As I write this it is the eve of All Hollow's Eve. I am dressing up tomorrow night for the first time in at least four years. Pippi Longstocking. A character I have wanted to be for Halloween for so long...but my hair has never been long enough. The last time I dressed up I don't think I was anything specific, I just put on a vintage dress and went to a party. funny. The year before that I was Rosie the Riveter, that was a good one.
This past Friday, my friend, Britta & I walked through the Warehouse District downtown (To you non Minneapolitans, this is where all the meat market bars are, think Pioneer Square in Seattle). We sifted through hundreds (okay, well not hundreds, but a lot) of women in leotards & corset type tops masked as a bunny or an elf or in one really bizarre instance, a Firefighter. We laughed and had a really nice discussion of the Pretty Factor on Halloween and how as a woman, there can be a tendency to only be something that you can be pretty and sparkly and show off your legs & cleavage.
Well, Pippi did none of that & my version of her won't either.
Growing up, the eve of Halloween was always a night of trying on the costume over and over. Or my mother staying up til the wee hours of the morning finishing hems and making final touches on the costume. She always made the most amazing, detailed & intricate costumes: E.T., Tweety Bird, Princess, Can Can Dancer, Flapper...oh the list goes on and on. And Halloween night, after trick or treating, we would dump our pillow cases of candy on the living room floor and sort, then trade, then gorge. The last to be eaten were always Jolly Ranchers and those funny taffy carmel things that were wrapped in orange or black wax paper. Those were no good. I distinctly remember my 8th grade halloween spent at home, alone, watching the Beverly Hills 90210 Halloween special and handing out candy. It was the first year I wanted to hand out candy and I did just that, happily to all the other kids in my neighborhood.
In junior high I had a Social Studies teacher, Mr. Dentz, who gave a fantastic lecture on Halloween. He talked about it's origins & how it evolved into what it is today. I remember the jist, but the details are vague. I do very clearly remember him walking across our classroom saying, "The Earth is Decaying! Winter is upon us! This marks the beginning of the end of the Harvest!" He had waist length hair he typically kept pulled back in a pony tail, but on this day it was down and it seemed to sway all over as marched in front of us. I think of him every Halloween and through out Autumn with this image in mind.
My first year of college I was naively shocked that people would go out and party on Halloween night as it was a Wednesday and we had classes the next morning. I remember Kajsa & Shelly, two other women in my dorm, in front of our dorm drunk and smoking at 10 or so Halloween night. They were dressed as crayons (not in leotards) & couldn't believe I wasn't going out. I hadn't thought of it. Honestly. The rest of my college Halloweens were definately passed at Parties. I was a cowgirl one year and I remember my college boyfriend & I dressing up as Old People another year. I threw on a housedress and knee high nude nylons and we put baby powder in our hair. That same year I remember a specific foursome (or maybe fivesome) dressing up as a cult of our classmate, Louis. They all wore black, I think & had name tags: Lois, Louise, Lou, maybe Lola...I can't remember the rest, but it was hiliarious & I am laughing about it as I write this. So funny. Louis and his lady (now wife) were Agents Mulder and Scully that year. I am marveling at my memory and how it just spits things at me as I reminisce.
College Halloweens typically entailed a lot of drinking. One year, I think my Sophomore year, 3 friends of mine shared a big botle of Jack Daniels and they all got very drunk but had three very different outcomes. One ended his night laughing hysterically at a party and the entire walk home. Another ended her night throwing up at the same party and through out the same walk home. The third never made it to the party. He passed out early but not before entertaining us with some amazing antics on the dining room floor. Ah, college.
What will this Halloween bring me? A night of waiting tables in costume and maybe a cocktail if I'm lucky. I'm sure it won't hold a candle to those in the past but will probably be alot livlier than the last few. I'll let you know. Enjoy your Halloween, dress up, have fun & most importantly, be safe.