Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Time Traveler--1974ish: Year of the Angry Angel

Oh my gosh, I nearly missed my costumes-of-Halloweens-past post.  I don't celebrate Halloween, and I haven't in forever.  Because I just don't like it.  And the whole thing about it getting gorier and scarier every consecutive year since like 1978 is just a whole other post, so, yeah.  

Instead, October 31st is my "pre-Christmas day".  This year, I spent the day making dipped taper candles for Christmas gifts, planning a holiday party, and drinking hot chocolate, with the porch light OFF.  Not that we have much risk of trick-or-treaters here.  We have no neighbors for like 20 acres in any direction, the house next door is vacant, and we've had a total of ONE knock on our door in 14 years.  And THAT time, it was after 10 p.m., and they were taller than me and dressed as chickens.  Uh…?

When I was a kid in California in the 70s, we did the usual stuff, I guess.  I remember carving pumpkins and dressing up for Halloween, usually in a homemade/recycled costume.  It was before Pinterest and Walmart, so, yes--I remember the sheet with the holes in it.  I vaguely remember a witch idea one year--either actually being one, or wishing I could be one.  And the hobo idea.  Or maybe that was the time I planned to run away on my horse...

I don't remember actually going trick-or-treating, since we lived behind an abandoned quicksilver mine and only had two neighbors…but maybe we went with friends?  I remember the candy, so we must have gone somewhere, and I remember, even back in 1976, hearing that scary story about apples with razor blades in them.  Who the HECK puts razors in apples?  I was just freaked out by that.  

I don't really remember any Halloween costumes after we moved to Idaho in 1977, but then I'd have been also wearing boots, a coat, a hat, mittens, and/or possibly a snow suit over the costume, depending on the year, so WHY AM I EVEN DRESSED UP RIGHT NOW?  I also spent a lot of my childhood forgetting to wear pants wearing the wrong clothes, anyway, so a costume *may* have been an improvement.

We also didn't trick-or-treat in Idaho, mostly since the nearest sidewalk was about 25 miles away.  Instead I remember parties with people from our 'neck of the woods' (if you live in the country, you know what that term means).  We'd get together at our local community hall, and there would be apple dunking and pinatas, and games like that one where you try and eat a donut dangling from a string without using your hands.  Unfortunately, we don't have pictures of those parties, but I remember them being just really good, simple fun.

Last year I stumbled across photographic proof of actual costumes, and I have been telling myself FOR LIKE A YEAR to use them in a post, and I almost missed it.

For some reason, the only costume photos we have, are two years when I hated my costumes, and I still remember BOTH with a frown.

*jots down note to self for future therapist questions*

So.  Here are two pictures of me, back in the day:

Pure, unadulterated, 4-year-old, clenched-fist, flared-nostril, pouting…fury     
 I remember my mom made this whole angel costume (possibly using a recycled ghost/sheet from a prior year), including the tin-foil/coat-hanger halo and cardboard/tinfoil WINGS YOU GUYS.  Wings.  In this day and age, this would totally belong on Pinterest, but at the time I LOATHED it, as you can see.  Maybe that was the year I wanted to be a witch, which would totally explain my expression, because, hello, this is not.even.close, when you're four and hoping for a black hat and a broom.  I absolutely remember how mad I was about being forced to put this outfit on.  Like the "burning with the heat of a thousand suns" kind of mad.

More hidden angst.  That kimono was mine.     MINE!
THIS is another one I totally remember.  Oh sure, we look like friends.  But what you don't know is that my friend Leah's costume (at left) was mine.  It was an ACTUAL satin kimono thing that I recall having been sent to me AS A GIFT by my aunt, who used to travel a lot.  I remember thinking it was possibly the most beautiful thing I'd ever owned.  I hadn't been allowed to wear it yet, because it was too long for me or something, so of course it should have been fine with me that my best friend got to wear my new beautiful special gift, before me, ON HALLOWEEN.  Again, fury.  And probably also why we're not standing even remotely close to each other.  Or smiling.

I posed with my head at a jaunty angle, defiantly refusing to acknowledge her...but on the inside, I was having a total hissy-fit MELTDOWN.

I don't even know what I'm dressed as, on the right, but it looks like someone handed me a clear umbrella parasol, my mom's floppy hat, gloves, and some button-up boots and said, "Voila!  You're…a woman from 1905."  And Leah's brother Jubel, in the background is wearing what looks like tights and a cape, a crown, and--are those...cotton balls on blue slippers??  Is he an elf king? So many questions.

I remember being just furiously, hysterically angry about that whole situation.  I was pretty sure I would hate Leah forever afterwards, and possibly everyone else, for letting her wear that kimono.

Why is it we always remember the costumes we hated?  I'm sure I must have had some princess outfit somewhere that I refused to take off for days on end, at least one year.  Right?  Why don't we have pictures of that?


Wait!  I found some Bonus Photos:  

This is me, wearing a football uniform for possibly no apparent reason other than I was a super-tough tomboy and I felt like it?  I can't even understand this picture at all.  I have no recollection of this moment whatsoever, why I'm the only one dressed up, or what my friend Mary is doing.  Probably writing to Santa, asking for a new best friend.
No idea what, or why.  I did NOT play football.
 And lastly, finally,...a smile!
 Me, about age 5-6.  See? No costume = Happy.


  1. Awww...adorable pictures!

    I am reasonably sure that not a single picture of my halloween costumes exists. I think they mostly came out of a box. Plastic suit with a hard plastic mask that you couldn't see out of. At least that's what I remember.

    1. I remember those masks! Maybe the other kids had them, or maybe we had pictures and lost them in our house fire, but I totally remember that hard sharp plastic with the rubber-band strap.

      What I WISH I could remember, is posing for the football uniform picture. What. the. heck? I wasn't a sports fan. Why did someone take a pic of us like that, and what was Mary doing?

      Work, brain, WORK!

  2. I am shocked that you were soooo mad about those "fun" times. Out in our
    neck of the woods moms always made costumes. No one could afford to go
    out & buy them so we had to get creative. Sorry. There were some pretty fun
    times at the community hall parties & the ones we had at the church too.
    We did at least one when Rem still lived out there. Oh, the football get up did belong to Michael. Think you tried it on & I caught the moment on film.
    Ahh.....the memories. LOL.....mom

    1. Not shocking. The homemade-ness of the costumes wasn't the thing. It was the wearing of the disliked costumes and the being forced to share, that got my 7-year-old shorts in a bunch.

      Yep. good times

  3. My dad was a printing press operator and he would bring home huge rolls of paper (the remnants from a print) for us to decorate for different events thus making homemade banners. However, what most people don't know is that these rolls of paper have huge, cardboard end caps. My mom used two of them one year, spray painted, laced together, and with a hole in one, to turn her kindergartener into a giant pumpkin....the kind that can't walk or move and looks kind of like Randy from A Christmas Story:

    1. Oh, funny! We have a picture of one of my nephews as a pumpkin somewhere...

  4. When I was in boarding school, we dressed up for Halloween. They gave us access to a room full of old clothes and etc. and we made our own costumes. One year, when I was 9 or 10, I dressed up as a hobo and actually used Elmer's glue to attach pieces of black witch hair to my face as a beard and eyebrows. Everything was fine until I tried to get it off with no help from an adult. It would have been nice had an adult been around to suggest that a little water could have softened the glue. But it didn't occur to me and I very painfully peeled it off my face and eyebrows!
    I remember those costume parties at the American Legion hall fondly, too! In fact, I hadn't thought of them in years, but was just telling someone about them last Sunday. One thing that was fun about them was that the adults dressed up and played the games, too. My dad suggested I go as a giant coin and say I was dressed up as "The Profits of Old," so I think that's what I did because I thought it was clever.

    1. Those were funnnn!! I remember the funniest year when my parents went as Adam and Eve: both wore one-piece long john outfits with a cut-out leaf placed as necessary... and mom in a fur coat ! I loved that one.

  5. These are so adorable. I love the frowning angel. It says so much...

    1. I know-- is that the maddest face ever, or what?