computer and get to a gym, if for no other reason than to see daylight and real, live people, before friends and family succumb to rumors of her untimely demise and begin to send condolence cards.
No need to buy anything new. And I can take my laptop with me.
I could learn to like this holiday.