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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: Will you wear a costume for Halloween?

The weekend-open-thread experiment of a while back didn’t really pan out, so I thought I’d try another tack to start some conversation over the weekends. And since there are many commenters here who are regulars, I thought: Let’s use these weekend threads to talk about things not related to movies, so we maybe we can get to know one another a little better.

So, to kick it off: Will you wear a costume for Halloween? If so, how much planning goes into yours? Do you buy or rent a ready-made costume, or do you consider that cheating? Where will you wear your costume? To a party? To work? Just to answer the door to trick-or-treaters?

I’ve been invited to a party next Saturday night, but I’m not sure if I’ll wear a costume. If I do, I’ll probably go for something simple like “tourist,” for which I’ll just pick up an “I [Heart] NY” t-shirt and foam Statue of Liberty crown in a souvenir shop in Times Square and stand around gawking at everything.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • CoriAnn

    Well, it’s my college’s homecoming game, which is the one football game a year I go to–so I will be dressing up as a football fan, which for me, is a costume. :o)

  • Accounting Ninja

    Yup! I’m going as a flapper. I’ve got the hair for it, too.
    I’ve got the feather head-thing, the pearls, the shoes, the straight black dress** and the loooong cigarette holder (for show, I don’t smoke cigarettes.)
    I put a lot of work into it and I can’t wait!
    My husband is going as a WW1 doughboy. He had to rent his because nothing looks like that around our modern times, and the pre-bagged costumes look all felty and crappy.

    **pet peeve: they had a ton of pre-bagged flapper dresses in the Halloween Annex, but they were all ludicrously short! I’m talking near-bum exposure here. Grr. If you watch the old videos of flappers, they did not wear skirts that short. They were knee length or just above or even below. So, I hunted for a flappery dress in a regular store and found one. It’s knee length and very nice.

  • Dan

    You’d think Halloween would be a big deal in the UK because Britain’s one of the most haunted countries in the world with a rich, spooky history — buwhile it’s definitely grown in the last 10 years, it’s still pretty much a minor holiday where you’ll perhaps get a few trick-or-treaters aged 8 and under for about an hour after 5pm. At least in my experience.

    There’s the odd party for adults, perhaps, but that’s not typical – so, no, I won’t be dressing up because I have no reason to. Shame. I’d love Halloween to take-off more in the UK – it always looks like such fun in the US. Mind you, I base that opinion on film/TV, so maybe the reality is different even in the States.

  • misterb

    No more so than usual.

    Twenty five years ago, every day was Halloween. Nowadays, every day is Labor Day.

  • I’ve had my costume for this year planned for a while, and it’s been so easy to put together. I’ll be going as Beaker from The Muppets. There are a few party options to check in with, so I’m expecting to hit a bunch of different places around the downtown area.

  • Les Carr

    As a child, Snoopy seemed to be about a foreign country where pumpkins grew and children went trick or treating. What were these things? Then I realised that it was really about a foreign country that was subtly unlike ours. (That also helped explain the pitchers mound.)

    Then about 20 years ago children actually started to turn up on our doorsteps demanding sweets. I have NO idea how it started, but it’s fairly normal now. Traditionally, Brits have celebrated a day in the following week (Guy Fawkes night, Nov 5th) by letting off fireworks and burning effigies of the man who attempted to blow up Parliament in 1605. Now THAT’S ghoulish!

    But this year I am considering having a Brit Halloween film party. I am thinking of borrowing a digital projector from work and having a big screen showing of “Carry on Screaming” (classic British comedy from 1966) followed by a selection of horror / gore movies shown on ultra-fast forward with subtitles, so that people like me with nervous dispositions don’t get too alarmed.

  • RogerBW

    I’m another Briton who regards “Halloween” as a recent American import by commercial enterprises (like “Father’s Day”) rather than anything to be taken seriously.

    I shall probably spend the evening setting off fireworks (professionally), having spent the day digging them in. (Funny how few venues realise that a crew on-site for six hours might want to go to the loo occasionally, or maybe even have a hot drink.)

  • Jackie

    I have discovered that if I throw fruit at visiting children (good healthy oranges, grapefruits and lemons) they not only have to thank me (it’s the rules) but the same kids don’t come back the following year…

    It’s lovely to see their little faces turn tragic when they realise that their treat is some much-needed vitamin C.

  • Paul

    Living in China, I was a little embarressed by the one tricker treater who showed up at my door. I hated telling the little kid that I didn’t have any candy, but he was the first tricker treater who had showen up in the whole four years I’d been here. Maybe I should buy a couple of candy bars this year just in case.

    But you guys should know, if you do intend to dress up, that my biggest failure was dressing up as Nietzsche. I had many compliments on how I looked, but no one recognized me. My biggest success was dressing up as a friend of mine, who dressed pretty much the same way(Goth) everywhere he went regardless of social or meterological context. So I went to a party where he was at and read out some of his poetry that I’d rewritten. Fortunately he has a solid ego and everyone enjoyed it.

  • I’d love Halloween to take-off more in the UK – it always looks like such fun in the US. Mind you, I base that opinion on film/TV, so maybe the reality is different even in the States.

    Actually, many American Halloween traditions–trick or treat, for example–seem to be becoming extinct.

    The green is always greener, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    As for costumes, I’ve been too depressed as of late to think of one. And for many years, I worked on Saturdays anyway.

  • markyd

    Trick or treating becoming extinct? I don’t think so. We usually get somewhere around 150+ kids looking for candy.
    Funny thing is…I keep a stash of rocks and other misc. junk to drop into their bags along with the candy. I just imagine the charlie brown moment: “I got a rock!”
    I typically dress as a Grim Reaper to go along with our graveyard setup.
    My awesome kid, who will be on his eighth Halloween this year, has always chosen very classic costumes. This year he is a reaper as well. He’s been a vampire twice, a mummy, Frankenstein, a ghost, a bat, and a baby dragon.

  • Well, some neighborhoods are different. I know the trick or treaters in my late father’s neighborhood used to decrease in number every year and at my present residence, it hardly seems worth putting out candy because no kid ever come by.

    But your mileage obviously varies…

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