Ah, Halloween, the night where you get to be anyone but yourself… and then generally end up being the most awkward variation of a human being possible. Naturally, we’re no different, so as part of our 13 Days of Halloween, we’re digging into ghosts of Halloween past to pull out some of our golden oldies of awkwardness.
Katie: “The Most Pompous Mermaid”
Some childhood stories are prophetic. No not pathetic (though that too), but prophetic, as in you’ve inadvertently put your entire adult personality into play through a single childhood act that at one point people will look back upon and say “AHA!” For me that was the my sixth Halloween, when I went as the Little Mermaid. But not that Little Mermaid. As a redhead I had to uphold my ginger roots (and ew, who wants to be Orphan Annie?!) and I wanted to be Ariel, but not the one who sang and played with crabs. No, I dressed up as the Hans Christian Anderson one, with gold, bronze, and copper hands and face, a really elaborate and exotic costume, with green ribbons to look like seaweed woven throughout my hair and gold glitter everywhere. Oh, it was intense. But the worst part was that I had to tell everyone. “That’s so sweet, you’re from that Disney movie! Where’s your fish?” and despite loving that movie, I loudly proclaimed with the superiority complex of a then-only-child saying, “No I am not. I am from Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid and she DIES because her prince was STUPID.” At which point the adults looked at me strangely, handed me the worst candy in the bag, and turned to the uncomplicated girl dressed as a bird beside me. And thus began a life of being an insufferable, pompous, little know it all.
Haley: “Child Bride”
I distinctly remember that at around 6 or 7 years old, I trick-or-treated as a bride. Not a zombie bride (cue “Mean Girls” quotes), but, like, a real bride. The dress was all itchy and plasticky, but it was white and long and I had a veil and WUT?! I remember my dad getting all weirdly sad about it, and then there was a boy who lived down the street who was dressed up as Prince Charming or something-or-another like that, and everyone was commenting on how cute we were together, like a little couple, and I was so uncomfortable. WE WERE LIKE 7. CAN WE NOT.
Katey: “Hobo Halloween”
One year when I was like 11 or 12, I went through your typical preteen dramatic throwdown with my grandma and decided I didn’t want to wear my Halloween costume to trick-or-treat (is it still even socially acceptable to trick-or-treat when you’re almost in middle school) so I decided that I would put on my grandpa’s oversized white tee and some ripped jeans and a red bandana, doo-rag style (also my grandpa’s, he actually used it as a handkerchief like to blow his nose on, who does that?!) and I rubbed some dirt or coal or something on my face and I was a homeless person. And for some reason people still gave me candy?! Then a few years later I volunteered at a church with homeless people and fell in love with their spirit and now I have spent every Halloween for the last 10 years feeling like a terrible, prejudiced classist. So, now that we know little Katey was not exactly PC.
Hope: “Spotted Five Year Old Psycho”
Did you ever watch “101 Dalmatians” and think, I want a cute spotted puppy? Duh, we all did. But were you a borderline psychopath/inventive child? Hopefully not. But I was. And I decided, well no spotted dogs here, Halloween is approaching and I want my costume to be authentic. So what’s a five year old to do but MAKE DALMATIANS. I grabbed my sister’s chocolate Labrador, my stupid school approved scissors, and holed up in my room on Halloween eve. A snip here, a snip there, a little off the top, and around the back, et voila! The Labrador was now a Dalmatian, with giant chunks of hair cut away to look like spots. I too was a a Dalmatian, since I cut spots into my braids and then drew them all over my face. We were a beautifully matched set of dogs. Unfortunately my mother didn’t see it that way. The dog refused to go outside and took to living under the table in shame, and instead of being perfect puppy pals, I was punished and forced to be a cow that year so the head would cover my expert hair cutting skills and my spots would make sense. Oh, the indignity.