Costume complications: the annual indecision caused by Halloween costumes


Ilena Peng

Ready for a Halloween ghost story? Once upon a time, I blinked. Then I opened my eyes one month later to dry brown leaves and the scent of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. It’s now October.
For most months of the year, the first day is the one people notice. Jan. 1 is New Year’s, Apr. 1 is April Fools day. But strangely enough the last day of October is the most eventful: Halloween. Every year, Halloween causes me indecision. Am I too old to trick-or-treat? Should I watch horror movies that will leave me petrified for weeks to follow? And the hardest question of all: costume or no costume?
Avril Lavigne’s song “Complicated” was released so long ago it might as well be a dead song. But its ghost still whispers in my ear, haunting me and pointing out every flaw in my thoughts concerning Halloween.

Halloween Graph2
Graphic by Renee Pu

You’re trying to be cool

Three types of people exist on Halloween. People who go all out, those who pretend it’s not Halloween and people like me, who try halfheartedly. So it’s Halloween and as usual, I’m too lazy to wear a costume. The most effort I’ll put in is wearing cat ears or something else equally lax. But I know that when I get to school, there will be a bunch of people decked out in epic group costumes, complete with props and face paint.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are people who wear jeans and a sweatshirt, treating Halloween like every other day of the year.
And finally, those who aren’t willing to put that much effort in but still want to look like they remembered it was Halloween. Listening to Lavigne’s song, I find myself wondering if I really am trying to look nonchalant and cool or if people think…

You look like a fool to me

To be honest, part of the reason I never dress up is because I hate being made a fool of and I’m sure I’m not the only one. School is tiring enough; I stagger through each day, barely making it out alive. Putting in the effort to plan a costume would only add to my exhaustion. Not only does dressing up as say, a zombie, take way too much work, but why walk around feeling self-conscious the whole day?
I suppose the point of Halloween is to be able to look like a complete idiot without being judged. I always find myself laughing along with people’s ridiculous costumes. Even so, that voice in the back of my mind will still say I look like a fool. I can only hope that’s not what everyone else sees.

Tell me; why do you have to go and make things so complicated?
When it comes down to it, worrying about Halloween costumes is overrated. Halloween costumes aren’t all that important. But being the perfectionists that we MVHS students tend to be, we overthink everything, including the most minor of details.

I see the way you’re acting like you’re somebody else gets me frustrated

Dress up if you want. If you don’t really care, wearing a “This is my Halloween costume” shirt is completely acceptable. And if you’re stuck somewhere in between, I feel you. Come Halloween, it doesn’t really matter what costume you’re wearing. Stop trying so hard. As long as you can eat all the diabetes-inducing KitKat bars you desire, I promise everything will be okay.

Originally published in the Oct. 2015 issue of El Estoque