I’m not a Halloween person, mostly because I don’t enjoy costumes. And if you had asked me earlier today, I would have said that I had never been a costume person.
But I went into the public restroom at work this afternoon. Two pre-teen girls were getting dressed up for a party the recreation department was holding and they were spraying their hair colors. Purple, pink and green.
As I listened to their utter joy at their brightly colored hair and smelled that distinct neon hairspray smell, I had a flashback to a time where dressing up was fun. I forgotten that I’d ever felt that way.
When I was their age, it was the middle of the eighties. Colored streaks in the hair, high side ponytails and bright eye makeup was cool and fun. I loved those things at any time of the year.
And as a small girl, I always loved Halloween. Not just the candy, but carving pumpkins and going out after dark (Back then we actually waited until dark to go trick or treating).
One year when I was very four or five, I was a paper bag witch. It was a genius costume designed by my mom and I was pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself. It’s astounding that I ever fit inside a handle paper bag.
When I was older dressed up as a gravestone one Halloween, wearing a monument shaped sandwich board with ghost puppets on my hands to look like spooks coming out from the stone.
I won a prize for scariest costume at the school’s celebration. Some of the teachers were dressed up like the seven dwarfs and my prize was awarded by Bashful.
Costumes weren’t just for Halloween, either. I dressed up like the Easter Bunny one year for a girl scout egg hunt.
When did I stop liking to dress up as ghosts and bunnies? When did costumes become a pain, something to be avoided, instead of fun? Can I recapture that joy?
I somehow doubt it. If you outgrow costumes, I bet you can’t get it back. Some people are just lucky enough to never outgrow it.
If you were to present me with a neon hairspray now, my first thought would be, “How many times will I have to wash my hair to get that crap out?”
But, thanks to those girls in the restroom, I can still remember what is was like to get excited by spraying my hair blue and putting on a witch’s hat. I just don’t want to actually do it.