Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghosts I Have Been

I'm not a big Halloween person. Even though it's a holiday that celebrates candy, my favorite food group, I don't particularly like going out of the house in costume. Yes, I live in New York, where you're likely to run into pantsless people wearing fright wigs even when it's not October 31, but I've always liked to walk the streets anonymously; I don't like drawing attention to myself. Hence some recent "costumes" that could be normal clothes, like my Around the Way Girl of 2009, or even my pregnant hillbilly of 2006 (in retrospect, it could also have been Kate Gosselin):

When I was wearing a coat, I just looked like a hugely pregnant person with bad hair.

It wasn't always this way. I used to go whole hog. When I was five, I was the only girl in my kindergarten class to cross hetero-normative lines when I cross-dressed as Peter Pan:

In 1992, I was a kind of Medusa-lite witch, only to be upstaged by my sister, in controversial brownface, as a Hershey's Kiss:

Ebony, ivory, livin' together in harmony....

Even when I was fifteen, and arguably far too old to be trick-or-treating, my BFF Adri and I went as undead Ernie and Bert (note the homage to my former unibrow):

Looking through some old photos to find these memories of Halloweens past, I also discovered that I often found myself in accidental costume throughout my youth.

For instance, I was amazingly ahead of the trends when I went as Lily from Modern Family just months after my birth:

Kidding, I don't have two dads--the one on the left is my uncle.

Or how about my risque take on Teen Mom at age six?

Or my political statement when I recruited some friends to go as the Symbionese Liberation Army that same year? (I will also accept: young Sarah Palin.)

At my friend Betsy's wedding in 2008, she and our third Butlerette Ellaree helped me achieve my look as a cast member of Little People, Big World.

And one night after a few too many glasses of wine while watching ANTM, my friend Beth and I raided Jeff's and my wig collection to create an imaginary Simon and Garfunkle-esque duo composed of Aileen Wuornos and Clara Bow.

Even right now, typing this, I'm basically dressed as Randy Quaid in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, unwashed and grizzly, wearing a robe and knee socks. (All I need to complete my costume is to yell, "Shitter was full!")

Hmmm. Maybe I don't need Halloween, after all. Maybe I am one of those people I inch away from on the subway. The More You Know.

P.S. I am dressing up tonight, however, for a friend's birthday dinner. Photos to come!


  1. You sister was about the cutest kid I've ever seen. She's an adorable Hershey's Kiss, although like you said, the brown face isn't too PC. The pic of her head on your blog header is sooooooo cute.

  2. Love the one with the guns and the little girl picking her nosey. So cute.

    Also, at first I really DID think you were dressed up as Kate Gosselin.

  3. Love your ebony and ivory cutline. There's a faint resemblance to the pre-dead Michael Jackson.

  4. Love your clever spin on your character choices for Halloween. Bert & Ernie plus the Medusa-lite costume = awesome!!

  5. First, because I'm an oldest child too, and as much as I love my sisters, if someone left a comment that I'm about to leave, I would be like, "Seriously!? Even MY blog is about HER?!" -- You're one of my favorite blog crushes. Hope that's not too weird. Your sister is one of my favorite things you write about. Her texts are so random, and she's an adorable Hershey's kiss, brown-face and all.

    My sister closest to my age always upstaged my Halloween costumes. When our baby sister was 4 and went trick-or-treating as a sunflower (chubby little face with big felt petals) I just quit. You can't compete with that.

    I crossed the gender barrier too! I was Pinocchio.

  6. Anyone who references a Richard Peck novel in her post title does not need a costume.

  7. I could not stop laughing at Peter Pan and your sister as the controversial Hershey's Kiss! This post just made my day :)

  8. LOL! More like Pantsless Peter the Pan! :)

    Cute pictures! I especially like the mullet wig - I think I might need one of those.

  9. I love the photo of your sister as a hershey's kiss. I was an M&M in kindergarten, also in brown-face. I laugh about it often!

  10. uh, i have a picture of you on halloween, Wonder Woman...

  11. I appreciate your self-depracation, whether you do or not. lol.

    I hate looking back on things like that where you thought you rocked it, and that damn 20/20 hindsight may indicate otherwise.

    I failed terribly? Successfully? This Halloween.


  12. That last one sort of looks like a Eurythmics album cover. Just sayin'.

  13. I think the most disturbing part is that you and Jeff have a wig collection.


  14. HAHAHA! I can't stop laughing! Oh god, you write so funny, and the comments are as heart-stoppingly hilarious. I guess our families are alike when it comes to Halloween. It's also one of our favorite holidays, especially for my daughter because she gets to wear my wife's Forever Young wigs. Could she borrow your Hershey's Kiss idea for this year?


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