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Happy Hallo-schwing! (Or, Asphinctersayswhat?)

Ever since I was old enough to understand what it was all about, I’ve loved Halloween.  It’s a holiday where you get to dress up, stay out late, gorge on candy, and you don’t have to buy your ungrateful family members gifts (kidding, guys!).

So what’s not to love?

In fact, the only slight drawbacks to the holiday nowadays are the fact that (a) costumes cost roughly the same price as a black market kidney and (b) every women’s costume—whether it’s mechanic, dentist, or offshore oil rigman—requires fishnets and a push-up bra.

I’ve never been the type to dress up as a slutty cheerleader or slutty witch or slutty fairy on Halloween–not that I’m a hater.  In fact, I’m fully of the if-you’ve-got-it-flaunt-it-cause-it-sure-ain’t-going-to-be-flauntable-forever school of thought.  But my personal beef has always been more with the utilitarian aspect of these types of costumes.

The equation in my head goes a little something like this:  Delicate exposed flesh + 30 degree temps + five hours of bar crawling = Hells to the no.

While I fully appreciate the “You go, girl!”-ness of showing off the goods in the spirit of Halloween, I’m not passionate enough about it to risk losing said goods to hypothermia just to prove I had ’em to show off in the first place.  That’s a little too The Gift of the Magi for my liking.

Besides, I almost always go for the gag—the more silly, dorky and ridiculous, the better.  So given all these factors, when I finally find a costume I like, I will proceed to wear its ass out.  No lie–I will trot out that  bad boy year after year until either its vital components begin to disintegrate or I am no longer able to tell in which decade the Halloween photos were taken.

Here’s my lifetime progression of Halloween costumes:

– Tiger.  Worn age 1.  Comfortable, stylish, flattering.  I’d still be wearing it to this day if I could fit into it.

– Black cat.  Worn ages 4 to 10.  Crafted with minimal parental oversight, this unelaborate getup featured a black headband with ears I made out of paper Scotch-taped to it, a black leotard, black tights and a tail pinned to the seat of my britches.  Which, when you think about it, is basically every slutty adult cat costume, too.

– Mouse.  Worn ages 10 to 12.  Same costume as above, just different-shaped ears.  The cat tail made it somewhat confusing.

– From ages 12 to 17, I was far too cool to be bothered to dress up for Halloween, so I guess I just went as a punk-ass teenager.

– Flapper.  Worn age 18.  The store-bought costume was thin, insanely itchy and, three weeks later, I was still picking sparkles out of some unlikely nooks and crannies (uh, hello, like my ears, people?  Geez.).  In the spirit of the holiday, the day after Halloween I gave it to Goodwill so that next year it could go forth and haunt other poor, hapless victims.

– Nerd.  Worn ages 20 to 25.  This costume went the distance because it was comfortable, cheap and, c’mon, awesome.  Since I was a broke, unemployed college student at the time (unlike the broke, unemployed adult I am now), I went to Goodwill and bought men’s plaid pants, thick black-rimmed glasses, and a tie with ducks on it for like $4.  I then added white tape to the glasses, gelled my hair down into a slick part, acted like myself all night–and bam!

A word of caution, though:  Be sure to wear full-coverage underwear because you will be fending off unprovoked wedgies from friends and the occasional creepy stranger all night long.

– Princess Toadstool.  Worn age 28.  I think we all know by now that I’m not the princess type, but the hubs and our good friend Kevin were hell-bent on dressing up as Mario and Luigi, so it was either be her or Toad, and I don’t need to draw any more undue attention to the ginormous-ness of my head by wearing a gigantic, phallic-like mushroom cap, thank you very much.

And, yes, that is a blowup doll taped down on the table behind us.  It was that kind of party.

This year’s costume, however, is by far one of my favorites:

Wayne’s World!  Party time!  Excellent!

This was a last-minute Hail Mary idea–there was a party Saturday night and it was Saturday afternoon and neither my friend Christine nor I had any idea what we were going to be yet.

And the best part is this entire look cost me about $10.  I already had the plain black shirt and Chuck Taylors, but I found the flannel for $3 at Goodwill.  Then I went to Michael’s and bought iron-transfer letters and a black hat for $6 and had myself a little Crafty Craftertons moment.

And since I had some letters left over, I went the extra mile and made a T-shirt that says “Schwing!”

How ’bout them apples, Martha Stewart?

Happy Halloween, everybody!

(PS:  The title’s a Wayne’s World reference:




Now go forth and prosper with that information.)



the other Mrs. Barstow

Good job, Erin! You rock.


Thanks, lady! Your craftiness must finally be rubbing off on me…


Nice Flashback! Happy Halloween!… when this costume wears out since you been Wayne and Garth … what about trying BIll and Ted! LOL


That idea sounds… EXCELLENT!


Yeah for the crafty, last minute, warm and fun costume!! Party on Wayne! GAME ON~!


I love that you said britches!!


I totally thought of you when I was typing it, too!


Aww yay!

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