October 29, 2009

Hoods Off to Me

some jack-o-lanterns from around the interweb

Halloween is in the air.

I was having a long-overdue chat (gmail, not real, unfortunately) with my good friend Barbara the other day, and among other things (she also convinced me to send in a grad school app to Columbia, even though I hadn't considered it before), she reminded me of our Halloween good old days. After my own costumes, Barbara's are probably those which I remember best, probably because I helped her make a lot of them. From the apron for the French Maid (when I was a playmate), the baby blue blouse and black slippers for Alice in Wonderland (when I was Mia Wallace), to the hood for Little Red Riding Hood (when I was a "senior" from Dazed and Confused) -  we made our costumes and then we took them out on the town! We didn't always end up celebrating all Halloween festivities together, but we certainly had great times when we did.

[Barb - this is where I would have put that ridiculous picture of maid you, bunny me, and "hugh hefner", but I followed my better judgment and decided the memory was enough :) ]

This isn't to say that I had Halloween fun only with Barabara - Kate and I went off on a last-minute PoliSci/Halloween adventure in DC one year, and mustarded  up a bunch of frying piggies the next with Becca (if you don't get it, watch Dazed and Confused), along with countless other Halloween adventures with plenty of memorable people.

[Kate - this is where I would have put that ridiculous picture of you, as Buffy, wearing that guy's afro in DC, but I followed my better judgment and decided the memory was enough :) ]

But I mention Barbara in particular because our little stroll down memory lane the other night, along with my current lack of originality/time/a Halloween budget, inspired me to use one of her old Halloween ideas as a new one for myself this year, and go as Little Red Riding Hood. This was probably also influenced by the fact that I had an old, mismatched red sheet lying around waiting to be cut up, and the 1 euro sewing kit I bought to sew up the hood and apron (assembled out of two old white scarves) definitely cost me a lot less than anything else I could have bought to make a good last minute costume.

This brings me to my next point. I actually sewed. Using a pattern. And created something that looks like it was supposed to. Don't get me wrong, Barb's hood a few years ago wasn't all bad, but I hadn't thought of using an online pattern, and it definitely took us a long time to figure out how to make it. I was done with this in a couple of hours, all measuring, cutting and sewing included. And it actually looks good. The apron isn't all bad either. Paired with some snazzy polka dot tights and mary janes, I think my last-minute costume disaster won't be so disastrous after all!

For all you impatient folk, here's a sneak peak at my handiwork (although you won't get to actually see it on me until after Halloween):

Now all I'm missing is a little wooden basket...

Ok, so the picture isn't great - the hanger wasn't a great mannequin either, and stockings without legs in them are always sort of creepy - but you get the picture. Pretty cute, eh?

At least it's an effort. I was afraid that this year Halloween would fall victim to the GRE studying, the grad school apps, the moving, etc, and that I'd have to face the fact that I was growing up and needed to put these childish games behind me. But apparently I can have my Halloween candy and eat it too! (Although I probably won't actually be having any Halloween candy - they don't really get that part of Halloween here in Italy). Maybe I'll have a cocktail instead. Il Circolo Degli Artisti is having its annual Halloween party - pretty much the only place in Rome where Italian Halloweenophiles get to congregate - and I'm planning on revving up some enthusiasm in Valerio and his friends so we can get a little entourage together and try to do justice to the memory of Halloweens past.

And who knows, maybe next year Barb and I will get to do Halloween together again... in New York! :)

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