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Laughing at the selves we create. My horror-ble halloween costume

I love dressing up for Halloween. And I love that I’ve pulled my husband Michael into my web of enthusiasm. It never gets old.

I usually go for a unique or unusual look, not the typical witch or zombie or skeleton. And a busty cheerleader or spandexed Cat Woman is not my thing. It’s more fun laughing at myself than trying to be sexy.

One of my costume favorites from the past was our California Raisins. (In case you’re a young’un, these were marketing characters and pop-culture icons of the 1980s.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the grainy photo. This was back in pre-digital days.

Another more recent favorite was our Amish couple, inspired by the Breaking Amish reality show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But my all-time favorite costume was conceived the year we got a Halloween party invitation that said, “Come as your scariest self.”

The challenge intrigued me.

Hmmm. My scariest self… Our scariest selves …

I wracked my brain, but all the usual characters came to mind— ghosts and goblins and gory ghouls.  Booo-rring. I wanted different, clever.

Then in a flash of insight like a ZZZAP from a witch’s wand, it came to me.

Our scariest selves were…

Us… OLD. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horrors!!

So we hit up the Good Will, borrowed a few props from some friends, and I resurrected my stage make-up skills from my freshman year as a drama major.

After the final touches, we looked in the mirror. There were our wrinkles and grey hair, Michael’s argyle sweater vest and mismatched tie, my brooch and the white vinyl pocketbook.

It was indeed us, old. It was surreal and at the same time, hilarious.

D***, we were good.

But the most mind-blowing part of the evening was a picture someone took of us in the living room at the party. The hosts had a fog machine, giving the shot a grainy, hazy feel that looked like it belonged in an old photo album of someone’s great-grandparents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the picture, I thought, Yup, that will be us someday. If we’re lucky.

I hope when I’m old for real, I won’t care if Michael mismatches his clothes or if the top of my knee-high stockings show.

And I hope I won’t care if my lipstick bleeds or my age spots show through my makeup, or that my purse is outdated.

I hope when all those things come to pass, and when my wrinkles are deep, my hips are stiff, and my eyesight is poor, I’ll be able to laugh at it all like I did that night.

I hope I’ll laugh at the self I’ve come to be.

And I hope I’ll still get invited to good Halloween parties. Maybe then, I’ll be ready to do Cat Woman in spandex. Nothing could make me laugh harder.

— Karen DeBonis

Karen DeBonis blogs about her wild adventures as a homebody, including writing (aka avoiding housework), meditating (aka napping) and serving a nightly smorgasbord to deer and other critters in her yard (aka gardening). She lives in a wonderfully emptied nest in upstate New York with her husband of 34 years.

Reflections of Erma