Thursday, October 13, 2011

Should You Choose Something Different?

This was me on Halloween in 2008.  You're probably wondering what this was supposed to be.  And so were a lot of others that year.  I was the Seven Deadly Sins. I'd already told the people at work I was going to do this, so they knew (my boss took this picture at work).  But I did suspect that others weren't going to know, so I had to find a way to explain that would not be too tiring. I managed to make it fun.  FYI, here's how it went:

  • Pride: a tiara with a black skull with purple and black tinsel.
  • Greed: a boa made from fake $100 bills (people noticed this the most).
  • Envy: Green hair piece and green makeup (not very noticeable in the photo).
  • Sloth: The bathrobe
  • Lust: Fishnets and lacy garters
  • Wrath: white glove stained with fake blood.
  • Gluttony:  A belt made of plastic dog toys shaped like food, including donuts, Oreo-like cookies, a hot dog, cheeseburger and an ice cream cone.

Should you choose something different for Halloween?   That, of course, is your decision, but one thing to keep in mind is that though there likely won't be millions of others doing the same things as you, most people will likely not know what you are.  They might also assume you are something else that your outfit might seem to resemble.  And you may have to make the costume yourself, since it probably won't be sold in stores.  

In 2009, I bought the Pumpkin Spice costume from a costume website.  The pumpkin stem on the wig was unfortunately not very noticeable and many did not know it was supposed to be a pumpkin.  Someone thought it was a relative of the Flinstones or the Jetsons.  I thought that was kind of funny.  I was surprised when one person actually knew that it was called Pumpkin Spice.  

Can you see the pumpkin stem in the photo on the left? Likely not, at least not from the angle from which this photo was shot.  I have other shots of this one, but far too many to search through right now.  From what I recall, the stem must not have been too visible for most people.

Another thing that made me write this is something from the book "Blubber" by Judy Blume.  I never really red the book, but glanced at a used copy in a thrift store once.  In one chapter, the girl is deciding on a costume for Halloween, and doesn't want to be a witch again.  She decides to be a flenser, an idea she gets from another girl's class report on whales.   A flenser is a person who strips the blubber or skin from a whale.   She hopes to win as most original costume.  

Lawsuit, PunAnd last year, on the TV show "The Middle" had a Halloween episode in which the younger son Brick donned an unusual costume.  He was Charles MacKenzie, Scottish sergent  from World War I.  But no one knows that, and they mistake him for everything from Shirley Temple,  to a Catholic schoolgirl to Groundskeeper Willie from "The Simpsons, " and even Hannah Montana.  No one knows, that is except the old man down the street, who claims not to know who Hannah Montana or Groundskeeper Willie are.  

I have perused the website Costume Idea Zone for several years now.  Many of the ideas included are unusual ones, and many are plays on words,  such as Lawsuit:  Wear a nice suit and carry a briefcase. Attach legal documents all over yourself.  See the picture at left. And if you want any other ideas, look for other fun ideas on that website.  I've seen so many I like but haven't gotten around to using any of them. 

Now there is nothing wrong with doing something unusual for Halloween, as it's your chance to be creative and stand out.  There's just the unfortunate consequence of most people knowing what you're supposed to be.  But you can make it fun and come up with away of explaining your idea that will be fun too, and not tiresome.  Do what you like, whether it's original or traditional or one of the hot ones for the year.  Just be who or what you really want to be, as is always that case on this one night of the year. 

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