Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not raisins again!

With Halloween approaching this weekend and my family's costumes all planned out, I've been thinking a little about how we dress up for Halloween, and what it indicates about us. Oh, no, it's not just an outfit—it's a personal statement. As I rode in on the 54 this morning, my own Halloween choices over the years surfaced, and I formed a few categories:
1) The well-thought-out, personality-based costume. Most of these are created with the help of a parent (usually your mom). These are extensions of our personality traits. I have been a mouse (a rather small percentage of my psyche), a tiger (again, small percentage), hippie (large portion, worn several times), a skeleton (a manifestation of my aspirational, skinny self) and a devil (not Exorcist-level, but saturated with the brat gene nonetheless). Not to sound too much like Freud, but look around at what the kids are wearing, and it may shed some light on their ongoing struggle between id, ego and superego. And hopefully, you won't see a costume relating to the Oedipus Complex.
2) The "faddish" costume. This may work for some, but usually, too many people are wearing the same thing (please see Sarah Palin, 2008). I tried this once, dressing up as "The Fonz." It was okay, but I saw about 17 other Fonzes traipsing around my neighborhood that evening. And shortly thereafter, the guy jumped the shark, rendering himself forever passé.
3) The lame, thrown-together, last minute costume. I've only used this method as an adult, and people's reactions are as lukewarm as the effort put forth in creating the look. One year, I bought a mullet wig and wore it with a rock station t-shirt. Nobody got it. The wig didn't look enough like a mullet, and I basically resembled a bank robber. Rocker guy costume thereby aborted.
Last year, I avoided any confusion about who I was by ironing the word, "Hamburglar," onto a white t-shirt. Still lame, though.
Many adults aren't so lazy about it, especially some of my co-workers, who spend hours becoming Dale Chihuly or Richard Simmons or Ugly Betty. In my opinion, however, nothing beats that slightly clueless four-year-old whom, after you open the front door, walks right into your house in search of the candy motherload. Those kids are hilarious, especially when their faces are too hot to wear that plastic Spiderman mask any longer, and the red and blue suit has to be slit in the back to accomodate the puffy jacket.

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