TRAVEL HERE: TRAVEL TO ANOTHER IDENTITY FOR HALLOWEEN
So who will you be this Halloween? I’m not one of those that goes to the costume shop and buys a ready-made costume. Can you tell?
For Halloween my husband and I have dressed as everything from the proverbial ugly American tourists to each other. One year we bought scrubs and disposable gloves. I was the doctor and he was the nurse – a decade ago that was funnier than it is today. The last time we dressed up, I was thankful for his Middle Eastern heritage. During our travels in that part of the world, we’d both gotten beautiful galabeyas. Overwhelmed by my schedule, in the last moments before a party, I added a hijab made with a black scarf to my black caftan with golden embroidery and Bill wore his white ensemble without a headdress. We had the most authentic costumes, if not the most creative.
These costumes were fairly tame, but in my younger years I was a little more adventurous. One night during my clubbing years, I wrapped a white sheet fetchingly around my body and claimed I was Cleopatra. Another year I did something similar and chose to call myself a Greek Goddess. Without a doubt however, my most popular costume of all time was Trash and for a while I wore it year after year.
Though I’m very content with my homemade costumes now, there was a time when I dreamed of being able to afford a “real” costume – but my budget didn’t allow it. So each year I’d dream up something I could cobble together out of my own wardrobe. One year I lamented to a friend that all I could afford for a Halloween costume was a trash bag. As soon as I said it, the creative juices started to flow and my Trash costume was born.
My Trashy Days
On the big night, I put on a pair of tights and my best high-heeled pumps. I stepped into a trash bag I’d modified by cutting leg holes in it. A friend suggested stuffing the bag with newspaper to fill it out, but instead, I tied an elasticized gold gift-wrapping cord around my waist. Someone else said I should cut armholes in the bag and make a ruffled collar with the ends of the bag. Instead, I tied a knot in the bag right next to my left shoulder to create an asymmetrical decolletage. Then coming out of the bag along with my shoulders was some carefully selected trash, like an Aquafresh box, a crumpled page from a fashion magazine and the pasteboard core of a roll of Charmin.
But no lady’s outfit is complete without accessories. I turned a box of Wheat Thins into a handbag with a paperclip chain. I wore small gold stud earrings, but dangled an artfully crushed Mr. Goodbar wrapper from one earring. Topping off the ensemble was a large toilet paper bow.
Not even Cleopatra’s pet rubber snake had gotten as much attention my trashy pin-up garb. This costume was such a success that I wore it year after year, from the toilet paper bow right down to the high-heeled pumps. Don’t worry, I didn’t save the trash from year to year. I just re-invented my look each year with different brands. I even tried to wear the costume once as an old married lady, but I wasn’t allowed out the door.
Now, even though a “real” costume is more affordable, what fun would that be? If I were going to dress as a famous author, I wonder what my closet would offer up? Most likely, I’ll be on my couch tonight, worn out from another day of getting ready for my parent’s estate sale…but next year? Any ideas?