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Oct 31 2016
A Brief History Of My Brief History With Halloween Costumes Comments (0)

Scan 8 copy 2Me, left; my cousin Wally, right, practicing for our future mugshots. His funny, middle-aged neighbor lady came in blackface. (All images via Matthew Rettenmund)

Like all kids, I dressed up for Halloween every year.

I loved trick or treating—we would venture out of our subdivision as I got older, seeking out new, more exotic candies, and those rare houses that foolishly gave kids full-sized candy bars. Who cared about razor blades? We were looking for a Mr. Goodbar.

Scan 8 copyAs Superman with my li'l sis. That's Buffy the dog, my mom and my Grandpa Toole on the periphery.

But as for costumes, I never really got into it as much as some. Most of my get-ups were $2 and came from Meijer's Thrifty Acres or Bueche's.

I remember being a red devil, Superman, the Six Million-Dollar Man, Scooby-Doo, a woman (4th grade), a werewolf, a hobo with Vaseline/coffee grounds for a five o'clock shadow and then my final look before I stopped trick or treating: Groucho Marx. A nod to my belief I should've been born in the '20s. (Glad I wasn't! I'm fine being a part of the Not-So-Greatest Generation if it means I get to avoid WWII.)

Scan 8More than a woman! I wore my mom's wig and cocktail dress. My sister was a cheerleader ... found in a river?

When I went off to college, I believe I only dressed up one time, in 1991—and I went as Theda Bara, with Marilyn Monroe's take on Theda as my inspiration.

Scan 10We took selfies first, kids! Me as a werewolf. I had latex clawed hands, but the face was just mascara, I think.

I have not done a Halloween costume since, mainly because I haven't been invited to a Halloween party since! Maybe I need to start drinking. Or maybe I just need more considerate friends. But if I did dress again, I would probably look for those $2 costumes with the vinyl bodysuits again. Do they make a Jean Harlow one of those?!

Scan 9My final costume—Theda Bara! My underarm hair skirted the Hays Code.