When I was a kid I had this strange fascination with those commercially ‘boxed’ costume sets. You know the ones. The cheaply, mass-produced, one-ply molded plastic masks, brightly emblazoned with the latest pop culture characters.
Often times the proportion of the mask was nowhere near what it should have been to make you look convincing as the character. It wasn’t uncommon to have your identity tainted by that stocking cap mom had you wear. Even a tuft of hair peeking out from behind the tiny facade was enough to ruin the masquerade. And to think that the entire charade was held onto your face with nothing more than a single strand of elastic stapled to either side of the mask. Ironically enough these same staples were responsible for starting the tiny tears that ultimately trashed your mask, which, if you were lucky lasted the entire evening.
In hindsight, ditching the mask might have been a lot safer. You ran the risk of either suffocating trying to suck oxygen through that tiny mouth slit or getting hit by the car you’d never see squinting through those tunnel-vision eyelets. If your mask didn’t survive you could avoid the barrage of ‘who are you supposed to be’ questions by wearing that coordinating, flame retardant vinyl poncho that most certainly spelled out in bold letters your true identity. All this for a bucket full of candy, which was worth it if you could bring in more chocolate bars and suckers than that disgusting orange and black wrapped peanut butter taffy.
I still don’t understand why I coveted the boxed costumes as much as I did but I suspect it was most likely the slick marketing and movie tie-ins. I certainly have a greater appreciation now for the homemade costumes we had growing up. They were safer and more creative, but unfortunately yielded about the same amount of peanut butter taffy.
2 replies on “Halloween Costumes”
This year marks the end of an era where I could influence Matthew to choose a hero or Saint to imitate on All Saints Eve (All Hallowed Eve). Apparantly “everyone else” is dressing as a vampire, monster or otherwise evil and criminally insane character this year. And no, he doesn’t want to go to the All Saints Party this year. We’ve agreed on an Old West outlaw, so I’ve just finished spray painting a 50 cent straw cowboy hat black and need to wrustle up a gigantic belt buckle and most importantly, a capgun. Otherwise, the costume is complete for a mere $12 – including some black cowboy boots we found at the consignment store! Now, I just need to try and replicate mom’s recipe for beard stubble. Was it cocoa powder and vaseline?
Wishing you an evening of Snickers!
You forgot one ingredient, Michelle. I also used coffee grounds with the cocoa and vaseline. It worked, right???