Every Halloween my husband, Brian, hopes my costume will be like many other women’s costumes– too shamelessly tight, short, and boob-alicious for any other day of the year.
But every Halloween I want to be a man. Preferably one with facial hair.
The dream costumes I have yet to try are Abraham Lincoln, a male Viking, and the white-haired dude on the Quaker Oats box.
Brian doesn’t like any of these ideas. He wants me to try a sexy costume for once, or at the very least, a costume that does NOT involve him being married to the only bearded lady at any given Halloween party we attend. But sexy is not who I am, and it’s not (usually) how I want to feel.
One day I apologized for my love of fake facial hair. He answered, “Don’t apologize. Your sense of humor is part of what I love about you.”
“But I’m not trying to be funny, I just really like Abe Lincoln,” I said.
He laughed. Then he hugged me because I asked why he was laughing, and he thinks I’m cute when I don’t realize I’m being funny.
What Your Costume Says About You
On Halloween we play out our fantasies without fear of being judged. We can escape the confines of our gender, status, or natural personality. We can flip off our inhibitions. We can be free.
And what I find most interesting about this is who or what we choose to be when given this freedom. Sure, costumes are just for fun, but what you consider to be ”fun” says a lot about you. It communicates what kind of self-perception and social attention you desire. Do you want feel unique and controversial? Do you want to feel beautiful? Do you want to be the funny one? Do you want everyone to know that you are a total bad ass werewolf in denim cut-off shorts? (Because in the movies, humans who transform into werewolves always conveniently maintain the crotch part of their pants. Which is a shame, really, because aren’t you totally curious about what werewolf crotch looks like?)
I’m still trying to figure out what my love of facial hair and historical male figures means about me. I’m open to your ideas.
Who knows, maybe I’ll grow out of my facial hair phase. Maybe one day I’ll be a frumpy, overwhelmed working mom (honestly, I’ve already got the frumpy down, and I don’t even have a mini van full of kids to blame), dying to put on a skimpy cat costume that makes me feel beautiful.
But when that day comes, when I feel myself developing a new need, I hope I’ll be able to meet it in a healthy, long-term, satisfying, deep way. Sure, it may be remedied with one night in a sexy cat costume. Done. Easy. But if the issue is deeper than that, I hope I’m brave enough to address it– and preferably without skin-tight black latex pants and a tail pinned to my ass.