Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Halloween Costumes

Just read the always brilliantly hilarious blog of Maureen Johnson and saw her latest post about her worst Halloween costume. So that got me thinking about Halloween... Love, love, love the candy. That's a given. But I think Halloween is hands-down the most stressful holiday out there -- even including Valentine's Day! Every October, I used to obsess over what to be for Halloween. You wanted something clever and cool and, most importantly, not totally humiliating. In my house, this was complicated by the fact that we had a strict no store-bought costumes rule. Whatever we chose to be, the costume had to be homemade. Here are my best and worst choices:

Best Costume: Pink monkey. When I was five, I decided that I wanted to be a pink monkey for Halloween. Not a ghost, not a princess, not a regular monkey, but a PINK monkey. How my little mind conjured this utterly random idea, I do not know. But I insisted, so my mom made me a pastel pink monkey outfit. (Thank you, Mom!) I'm sure I got a few strange looks from the neighbors, but I loved that costume, and I wore it with panache. And you can bet that I was the cutest little pink monkey those people had ever seen!

Worst Costume: Robot. And I'm not talking a cool robot -- I cut head and arm holes out of an enormous cardboard box and decorated it with buttons and squiggles. What was I thinking? This was maybe 4th or 5th grade, and it was the first year that I got to go trick-or-treating with the older kids from down the street rather than my parents. These kids were the ones carrying pillowcases as their trick-or-treat bags. (To explain: if you carried a pillowcase, that meant you were allowed to stay out late enough to visit enough houses to score enough candy to fill a pillowcase. I carried a small plastic pumpkin.) These kids oozed cool. And I show up wearing a giant cardboard box. It gets better. The older kids decided that in order to pick up the candy-acquiring pace, we should walk through the woods from house to house instead of walking on the street. Picture me: giant cardboard box, attempting to walk through the woods at night... I couldn't see my feet to watch for brambles. I was much too wide to fit between the trees. Not a pretty sight. Not a pretty sight at all. But you can bet that I was the cutest little... No, this time I just looked like a big dork...

Best & Worst Costume: Wonder Woman. One year, maybe 2nd or 3rd grade, my mom made me an awesome Wonder Woman costume. It even included the gold bullet-proof bracelets. Snazzy. Unfortunately, we lived in Massachusetts. October 31st in Massachusetts is always the coldest day of the year. You might think the coldest day would be in January or February, but no, it's always Halloween. And it's always 70 degrees out on October 30th. In fact, the temperature doesn't actually plunge until precisely 4pm on October 31st. So my Wonder Woman costume may indeed have been my best costume ever, but no one ever saw it. It was completely covered by the enormous full-body parka that my mother insisted I wear. That year, I was girl-in-coat on the outside, but I was a superhero in my heart.

Anyway, those are my Halloween stories. Please tell me about yours. And take a look at Maureen's costume post. After you're done laughing yourself silly, check out Maureen's awesome new book: DEVILISH. I loved this book. It's her best yet. A wonderfully funny story about high school, cupcakes, and selling your soul.

7 Comments:

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah:

[ In fact, the temperature doesn't actually plunge until precisely 4pm on October 31st.]

LOL! It's exactly the same here in Montana. It was 6 this year, and I was dragging my princess-in-a-coat around.

I'm enjoying your blog, and looking forward to your book. I've always loved fairy tales, and even got to take a fairy tales class in college!

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Thanks for visiting, Susan. And thanks so much for your kind words about my blog and book.

Brrrr... 6 degrees! Even Massachusetts doesn't get that cold for Halloween. Hope your little princess still enjoyed being a princess underneath her winter coat!

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Rick said...

So, about a month before Halloween, T tells me he wants to be a scarecrow. Sounds hallo-licious to me, scarecrow it is.

Fast forward (or flashback at this point) to ten days before the big night. Set lights, ready, cue toddler, and ACTION!

Me: "We have to get working on that Halloween custome."

T: "I want to dress up as a nerve."

Me: "I thought you wanted to be a scarecrow?"

T: "I want to be a NERVE!" (accompanied by much prancing and celebrating in all that is good and right about our bodies cells)

Me: "oooookay."

I don't know if this will qualify for a best or worst when all is said and done, but he WAS a nerve. Yeah.

 
At 12:43 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Hi, Rick! So nice to see you on my blog. And soooo cute about T. Wish I could have seen him!

 
At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was a flamingo one. that was in first grade. i am now in 7th and the thing still fits me! crazy, i know but it does! the best costume i have evr heard of(i never got to see it) was my freind flying monkey costum.
-maxine lane

 
At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was a flamingo one. that was in first grade. i am now in 7th and the thing still fits me! crazy, i know but it does! the best costume i have evr heard of(i never got to see it) was my freind flying monkey costum.
-maxine lane

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Maxine: A flamingo is a GREAT costume. Flying monkey is also excellent. Must remember these...

 

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