Playing Dress Up

I love Halloween. Just love it. Except doing nails when it’s Halloween. It can be really difficult to work in costume. No matter how well I think it through each year, costumes rarely make it through the day.

For one thing, I can’t help but insist that I need to be something scary for Halloween. I have no idea where this notion originated, and it gave my mom fits throughout my childhood. The first Halloween I remember was when I was 3 years old. My mom made me a tutu. She worked on it for weeks before Halloween and I was under the impression it was because I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up.

It turned out, Mom thought I was going to be a ballerina for Halloween. So the big night came and she gets me all dressed up in a white turtleneck and some white tights and my little pink tutu. Then she pulled my hair up into a high ponytail and curled it into one big ringlet.

I was pretty dang cute.

Then she told me we were going to stop by her friend’s house to show me off before going to Grandma and Grandpa’s to trick-or-treat.

That was the first time I really put two and two together and realized that it was Halloween.

Cut me some slack — I was 3.

I remember the ensuing battle to be much like those cartoons of trying to put the cat in the bathtub. I was not leaving the house dressed like a ballerina for Halloween! For one thing, Halloween was about being something scary, and for another, I didn’t even have a disguise on! Everyone would know who I was!

Mom finally coaxed me into a compromise with a frantic, last-minute search for a mask and my 3-year-old Halloween pictures depict an adorable ballerina with a black Zorro mask over my eyes.

The was the last year my Mom made any attempt at deciding what my costume would be. The next 10 years would challenge her with creating jack-o-lantern, bat, and banshee costumes. “Bat? How the heck am I supposed to make a bat?!”

I don’t hold anyone else to these standards. Everyone else can be princesses and fairies and bubbles and superheroes. But if I’m dressing up, it’s something less than cutesy.

Most years I just give up on it altogether. I’ve managed to suffer through witch costumes and one year I made a particularly good pirate, but most years I dress up as a nail tech. At least it’s believable and I don’t end up smearing my makeup or trying to convince everyone that real zombies are actually made of glitter.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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