That’s just how it is.
It seems, to me anyway, that most people love to dress up for Halloween and when I tell them I don’t, their exclamations deflate. Thud.
Maybe I’m not playful enough, maybe I don’t like to have fun, maybe…I don’t like to dress up as someone else.
When I try to explain, sometimes I get strange looks or random comments.
Why is not okay to say, “I don’t want to and I don’t like to” – and have that be enough?
Because it’s SOOOO much fun for everyone else that I must be missing out. And I seem like someone who would be SOOO much fun to go to a Halloween party with.
Trust me. I am not.
No. At over 40, I can say no and explain and leave you to dress up on your own.
When I was 7 or 8, maybe even younger – this was the early 70s right around the time that people stopped making their own costumes and started buy store-bought plastic thingies that looked like cartoon characters we didn’t have the money to do that so – we put on someone else in my family’s clothes, remember there were 10 of us, that were too big, or too small in some cases, tied the pants around the waist with a piece of rope, opened the coal stove, rubbed some soot on our face and called it Halloween. Going to school or trick-or-treating with my family of hobos, wasn’t so far from everyday life. So maybe that’s where it all started?
Then there’s the time when I was 11 and I lived alone with my two brothers (you remember that story), I really wanted to do something fantastic for Halloween. I had the best idea that I could make a mask out of oatmeal and plaster oatmeal all over my face, hair and head. OR they could buy me a mask. They opted to buy me a mask, but we waited until the last day to go look at masks, so all that was there was a hairy-faced ape mask, so I settled for that.
I pulled that on after school and ran around the neighborhood with a giant pillowcase, hoping to come home with it full of candy. What happened though was that I couldn’t see out of the mask and I ran right into a construction stake with a bright pink tag on it that was in someone’s yard and tore my pants and gashed my leg open.
The next year, I was back living with my parents and my Dad told me that at 12, I was too old to trick-or-treat. So, after that I didn’t. Maybe that’s it?
Or, maybe it’s because all those years all I wanted was to look like everyone else with normal clothes and not hand-me downs and to just be me.
Throughout my 20s, I never did Halloween parties. I was spending so much time trying to figure out how to be normal in the world and desperately trying to figure out who I was. I went from mini-skirts to dresses with white flats, to button downs, to argyle sweaters and socks, to short shorts with combat boots – a complete train wreck of an identity. I couldn’t imagine trying to create another persona that I could dress up as for one day out of the year.
Some people might say that’s the release, that’s the great thing, you can be whoever you want for one day!!!
In my 30s, I finally settled in and really started to figure out who I was and what I wanted in the world and figured out that I’m really okay. Me. I’m good enough and I’m ok with that.
So, if you want to dress up that’s awesome. DO IT! FUN FOR YOU! But I don’t and I won’t and that’s okay too. I’ll dress up as Me today. I spent half my life trying to dress up as someone else or someone I thought I should be, so I’m done putting on the mask.
So, if you invite me to your Halloween party, I’ll come as Me. If you say COSTUME ONLY, I’ll come as ME. It’s the best costume and character I have.
And I’m totally fine with it.