Purchasing costumes just didn't happen. Why buy clothes you will only wear once? Are you going to wear it to school again? Then the answer from my parents was a resounding, "No!" (In Spanish.) The only time I remember having a costume was when we borrowed it from on of our neighbors. When the idea was originally proposed I was too embarrassed to accept, so I wasn't told. I didn't want to be the laughing stock at school for borrowing someone else's costume.
My mother secretly arranged with a neighbor to borrow her sons costume when he was done trick or treating. So naturally he held resentment towards me when his mother pressured him to hurry back. He was sure to make his frustrations evident to me at school in front of everyone. Most of the houses I went to told me I had been there already and turned me away. That was real embarrassing. At school as was labeled as the poor leech kid because of it. We weren't poor. My parents were just VERY careful with their money.
My worst costume experience EVER though has to be the year my parents considered me old enough to make my own.
Again, it was the day of and I'm scrambling for something, anything that could pass as a costume. I ask if we could go to a thrift shop and buy a cheap Halloween make up kit so I could be a bum. They said it was a waste of money and instead tossed some of my mothers old makeup my way.
This was stuff she didn't use and had kept for years. Keep in mind this took place in the 80's so this stuff is most likely from the 70's. You can imagine the color and consistency. I start working with what I had, mixing the flashy disco colors trying to get brown or black. No luck.
I'm staring at my face in the bathroom mirror with corroded, yet still somehow glittery, makeup plastered all over it. I mess up my hair but I know I still look like a moron. Bum wasn't going to work. I smeared it all of my face, turned my shirt inside out and walked out of the restroom. My mother saw me and said that was too scary. I looked "evil" so she painted a heart on my cheek with garishly purple glitter lipstick. I walked out there looking like a fuckin' clown face painting disaster.
I know I didn't pull off the bum look because when I went trick or treating, they didn't offer me food. They just stared at me. A little amused, perhaps a little scared. Unluckily enough for me, I was spotted by one of my schoolmates. He chuckled and called me over. I explained the situation and he began guiding me on. He was hanging out with me and that made me feel better.
Little did I know he was dragging me along to show off to the other school friends. Yep, he leads me right to the most popular girl in school. I stayed in the shadows but she still saw me. She smirked and said, "What, the hell, are you?"
I just turned and walked home.
I casually strolled in and wiped my face a little. Both my parents seemed annoyed that I was done already. I wasted all that "good" makeup for only 15 minutes of "fun" and I didn't even have much candy to show for it. "You better get back out there!" they said. I was not about to show my face but I resigned and asked if I could have a bed sheet to use as a "Ghost" costume.
My parents were quick to warn me that I was not allowed to ruin another perfectly good sheet so I dug up that old crusty one from a few years back that we kept for some God forsaken reason.
I had grown, so the sheet was no longer dragging on the floor. Instead it was about up to my knees so my jeans and dirty K-Mart shoes were clearly visible. Drooping my head in shame, I did my rounds and picked up the usual latecomers leftover neighborhood supply of black licorice and candy corn. I didn't even want to cry because I was afraid my makeup would run.
Enjoy your Halloween! More importantly, make sure the kids you know enjoy it!