I have said this before, and I shall say it again, Halloween just isn’t the same over here. The little kids don’t really embrace it the way we do in North America. Or at least, none of the kids that I see in my neighbourhood.
Time was, we used to wear our costumes to school. And I loved it. By early September, I’d start considering what might be unusual enough to pass muster. Once I was put in charge of my own costumes, the usual sort of ghost or witch was deemed weak and uncreative.
One year, I constructed a high-top yellow Converse All Star shoe. It was huge. I am not. I had arm-holes on the sides, and I do believe two by fours were used to create some kind of housing. Standing still, it looked brilliant, however, it failed the test when I had to go anywhere.
Another year, I went as a hallucination. I just went into my closet and found all the strangest, shiniest, brightest coloured things I had and put them all on. Then I got this foam lizard thing that I found in a cupboard that was on a wire leash, and off I went.
Then there was the year I was an internal organ. That was more conceptual, I admit, though in our neighbourhood, people were quite impressed. The doctors, at least. I think what was most impressive was that I could list off all the major facts about the blessed organ.
In university, I turned it up a notch and went as silver. Yes, the colour. I got body paint, and a silver dress and every inch of me was silver. For several days too, as that stuff is hard to get off. Well, you know, I was studying writing at a very artsy university. Standards were high.
Then I moved over here and Halloween turned into a drinking holiday where girls wear slutty costumes and boys come up with something funny or half-assed. Though, when I lived in Cornwall, three chaps on a different course dressed up as grannies and they were outstanding. But really, it’s a drinking holiday. I suppose it is back home, too, when you’re old enough, but it loses some of the charm here as fancy dress (ie costumes) is a common theme for parties.
The last time I dressed up for Halloween, I was in Glasgow. I went as a pigeon. In my head, my ideas were genius. However, I failed on the execution. Since I didn’t leave myself more than 20 minutes to pin on the hundreds of feathers I’d cut out. But people humoured me and I was so enthused about the idea that I was a pigeon, that people let me pass.
This year, I skipped Halloween. Not because I was being a grump about it, I still may wear a costume to work on the actual day, or at least a moustache, but I’ve been going out a lot lately, and the writing has been falling behind. So, on the night when most people were celebrating Halloween, I was tucked up in bed by half past ten.
We’re having a party here next weekend anyhow, for CatLady’s birthday. It’s Day of the Dead themed. So, sometime the day of the party, I might just be moved to construct a last minute skeleton costume. Maybe the UK isn’t ready for Halloween, but I suspect that the bleak sarcasm they can infuse the Day of the Dead with should be right up their alley.