So, growing up Halloween wasn’t really a thing in our household. My sisters and I went to pretty conservative churches and Christian schools and were taught that if you celebrated Halloween (and by “celebrate” I mean “dress up and go door to door for candy”) then you were pretty much a Satan worshipper bound for the pits of hell. I still remember my year book advisor in high school calling it Satan’s High Holy Day. Candy, after all, carries terrible consequences.
I have vague recollections of attending much-more-acceptable “harvest festivals” at church on those nights. But the more vivid memories are the Halloweens where the Haddock girls dressed up and handed out candy to all the trick or treaters.
Lest you shed a tear for me, I should tell you that at the time I was fine with the arrangement. I don’t remember feeling left out or deprived. My sisters and I would take turns racing to answer the front door and proudly holding out our huge bowl of candy for cleverly costumed kids to pick a piece. (I’m not even sure that we dressed up every year…I could only find one picture from my Nana’s photo album and that’s the costume that I remember most clearly.)
Now as an adult, I try to play it cool. I pretend that I, too, grew up wearing a Superman cape under my winter coat as I frolicked from house to house. But I didn’t. I’m a big faker. In some ways that’s good, I suppose. After all, how often do we get to experience child-like wonder as a grown-up?
Recently, though, my life changed when my fellow craft group-er Sarah invited me to her Halloween party. You should have seen me wandering through one of those Halloween costume seasonal pop-up stores. I had never seen anything like it! (And by the by, I did NOT appreciate the huge spiders.)
Guys, I’m kind of not great at creating costumes. I’m way behind the learning curve on these things! My first year, I opted to play it safe with some kitten ears, eyeliner nose and whiskers, and cat paw gloves.
This year, my inspiration came from my hair stylist and friend, Timka’s, wig. The pink wig was actually worn during a New York Fashion Week Betsey Johnson fashion show, but I thought it most embodied the spirit of Jem. You know, of Jem and the Holograms fame.
Turns out, there’s a small niche of people who know of Jem. I kept being asked if I was going to be Jim from the Office. C’mon, people!
Now, I wasn’t allowed to watch Jem when it was on TV, but I always felt we had a kinship. Love of pink? CHECK. Love of singing? CHECK. Love of glitter? DOUBLE CHECK.
Lucky for me, there were enough people on the interwebs that knew about Jem that I was able to find several Jem make-up tutorials. #winning Tracking down pink eyeliner and hot pink eye shadow, though? That’s harder than you might think now that the 80’s have passed us by. Nevertheless, I doggedly searched and was able to find all the things I needed, including a sparkly pink headband that I didn’t technically need, but really wanted.
As I do most Saturdays, I called my Mom. And as she usually does, she asked me what I was up to that night. I told her and she replied “Don’t you think it’s funny that you never went to Halloween parties growing up, and now you go to them all the time?”
All the time, Mom? This year was only my second time EVER. Don’t worry, you haven’t lost me to the Satan worshippers yet. 😉