The Prompt: Tell us about your favourite Halloween costume from childhood.
I can only remember 3.
When I was just in school, my parents bought me a store made Super Girl costume. The type in a cardboard box with a pieve of cellophane through which you could see the mask. It was blond, sculpted perfection to my little eyes. I was heartsick because my newly earned eyeglasses ruined the effect, but when I put on the plastic cape … I felt like the luckiest little girl in the world.
A few years later, my father designed a witch costume. He sewed black fabric, painted a big brimmed hat black and used theatrical makeup to paint my face green and created a wand using a slim flashlight from his worksite as glowsticks were not around. I was a big hit and scared the very little kids. Even wearing my glasses didn’t bother me. And I was able to wear a coat under the costume.
The next year, my father built me a MAC machine (remember MAC preATM days?). I had slots and buttons and he even rigged up some lights with a battery pack. My glasses weren’t the least bit of a concern because I was inside a box. The only problem is people kept putting treats into the deposit slot instead of my bag so he had to run home to get the staple gun, then staple my pillowcase to the inside of the costume and hope my mother didn’t find out. It was a very cool costume and special to me that my Dad made it, but I do remember feeling invisible and because I couldn’t see much of the other kids, like I was missing something.
I think those are the only three years I had costumes. There was no money and my mother was too ill to make one so I would volunteer to take the really little kids around and just happen to bring a bag with me. The neighbors knew so they gave me candy. Perhaps I did have other costumes and simply don’t remember. The 1980’s were a hard time. I didn’t grow up to be Supergirl or have a magic wand or certainly not a repository for lots of money.
Of course, I rejoiced that my father made costumes for me, but I remember even at that tender age being so self-conscious about my appearance, my huge 1976 style eye glasses and my clothes. I liked being able to hide all of that, but eventually the fire whistle blew and it was time to go home and get back to everyday life.
If you asked me to select a costume now – money no object – I would have no idea. There aren’t many costumes for girls with glasses, even grown girls. And I’ve had enough of being in boxes (and closets) thank you. I think I’d choose to sit on the curb and enjoy being able to see everyone else’s costumes and finery and interacting with the trick-or-treaters.