1.04.2010

Ernie Coombs

Something that I feel get's an unfair shake throughout the span of growing up: costumes.

When we're kids, you've got Halloween. One day of the year when you get to dress up in an awesome costume and parade around town pretending to be someone or something that makes you cooler then you were before. Of course the first few years your costumes may or may not be determined by your parents; leading to far less awesome looks, but most kids have at least four/five years of wicked costumes before they're told they're too old for Halloween.

If you're lucky you'll end up going to a cool grade school that has various events for various reasons (book fairs, student council nominations, pre-holiday celebrations, etc) that also act as another excuse to dress up. Unfortunately, your cool grade school is also attended by the too-cool-for-school kids or the bullies who make you feel like a loser for dressing up like Merlin from The Sword in the Stone or or because you drew a fake moustache on your lips for your Robin Hood costume. So you quickly give up dressing up for school as well as Halloween.

A few years pass, and you end up in high school, where there are once again special school-wide events (albeit far fewer) that call for dressing up as your favourite fictional character. But, of course, the same kids who ruined costumes for you before have managed to pass grade school in order to come to high school with the promise of renewed torment if you even think about throwing on something that isn't clearly blue jeans and a quicksilver t-shirt. But eventually you reach grade 12: the oldest in the school, no one is going to ridicule you anymore. And so you enjoy one sweet year of costumes and nostalgia for the days of your childhood before you are forced to graduate and move on in your life.

However, when you get to university/college/the work force you find out that Halloween is a completely legitimate and widely popular holiday again: anybody who is anybody is trying to come up with the most elaborately designed or culturally referenced costume to dress up in. Finally, after all those years, you're able to release your inner child for one night every year and not fear any sort of bullying; finally, you've found your people. But now you're back to just one day of the year on which you can cut loose and enjoy dressing up in elaborate costumes...

I love Halloween. And for the very little effort there is to participate (make a simple costume, and if you don't want to do that buy some candy and stay up till around 10-11 giving it out) I don't see why we can't have a couple more costume-days in the year.