When I was younger, I looked forward to Halloween with all of the eagerness of a shy, awkward kid whose insecurities vanished for one night a year behind a cat-mask. For several years my costume was a hot pink, leopard-print body suit with a pendulous black tail pinned to the rear. In my mind’s eye, I looked fantastic, sleek and mysterious, though the effect was somewhat lessened by my Velcro sneakers. Pictures of me in that costume, however, have not well withstood the passage of time—in fact, I wish there weren’t any. I would much rather remember that costume the way I saw it through the round feline eyes of its pink cardboard mask which made my face sweat and my breath echo in my ears. The feeling of anonymity that costume gave me was a drug more potent than Hershey’s. When I was decked out in full pink leopard regalia no one knew that I was the only person in my class who still couldn’t tie her shoes without making two bows (thus the Velcro). The fact that my sister was three years younger than me yet always got to be the Barbie who didn’t have a homemade haircut, became immaterial. Nothing could touch pink-leopard me.Unfortunately, my Halloween spirit has waned through the years. Perhaps this is because dressing up when you are young is more than dressing up; you assume another identity, and, rather than telling you that you just can’t wear your sequined tutu to school, for one evening every adult around you only encourages your fantasy. I believe the low point of my Halloween enthusiasm occurred during my freshman year at Bard, when I wore an orange shirt to a party and claimed to be a carrot. The shirt had writing on it, but I hadn’t bothered to turn it inside out. Several friends eyed me skeptically when I told them what I was, and asked why I hadn’t at least said I was dressed as a pumpkin. I lowered my head. That hadn’t even occurred to me.I can accept the fact that my indifference toward Halloween as of late is mainly because it is a holiday geared toward younger children and petty felons. However, it can also be argued that my decreased interest in dressing up coincided with my enrollment in a college where many choose to do so every day of the year.

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