When I was dressed, and later when I dressed myself up for Halloween, the final creation was never based on a personality, on a face from television or from the movies. As a cherubic (make that chubby) toddler, Mother would lay the creative smackdown on me and transform me into a pretty animal, or an exotic lady, not likely to be found in these parts. On the evening of October 31, the young Aubrey disappeared and would come back as a different type, a new genre, an unexpected subspecies. When i was older I wasn't interested in putting aside one identity for a night, only to pick up someone else's. I never wore a mask.
I was a crimson kangaroo when I was two, more interested in the contents of my bag than what might have been in my pouch (as I recall, the costume came with a stuffed 'roo):
At the tiny age of nine, I was a bumblebee – yellow and black, bright and buzzing. (I still have the costume).
One year I wore scarlet, Oriental pajamas. They were loose-fitting, allowing for my patented two-fisted-candy-retrieval system:
My godmother made me a shining silver gladiator's costume – 'helmet', pleated skirt and all. My left hand is clearly wondering where the sword and scabbard went, while the right is going for the candy – I hated having my picture taken, usually starting a howl over it. This vocal disapproval would not subside until the sugar tithe was paid:
When I grew older, the costumes became outfits. One year mother made me into a geisha girl – complete with plastic cherry blossoms in my hair. I was once a Spanish gypsy (the black and white bangles I still have and very useful they are too). I also detect the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with lipstick. The skirt was mother's:
Trick or Treating stopped long ago. What a personal tragedy that was.
Still. Perhaps the Halloween tradition of creating 'looks' has stayed with me.
I confess: my closets and jewelry boxes will always be full.