Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween psychology test

Halloween costumes are a little like Rorschach tests: You choose a costume that reflects some secret aspect of yourself and what you see in others’ choices says something about you.

Take, for example, my Beloved: He dressed as a king last night when we were trolling the French Quarter in New Orleans. It’s a retread — he dressed as King Henry VIII in the past — but this time, he called himself King of New Orleans.

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Does my Beloved see himself as a king? Yes, of all he surveys.

What did other people see?

Some — the well-read ones — saw King Henry. Some bowed down, tipped their hat or professed their allegiance (serfs in past lives, no doubt). Some saw the Burger King (the hungry ones).

Lots of werewolves, zombies and biker chicks asked for pictures with the King (groupies). Vain King Tut recognized a kindred spirit; he put his arm around my Beloved and summoned his entourage to take several shots (“were my eyes open?”).

How did I dress? As a faux jewel-encrusted queen. What did others see?

My king.

Eat, drink and be scary

Not to rain on anyone’s parade (like it’s doing here today in northern Illinois), but Halloween is like the playoffs for me — I’m a bandwagon fan who can’t quite conjure up the enthusiasm of die-hard season ticket holders.

I’m impressed with over-the-top Halloween yard decorations, but I would never spend the time and money to do the same. I appreciate a clever Halloween costume (like that of the daughter of a friend, who is wearing a T-shirt today that says “Love ceilings” — she’s a ceiling fan), but my “clever” ends where the party supply store does (this year, I dressed as a cow for one party and a black cat for another — hardly the height of interesting or scary). I like a good Halloween party, but I think I’ve thrown only one, and it was still just a dinner party with costumes.

However, I thought wistfully today of a former co-worker today who embraced Halloween in all its glory every year: Cheryl Lightle, the co-founder of Creative Memories where I was once employed. Here’s an excerpt from the “Have Fun” segment of her book, “Creative Memories: The 10 Timeless Principles Behind the Company that Pioneered the Scrapbooking Industry”:

“Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I always dress up. When I first started at The Antioch Company [the parent company of Creative Memories] it was close to Halloween, and I asked everyone what they would be wearing to work to celebrate. Very few people responded. I showed up on Halloween as the Wicked Witch of the West and gave out candy. I was the only one who dressed up.”

Cheryl’s enthusiasm was infectious though. By the time I came along in the company, dozens if not hundreds of employees dressed in costume, and the costume contest was the height of the afternoon festivities. Cheryl continued the practice of handing out candy and inspiring an atmosphere of fun.

I hope she’s wearing a costume today, where ever she’s celebrating.

In the spirit of fun, here’s a doctored image of me from a couple of years ago when I dressed as a fortune-teller:

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May Jack-o-lanterns burning bright
of soft and golden hue
pierce through the future’s veil
and show what fate now holds for you.

He’s got legs … and he knows how to use them

One’s Halloween costume illumines one’s psyche.

Dressed as a witch? Probably proud of your inner broom rider.

Wielding a hook and an eye patch? Maybe you’re walking a narrow plank of good and evil between Jolly Roger and Captain Hook.

Wearing pointy teeth and a cape? Perhaps you are revealing your inner needy self, satisfied only with terrorizing others and demanding blood sacrifice.

No matter how I dress, I’m me in a costume. I’m a poor play actor, unwilling to yield control.

My Beloved, however, dresses for Halloween the same way he lives life: Go big or go home.

Even Nurse Betty carries Coach.

Tights have been his late October disguise in recent years. Two years ago, he was Helga the bar wench. Last year, a regal King Henry VIII. This year, a hirsute nurse — some might describe as “naughty,” others as “scary.”

I find men who are in touch with their feminine side to be attractive, and Tyler’s willingness to embrace his feminine mystique casts light on his inner self. My sweetheart’s courage to strut his stuff in a flaxen wig, painted fingernails and a mini skirt is beyond hilarious. Despite attempting to project my serious attention to the collective unconscious dressed as a fortune teller, I was giggling nonstop at last night’s Halloween party.

On our way home, we rocked while listening to a local FM radio station and at 1:06 a.m. precisely, an Aerosmith classic pounded through the speakers:

So never judge a book by its cover
Or who you’re going to love by your lover.
Love put me wise to her love in disguise.
She had the body of a venus.
Lord, imagine my surprise.

(That, that) Dude looks like a lady.
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady.
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady.
(That, that) Dude looks like a lady.

When my Beloved wants to continue his, um, streak of wearing tights next year, I’m going to suggest a superhero.

And I don’t mean Wonder Woman.

Believe it or not,
I’m walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it’s just me.

What would you do with $2 billion?

Yesterday's treats are tomorrow's garbage on the street.

Today’s fun facts:

  • $2 billion: Amount Americans spent on Halloween candy this year, according to Parade Magazine.
  • $2 billion:  Amount spent this year on campaign advertising for all U.S. Senate and U.S. House election races, according to “Freakonomics” author Stephen Dubner on NPR’s On the Media.

To put that in perspective, that’s about $27 worth of candy for every U.S. child younger than 18 and about $15 worth of advertising for every registered voter in the United States.

Where are our values?

Too much candy and too many campaign ads both are nauseating, and here we are on the day between Halloween and Election Day, sick of both. I boycotted the trick-or-treat ritual by taking in a twilight matinée of “Hereafter” at the movie theatre, and I’m attempting to avoid campaign ads by watching “Survivor” and “Project Runway” on DVR (so I can fast forward through the commercials) and listening to National Public Radio (which doesn’t have commercials).

Is this kind of spending economic stimulus or lunacy?

Crowning moment of awesome

In the Halloween spirit: King Henry VIII.

Yesterday’s quiz question: What do you get when you combine a terry blanket, a pair of long johns with holes, a woman’s fake fur coat, a tablecloth, a shower curtain from Goodwill and a man’s T-shirt?

Answer: Vestments fit for a king — King Henry VIII, to be precise.

Tyler’s mother, a whiz with a sewing machine, picked up a bunch of suitable materials at Goodwill and elsewhere, to create his costume this year, based entirely from this googled image. The top of the sleeves and cloak brocade are from the shower curtain; the long johns were perfect for the bottom of the sleeves. The fur coat — hot glued to the edges — made an impressive trim for the cloak. We found some bling at the Halloween store; tights (the second year in a row my Beloved has donned tights for Halloween) and gold spray painted Crocs finished the ensemble.

"Off with her head!"

The inspiration for Tyler’s costume came from a green velvet-like Renaissance dress my mother sewed for me 10 years ago. If you don’t know your English history, King Henry VIII married six times and did away with two of them by beheading them. I dressed as wife No. 2, Anne Boleyn — complete with a neck gash in tribute to Halloween’s gore.

Parading around as king and queen was fun. The Three Musketeers, whom we encountered at the local pub, promised their undying loyalty. Thanks to our neighbors for giving us the opportunity act regal (or goofy, as the case may be) at their self-described half-assed Halloween party.

Happy Halloween! Long live the king (and queen and their seamstresses)!

Sweet bit of lightness and love

I’m hosting my book club/Bible study tonight, and I wanted to give everyone a treat in honor of Halloween. Something witchy didn’t seem quite appropriate, and I was already serving dark chocolate cherry brownies, so a piece of candy wasn’t right either.

But I found something perfect in my gift closet:

I had some sample boxes and tea lights leftover from an aborted attempt at peddling Gold Canyon candles. Serendipitously, the boxes were orange and the candles came in scents like caramel ginger strudel and toffee drizzled popcorn. With a few Creative Memories supplies, I printed out a verse and stuck it to the inside box cover:

Lord, when doubts fill my mind,
when my heart is in turmoil,
quiet me and give me
renewed hope and cheer.

~ Psalm 94:19 TLB

Thanks, Stefanie, for inspiring me with the verse!

Even if you don’t have the die-cut candle box, you could make a cute little token by sticking a tea light on a little bit of folded construction paper. It might be a nice gift to a special adult who doesn’t get to go trick-or-treating on Sunday. It’s a sweet thought — and no calories!