Halloween is nearly upon us

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Halloween is nearly upon us in all its spooked-out ghoulishness.

Lean in and I’ll tell you a little secret…..

……..are you listening?…….

This is not one of my favorite days.

Man, that’s a load off. I’m feeling better already.

I don’t have a thing against it; it’s just not a favorite for me and I’m more indifferent than anything else. Unless you’re giving me chocolate…and not those tiny mini-size whatever. Fun-size? More like Teaser-size. I want the real deal.

I’ll put out a pumpkin, even been known to carve one every few years. I’ll pass out candy to the little goblins who come to my door. It’s not like I turn off the lights and hide on the back porch.

Um, well, some years I’ve done that. Then I feel guilty because trick-or-treating was sort of fun when I was a kid, and those darkened houses were where the meanies lived…I don’ t want to be the neighborhood meanie.

It’s not a *thing* for me because of the costumes. I know that’s supposed to be the fun part, but I just can’t get into it. I have nothing but memories of failed costume attempts that have tarnished the big day for me.

barbie

Creepy, right? It was hard to breathe, and your face would get all hot and sweaty. Just what a kid needs on a chilly fall night.

As a kid of the mid-70s through early 80s, my mom bought me the drug-store costumes. They included a hard plastic mask that had those sharp edges at the eye, nose, and mouth holes and that thin elastic band that got tangled in my hair–and inevitably snapped because it was only attached with cheap, mini half-ass-crimped staples. The “costume” itself was a flimsy, permanently wrinkled, plastic smock with plastic ties that wouldn’t stay tied—or would snap from too much force. They had that bizarre chemical plasticky smell, and it ripped easily. I had to wear warm, functional clothes underneath that never, ever managed to match the theme of whatever I was supposed to be.

Following the dreadful plastic costume era, I was a gypsy for three years in a row (because I couldn’t come up with any better ideas). My mother used her makeup on my face and it was waaaaaay overdone (as it should have been) with blue eye-shadow, too much blusher, and fake moles. I wore tons of costume jewelry and layers upon layers of bohemian-ish clothes–where they came from I have no idea. I think there was also a smelly wig from the 60s we dug out of the bowels of her closet. It was garish; and in no way did I resemble a gypsy. Failed two-bit hooker, perhaps.

Then there was the year I wanted to be a clown. I have no idea why because clowns have always creeped me right the fuck out. But, we bought a cheap oil-based (read: likely lead-based) clown-makeup kit and rainbow wig from K-Mart that was so cheap it had unintentional bald spots. I had a hot-pink sweat shirt and sweat pants that would suffice as my clown outfit and serve the dual purpose of keeping me warm. I tasked mom with the face-painting honors because…that’s what mom’s do, right? I lay on her bed with my head in her lap while she painted and drew, tickling my cheeks and eyes. Finally, when she proclaimed she was done, I raced to the bathroom mirror and climbed on the counter to see my amazingly talented mother’s masterpiece………………..and I burst into tears. I was the worst clown ever in the history of clowndom. I’d wanted to be a happy clown. One that was fun and that people would like. Instead, I was scary-clown, and sad-clown, and creepy-clown, and clown-that-flunked-clown-school. The unfortunate rainbow wig didn’t help at all. It just added more insult to my inadequacy. I fixed my face as best I could with only minutes to spare before the door-to-door festivities commenced with my friends. I got candy, but it wasn’t a fun night.

My early teen years were repeated attempts at “punker” chick wherein I attempted, also inadequately, to portray an ultra-hip, 1980s top-40s, rock goddess the likes of my idols at the time, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. I didn’t have the tools, wardrobe, or the skill to ever pull that off. But I tried. Again, I think I only successfully managed to look like a failed hooker in ill-fitting clothes that lacked the wild patterns, florescence, and sparkle of the era.

Sometime in my late teen years a memo must have gone out declaring that, at a certain age, girl’s costumes were supposed to be sexy, show a little skin, and bare a little cleavage. That memo was delayed to me by YEARS because I obviously didn’t get it until I was actually at a Halloween Fraternity Kegger my Freshman year of college. I was was dorked out as a really bad motherfucking MIME, of all goddamn things, while all the other girls were sexy Greeks, nurses, devils, angels, and whatthefuckevers baring leg and boob. I stood in a shadowy corner attempting to BE the WALL and I drank, and drank, and drank from a red solo cup and escaped as soon as my roommate (sexy devil..why the fuck didn’t she tell me!) left with her boyfriend. One (really cute) guy even attempted to talk to me that night…and I wouldn’t talk back. Why you ask? Because I was a fucking MIME. Goddammit.

I pretty much gave up after that. Either I didn’t attend Halloween parties at all, or I went in regular street-clothes because I knew that no matter what I attempted it would fall short.

Then…years later when my now-ex-husband and I were dating he encouraged me to try again for a party we’d been invited to at a local bar. I let him decide what I should be, because…well, you get it by now.

He chose, of all the motherfucking things, “sexy school girl.” My reaction? Oh, for shit’s sake. But, I was young, I was in luuuurrrrve, I could be daring, and it was something that, with only a few dollars, I could pull off with things I already had in my closet…items that, in any other circumstance, I wouldn’t put together…ever. I even had the T-and-A and well-shaped legs to make this a valiant attempt. I got a little excited that I might be able to call this year’s costume attempt a success.

Well…while it didn’t exactly fail, it didn’t turn out so great either. My boyfriend was pleased, impressed, turned on or whatever by this public act of fantasy role-play. But I wasn’t comfortable. I felt like an idiot. I couldn’t own it and escape into those few hours of make-believe to enjoy the evening. I still felt vastly inadequate. I was also asked, repeatedly, if I was Britney Spears (GAH!). That was SOOO not what I was going for and I’d thought, that especially with a long-haired red wig (his idea), it would be obvious that wasn’t who or what I was. Still baffled about that.

So that was that. No more costumes for this girl. I realized I often feel inadequate enough on my own, I don’t need ridiculous failures of costumes to emphasize it.

I’d rather just stay home and ooh and aah over all the little kiddies that come to my door and praise their efforts, even if they aren’t quite getting it right.

Those kids will get extra candy.

Have you really read this far?

In that case, as a reward for surviving my Costume Horror Stories From Hell, I’ll gift you with a few of my Halloween appropriate Romance recommendations.

Horror, vamps, and ghostie books aren’t the top of my *must read* list, but I do read them occasionally.

Are these scary? In my opinion, not at all, with the exception of the books by Rhys Ford. Rhys is one of my all time favorite authors in the M/M Romance Genre. I discovered her contemporary work and decided I just HAD to read every word she’d ever published. Well…that led me to her “Hellsingers” Series. And let me tell you, Rhys can bring the fright.

Clicking the book covers will hopefully take you to the information pages on GoodReads. (It got kind of hairy with all the HTML and my lack of patience.)

Ghost Stories

Kristen Ashely’s mostly mild, quite sexy, and very entertaining “Ghosts and Reincarnation” series that can be read as stand-alones.

Penmort Castle Sommersgate House Lacybourne Manor Fairytale Come Alive Lucky Stars

Rhys Ford’s “Hellsinger” Series – creepy and scary, but fun!

FishandGhostszDuckDuckGhost

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Vampires

zkissofmidnight-ladrainLara Adrian’s “Midnight Breed” Series. There are 13 books in this series, plus a few intermingled novellas and a “series companion” book. Here is book 1 to get you started.

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Kristen Ashley’s “The Three” Series (mix of vamps, werewolves & other things) best read in order for full effect.

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A Hidden FireElizabeth Hunter’s “Elemental Mysteries” Series; there are four books in this series and then a spinoff series called “Elemental World.” They’re a bit of a different take on vampire lore, but I enjoyed them a few years ago.
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 J.R. Warzdarklover-bdbd’s “Black Dagger Brotherhood” Series. There are at least 14 books in this series that are best read in order. Here is book one.

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Witches & Wizards

The Lightning-Struck HeartT.J. Klune’s uproariously hilarious tale about a Wizard-In-Training. Not “Halloweenish” at all, instead a modern-ish take on an Epic Fantasy that includes a gay hornless unicorn, a half-giant, a dragon and some faeries.
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Mathilda, SuperWitch
Kristen Ashley’s very entertaining and, in my opinion, highly under-rated witch story.
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Scary & Disturbing Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Extravaganza

Ink and ShadowsThis, folks was some scary, scary business by one of my favorites, Rhys Ford. It includes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse along with some terrifying wraiths and other nasty business. THIS KEPT ME AWAKE FOR DAYS! There’s not a lot of romance in here and no sexy times. But the story! God, the story was riveting and horrifying.

 

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Thanks for visiting y’all–and for going along with me for a frightening trip down Memory Lane.

2 thoughts on “Halloween is nearly upon us

  1. Pingback: FIVE STAR FRIDAY Review: Duck Duck Ghost (Hellsinger series Book 2), by Rhys Ford | Back Porch Reader

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