If I Could Turn Back Time

I think the last time I dressed in a costume for Halloween was back in the early 90s. I had quit my job to go to school full-time to earn my Bachelor’s Degree. I waited tables at a local, iconic, pizza restaurant and rented an apartment near campus. At 28, I was an older, non-traditional, student. Except for the inappropriate relationship one of my (married) professors wanted to engage in with me, a sometimes difficult and awkward situation because the department was small and I needed to take his classes, and an emotional meltdown when I turned 30 (remember, mom?), I loved everything about being a student – the pressure of getting my papers in on time, preparing for tests, studying for hours in a corner of the campus library.

Being the driven woman my mom and dad created, I earned my degree in 3 1/2 years; most of the kids took five. If I had known at the time, within a couple of years, I would wind up back in the same industry I retired from when I went to college, I may have taken those five years. Still, I had a blast. I was old enough to appreciate being there, mature enough to understand the sacrifices that come with working part-time while going to school full-time and serious enough to pull off good work.

I had a Halloween party during one of those college years. I went to a local thrift store, located on the 2nd floor, above a tire company, rifled through the vintage clothing racks. I don’t think I had a costume in mind but must have quickly put one together in my head when I saw the red, polyester, jumpsuit. A wig, false eyelashes, heavy blue eyeshadow and homemade headband and, voila, Cher.

IMG_3851 (3)

photo of a blurry photo

Old friends, and new, came to the party. We had a mobster and his moll, a skeleton, mime and some crazy get-ups made with face paint, rubber masks and wild wigs. One guy, who came as a streaker (remember those), wore a trench coat over boxers and flashed us all night. I’m guessing I served pizza although I don’t remember.

I don’t think I’ve dressed up for a party since. By the time I graduated college I had met my future husband and had set up house. Instead of going to parties I stayed home to dole out candy to the kids ringing our doorbell. I’ll be home with the bowl of candy again this year. My neighborhood is popular for trick or treating; we have sidewalks and small lots so the houses are close to each other. One sweep up and down a few streets nets a decent amount of candy.

Sunday, we’re hosting Bill’s family for lunch, and we’ll share photos of our recent trip. Hopefully, any leftover candy will be offered to our guests and will not have been consumed by me the night before.

Lucky for us, we’ll be turning back the clocks to give us an extra hour to sleep prepare.

Categories: Home, Musings

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51 replies

  1. A meltdown at 30? That age looks pretty good from this side, doesn’t it? Last costume I had on was a nun. My husband and I were both nuns. Side note — people are nicer when they think you are really nuns. It was fun but by the end of the night, I had rub marks from the head piece. How they wear those things mystifies me. I like the Cher outfit (no stupid head pieces and you can drink unencumbered!)

    • Well, that’s good news that people are still nice to nuns, Kate. Your husband passed as one? 🙂 The 30 year meltdown was rough, 40 and 50 have been a breeze. You know the old saying – if I knew then what I knew now I definitely would not have sweat it.

  2. That’s a great costume-and if you wanted to wear a costume you could still wear the same and look terrific. Like you I think, I just never could get into wearing costumes even when I was in my teens and 20s. So now-I just enjoy handing out the candy. 😈

  3. It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a costume. Probably not since med school. My husband and I went as zombies. It was actually a pretty cool costume. All it took was dirtying up and tearing some old clothes, awful gelled hair, and white and black face makeup. 🙂

  4. Splendid Cher impersonation. I wish I got kids at my place. When I was married, my hubby was just a 6’3″ 10 year old himself. We both loved Halloween and lived in a brand new neighborhood where everyone knew each other. We didn’t dress up, but we sure dressed the house up, complete with scary sound effects and dry-ice smoke. Kids, now adults, still remember coming to our house and getting the beejeesus scared out of them. The parents accompanied the littlest kiddos and held out their shot glasses for their own treat. It was a great time.

  5. Halloween is not something that is generally celebrated in South Africa, but it seems to be gaining in popularity and tonight I went trick or treating for the first time (excuse: I have a five-year-old!). It was loads of fun!

  6. I enjoyed reading this, Geralyn, so thanks for sharing. Our little path was quite well trodden last night too, and I intend to take the leftover sweets out with me and the walkers tomorrow. (cunning! 🙂 ) Have a lovely Sunday!

  7. I haven’t dressed up for Halloween since my son outgrew it, but it used to be a great holiday for us. I was usually a witch, in one incarnation or another, sometimes a cat. All good. Love your costume there. Happy fall.

  8. You were a gorgeous Cher, Geralyn. It sounds like a fun party. I wish one of my friends would have a Halloween dress-up party. Maybe some year I’ll have to get ambitious and have one myself.

    My kids missed out on trick-or-treating. When they were young, we lived in the Philippines. They celebrate All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s day instead. They go to the cemetery and eat, drink, play cards, and sing the night away. That was many years ago. They probably go trick-or-treating now.

    • Celebrating All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day sounds like it could be fun and scary. I’ve probably mentioned I’m half Filipino but my dad was adopted so I really know nothing about the culture.

  9. I thought about Cher instantly the moment I saw the title of your post. And then there you were, dressed as Cher! Great costume!
    I have a lot of hats, so those work really well as costumes. I wore a Mad Hatter Mickey Mouse hat this past Halloween. The kids loved that one. I usually wear a Goofy hat. (Both are from Disney World.)

  10. Nice post title and costume.

    It’s amazing how actually PAYING for your own education makes kids see college as something besides “more school.” At my party university, so many kids flunked out. But Mom and Dad paid the bill, so they just didn’t care.

    I sometimes think a Gap Year should be mandatory. Kids can party, travel, work, gain a little perspective.

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