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Another Costume - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Another Costume
"Wow, what a great dog!", I said as I spied the enthusiastically panting big puppy.
"He's a cat."
"He's really a cat, that's his costume. He's wearing a dog-costume."
"Oh! Well... that is a great costume!"
"And what are you supposed to be?"
"I'm a bird. A phoenix," I explained through my feathered mask, as I did a little curtsey with my baggy tie-dyed t-shirt.
"Okay, I get it, that works. Great!" he said. "Well keep rising, phoenix, keep rising."


Last night, I did something I haven't done in at least 15 years. I've been wanting to do it for a couple of years, and this time I actually stirred up the courage to do it. I went trick-or-treating.

I'm short; I have a small frame. I figured I could pull it off if I wore a mask. I could pretend to be young. I'm not sure precisely why I wanted to do it...I certainly have no need for all that candy...but I think it was more about reliving fond memories. Having fun.

I always loved Halloween as a kid, and I trick-or-treated well into my teenage years. The darkness, the shadowy costumes everywhere, kicking through the dry leaves, running about collecting sugary donations. The freedom to approach houses you never visit otherwise, the gifts and friendliness from strangers.

So I put together a simple costume. (I knew last week's costume would not convince anybody that I was a kid!) A feathery bird mask and very baggy kid-clothes - tie-dyed pants and t-shirt. Purple tie-dyed tennis shoes. I brushed my hair down around my face, and I picked up a plastic bag. Then came the hard part: stirring up the courage to leave my house and actually start visiting other houses. Getting over the "oh my god you're 32 and you're being ridiculous" hurdle.

I was too embarrassed to do it on my own street; I certainly didn't want to see anybody I knew. That wasn't the point of this little adventure... I wanted to stay in disguise. So I sneaked out my side door, got in my car, and drove a few blocks away to an area where I didn't know anyone. I parked on a dark quiet road, climbed out, and lingered self-consciously in the shadows by a tree. Finally I put my mask on and walked around the corner, took a deep breath, and approached my first house.


It went really well. After the first-house awkwardness, I slid more into character. I reminded myself not to make any "adult-like" comments, and to simply approach any conversation with a sense of wonder. In my head, I was 13. I don't know how old people thought I was, but it didn't really matter. I grinned a lot. I talked with enthusiasm. I kicked and crunched my way through piles of dry leaves as I went from house to house.

It was a really great experience. People were friendly. Nobody asked how old I was or what I was doing out alone. Several people asked about and/or complimented my costume. I got lots of extra candy, because they said they hadn't gotten as many trick-or-treaters as anticipated (so really, I was doing the neighborhood a service!). I wished everyone a happy Halloween as I thanked them.

It has to have been the warmest and driest Halloween night I have ever experienced. I remember as a child how frustrating it always was to have to incorporate a warm jacket into my costumes (usually ruining the look I was going for). It was always cold! Last night though, I was perfectly comfortable walking around wearing just a t-shirt and thin pants.

When I got home, I poked my nose into my bag to see what I'd collected. The smell of that bag, the combination of chocolate and sugar and plastic candy wrappers was extraordinary -- it was a completely familiar and nostalgic scent that I hadn't even realized I remembered. It smelled like arranging your loot on the living room floor in order of preference. It smelled like bartering for the stuff you like the best, eating too much chocolate, and hiding the remainder from your younger siblings. It smelled like Halloween.
read 18 comments | talk to me!
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: November 1st, 2003 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)
oh wow! you ROCK!

are you joining us tonight? let me know!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: November 1st, 2003 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
So what's happening to all the candy with nuts in it?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: November 5th, 2003 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
You can have the Almond Joys if you want.
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: November 5th, 2003 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's OK candy season is over for me.

Maybe you could give them to your skating team?
sherdeb From: sherdeb Date: November 1st, 2003 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's great!! I'm glad you had fun!
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: November 1st, 2003 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Your post left me reeling; this is fascinating - though slightly weird - stuff. Good work!
juliebata From: juliebata Date: November 1st, 2003 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's official..

You are a GOD to me now! That was SO brave of you!! I got away with trick-or-treating till early high school, but I'd never try it now! I'm so old...
Glad the weather was nice, it was colder here, but at least it didn't rain. I've trick-or-treated in rain and snow before.
Since I can't eat any nuts, I'd always give all the nutty stuff to my brother, and he'd give the stuff he didn't like to me. I loved that big, colorful pile of candy on the living room floor! Negotiations could sometimes take hours, "you got more candy corn than I did- gimme five more!"
One year, the dog snuck up from behind and grabbed a piece of Bubble Yum and ate it, wrapper and all, before we could stop him! Luckily, he didn't get sick!

renniekins From: renniekins Date: November 5th, 2003 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's official..

Why thank you, but that's GodDESS to you, young lady. I could hardly believe I was doing it, but it ended up being a lot of fun.

None of my siblings like nuts, so we always gave that stuff to classmates or somebody. The negotiations were half the fun though!

Oh no, poor puppy! That is a good thing it didn't make him sick. You'd think animals would know better....
guingel From: guingel Date: November 1st, 2003 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
that's awesome! :D Go you!

I went! With all my friends. . . we brought my friend's sister and her friends, who are thirteen, as protective camouflage. Otherwise, I don't know if I'd have had the guts to do it.

We got a lot of the same thing--a lot of extra candy because people didn't get too many trick-or-treaters. Last year especially, I remember. :D

I'm definitely going to be trying that some time. Because I love trick-or-treating. And it's not about age, it's about dressing up and showing people your costume, and having a good time! It's a very community-oriented holiday. :D I especially remember when I was little, everyone would be out at the same time, walking around, and you'd meet people and stuff.

So thank you for giving me courage ;) You rock!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: November 5th, 2003 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
coool, I'm jealous that you had a kid to validate your presense out there!

Although it really was kinda cool to do it alone...if really weird-feeling. I'm glad you're going to do it someday in the future!! Good for you!
guingel From: guingel Date: November 6th, 2003 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
:D even with the thirteen-year-olds, we were kind of nervous. At one point we were thinking of maybe borrowing some small children from the neighbors ;) Always a good excuse! That'd be a good job--hiring yourself out to go trick-or-treating!
bighoward From: bighoward Date: November 1st, 2003 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey Little Girl ! You wanta go to the store with me and get some more candy ? Meet me about midnight on the corner.
Big Howard
greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: November 2nd, 2003 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is soo cool!

Glad to hear you did your civic Halloween duty ;)
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: November 3rd, 2003 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
a stroke of genius only to a have come from the likes of renniekins
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 3rd, 2003 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Trick or Treating!

One of the benefits of having a boy - no one questions me when I show up in a costume at their door right next to him. They just give us both candy! :)

Of course, our Halloween was cold and wet - like usual. The crunching we heard running on the grass was the ice built up on the blades of grass - not the leaves.

Glad you had a fun Halloween! I bet you made a GREAT kid! :)

Jake "The Snake" Goodall
cannibal From: cannibal Date: November 3rd, 2003 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're a little freak.

I love you.

I never realized that you couldn't wear your costume because it was too cold! That never happened to me, that I can remember... but I do remember when I handed out candy up here that a lot of the kids costumes really sucked, basically overcoats. Made me want to say "why should I give you candy?"

The last paragraph shows your wonderful writing style.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: November 4th, 2003 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, exactly, we almost always had to wear our winter coats either over or under our costumes! Definitely ruined the effect.

Thank you....I love you too.
cannibal From: cannibal Date: November 4th, 2003 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Take off your overcoat before you come to my door, or you'll get the second-rate candy. Unless you make me get all sappy.

read 18 comments | talk to me!