by Maria Schulz
Yes, folks, Halloween is almost here! This is really good news, since most of you are probably tired of Halloween posts from me. However, I can’t let this holiday pass by without a post about this year’s best costumes and my own tortured Halloween-costume-past.
This year’s top Halloween trends include:
- Miley Cyrus “twerking” it at the VMAs
- The characters from Breaking Bad
- Duck Dynasty
- That fox from the YouTube video
- The Minions from Despicable Me
For those of you who don’t know who “the fox” is or the very important things he has to say, check out this YouTube sensation:
The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)
Here’s more on the Top Halloween Costume Trends for 2013:
According to some reports, we’re going “old school” and traditional costumes are actually in this Halloween. Folks will be sporting such costumes as:
- The Great Gatsby (Flappers & The Roaring 20s)
Here’s a list of these trends for adults, kids, and even pets from The National Retail Federation:
I’m happy to see that costumes are still going strong, even though it’s been awhile since I wore one. I have loved dressing up since I was a little kid. Sometimes, though, the costume caused more trouble than it was worth.
The first time I can remember a Halloween costume driving me crazy, I was only 5 years old. I begged my mother to buy me a store bought costume. Oh, but not just any costume would do: I had to have one with a plastic mask too. You know the one I’m talking about: the kind with the eye slits in them and the little holes for your nose, as well as your mouth.
As anyone who ever tried to go trick-or-treating with one of those olden days plastic masks can tell you, the minute you put one of them on, you found yourself in a strange, Halloween-inspired nether world. In this strange place, you could only hear yourself panting hard and feel your skin broiling slowly. If everyone you were trick-or-treating with learned that the house four doors down had Almond Joys and full sized Hershey Bars, you would be out of luck since you:
1) Couldn’t see where everyone else was heading because the eye slits in your mask made peripheral vision completely impossible
2) Only found out where everyone ran to once all the candy was gone and the old lady at that house was now handing out pennies
3) Felt sure you were about to die of heat prostration because your mask was hotter than the surface of the sun
4) Were at a further disadvantage because the other kids without masks had already run off to the next house with full-sized candy bars
5) Would probably get run over after you dashed into the street to try and find your friends, who were scoring bigger and better candy bars than you
I learned these truths the hard way when my mother actually gave in and bought me that Snow White costume and plastic mask I had been coveting. Other kids, including my brothers and neighborhood friends, chose to dress in costumes that included a pirate, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx (my brothers went through a serious Marx Brothers phase), Cookie Monster, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Count Dracula, Charlie Brown, Cinderella, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and Betsey Ross (what can I tell you? That kid was either very patriotic or a geek).
Notice that no one else was wearing a mask. This was my downfall, and perhaps the reason that I chose to go mask-less for the rest of my Halloween trick-or-treat lifetime.
The person whose costume really irked me was my neighbor. Let’s call her Tawny. Tawny had the perfect parents, the perfect house (or as perfect as the exact same house as ours could be, minus the 100 brothers, the junk everywhere, and the mounds of clothes and toys strewn across every square inch of real estate), and the bedroom (all to herself!) that I always wanted.
She had a canopy bed! Wasn’t this the secret to a complete and fulfilled life? Tawny’s bed was about 2 feet off the ground, requiring a small ladder and/or running leap to get into it. I know this, because we used to spend hours running from her parents’ doorway and catapulting ourselves up into that pink, gauzy wonderland.
Her bed was enveloped in a gossamer canopy that was draped in layer upon layer of princess pink material that shimmered and resembled butterfly’s wings. Her room was decorated with castles and stars, unicorns and rainbows.
My bedroom was decorated with four bunk beds that I shared with my three brothers, and one nightstand, that I used to climb onto so I could get out of the top bunk bed.
The only decoration in that room was my Sesame Street cardboard town, which I had to move around at random times of the day and night. Why, you ask? Well, that’s because my brothers liked to threaten to destroy it if I left it unattended. So really, my Sesame Street neighborhood was like a person in the Witness Protection Program, and I was the official in charge of finding it a home where it could remain safe and out of sight.
As if five-year-old me didn’t have enough reasons to wish I was Tawny, the Halloween I was dressed in my broiling hot Snow White mask, she came out the front door in a witches’ costume, hat and broom that was nicer than anything the costume designers in the Broadway production of Wicked ever created.
So, Tawny scored tons of candy while I lagged behind, pulling my mask off and tossing it into my less-than-full bag. It was then that I vowed: “As God is my witness, I will never wear a Halloween mask again!”
Even at 5 years old, I dreamed big.
As I got older, I started leaving the planning of my Halloween costume to fate, my Muse, or whatever I could lay my hands on. I wasn’t choosy; any interesting, discarded clothing that I could grab to create something half-way decent was fine by me. The result? I usually ended up creating a gypsy or bum costume.
One year, I wanted to go as Lucille Ball stomping grapes. So, I grabbed my mom’s kerchief, some hoop earrings, a ruffled shirt and a flouncy skirt. Guess what everyone asked me? Not, “are you Lucy from I Love Lucy when she was in Italy stomping grapes?” but rather, “hey, are you a gypsy?”
Yeah, whatever. Just because you lack creative vision doesn’t mean I do!
Years later, I would enter a whole new world of Halloween costume craziness when I was working in a creative department. Human Resources encouraged everyone in the company to come in dressed in Halloween costumes, and then they promised to hand out ribbons in the cafeteria at lunch time and have an all-day orgy of Halloween cupcakes, cookies, and prizes. They spent the day walking around the building, popping in on employees and congratulating them on their costumes. “The crazier, the better” was their motto.
I didn’t really have a chance of winning the overall prize since that usually went to the artists, who were able to create special effects that made Hollywood make-up artists look like complete slackers. My only hope for a breakout moment was if I wore something that was funny.
I had a whole month to come up with something. But old habits die hard, and I didn’t have any costumes on hand the day before Halloween. However, I was in luck! My brother, Chris, offered me a clown costume he’d worn to a party that came with a rainbow wig, red nose, and yellow/green/red/blue striped jumpsuit with matching giant shoes.
“I think it’s too much,” I said.
“I got big laughs with this costume,” Chris said. “Wear it and you’ll see—everyone will get a kick out of it.”
So, with no other choices since I gave away that flouncy skirt, hoop earrings and ruffled shirt long ago, the next day I slipped into my clown costume, put on as much make-up as possible, and headed off to work.
Luckily, I did not get stopped by any policemen on the way there. Someone I used to work with years before had gotten pulled over while he was on his way to a Halloween party. The cops made him get out of the car and then fell over laughing at him because he was painted green from head to toe and was sporting a cardboard sign that said, “I’m Gumby, Dammit!”
Since the police were not out trolling for poor idiotic Halloween revelers that day, I arrived at my job without incident. Chris was right: everyone thought the costume was hilarious. I ended up in photos for the newsletter and made lots of people laugh. But that’s when I remembered that I had a meeting after lunch with a person from the business side of the company.
If it had been a meeting with someone from the 99% of the workforce that came in that day pumped and ready for Halloween candy and a blue ribbon for “most blood on a Halloween costume” or “Funniest giant shoes,” I would have been okay. If it was with someone in marketing or Human Resources, chances are that they would’ve come to the boardroom with a “hatchet” through their heads or dressed as Freddie Krueger.
Unfortunately, my meeting was with someone who had no sense of humor whatsoever and looked at me oddly even when I wasn’t in costume.
So, while everyone else was reveling in Halloween merriment, I went off to my meeting with the only guy there who wasn’t having any fun that day.
How was I supposed to know he had a pathological fear of clowns?
As I sat there with my pen and clipboard in hand and watched him frown at me for awhile, I forgot for a minute that I was in a costume. I thought it was pretty rude that he was staring at me like that, so I tried to have a serious conversation with him.
“Is something wrong?” I said, in my most professional voice.
“Yes,” he responded. “You’re wearing a clown suit.”
“It is Halloween, you know. I just came from the party.”
“I hate Halloween parties,” he said.
“Oh, really? I thought you were dressed up as a businessman,” I said, trying to lighten the mood.
“You know,” he replied, loosening his tie and sweating a little, “I HATE clowns.”
“Ha ha,” I said. “You should hear what they say about you.”
Not much was accomplished that day, especially since my colleague could not look at me without wanting to run away and hide. Which was fine by me, because I heard they had Halloween cupcakes downstairs and I had to hurry up or they’d all be gone.
That was one of my favorite Halloween costumes ever.
Cooking Light put together this slide show of 25 Fun & Healthy Halloween meals, snacks & treats:
So, Hungry Lifers…what was your favorite Halloween costume when you were a kid? What’s your funniest Halloween costume “gone wrong” story? Will you be dressing–and twerking–like Miley Cyrus or telling the world “what the fox says?” Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks–and Happy Halloween!