Halloween: To Costume or Not to Costume

There was a good 5 year stretch for me when I really celebrated Halloween in style. I would go to at least one haunted house/corn maze/Knott’s Scary Farm type place. I would spend weeks (if not months) ordering wigs, outfits, & putting my own final touches for the perfect Halloween costume for the Halloween house parties. For several years in a row, I even (against my own better judgement) faced the masses on Santa Monica Blvd, where they close the street down for a “festival” that really just means people are walking back in forth on the street in a huge crowd of drunkenness. Whether it was Sarah Palin, a BP Mermaid (covered in oil and pollution), or my attempt at Beyonce (don’t worry, it wasn’t very controversial)–no one could say I didn’t TRY to do Halloween.

I noticed my fondness for Halloween slowly go downhill when a couple years ago, the most enthusiasm I could muster was attending the local apartment complex’s Halloween Dog Costume Contest. Did I dress a dog up like a pirate? Including a wig I bought just for the occasion? Guilty as charged!! But he ended up winning a $50 gift card to Target and doggie treats. Luckily, it was a “vote by applause” contest, and I was screaming and clapping like a mad woman. I guess you can say that was the last time I attempted Halloween.

When I completely “skipped” Halloween last year, I felt relief that for a month I wasn’t focused on adding sequins to a costume or looking through my latest addition of “Especially Yours,” a wig catalog for African American women. I wasn’t trying to get myself invited to a Halloween party, so I could actually wear this costume somewhere. Most of all, I didn’t have to worry about parking–my biggest Halloween nightmare. I stayed in, and I saved so much time and money doing so!

This may make me seem like a buzz kill. It’s not like I’m anti-Halloween. I love any and all holidays. I appreciate the creativity that goes into the costumes–making a boring house party into a mildly amusing one, where you ooh and ahhh at what everyone else is wearing. I will probably not ever have a chance to attend the Met Ball, so this is my next best bet to see people dressed creatively. I especially appreciate people who are REALLY into it–carving intricate pumpkins, having more than one costume ready for multiple nights of parties, touring around all the haunted houses in L.A. County. I just admire them from afar these days.

I’m actually booked to fly out on Halloween this year, which gave me a great excuse to NOT be in costume. Not sure the TSA would be into that. I realize this means I will be arriving into NYC on Halloween night around 11:00pm, so I’m still hoping to see ridiculous costumed folks trying to hail a cab to their parties.

Now, even though I’m not that into Halloween these days–I do love fall. I’ve done my share of cheesy fall-themed activities: apple picking being my all time favorite! I’m probably the only one who will bring home crates of apples and eat them all myself (thanks to my strange apple addiction). It is still 80s these days in L.A., so I figure I could celebrate the season next month & really mean it. Maybe even wear boots or a light jacket to prove that we DO have seasons in Southern California. Someone go apple-picking with me! I should go order my sequined apple-picking sweater right now. (I mean, even though I’m not doing a COSTUME–that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on sequins).