Best Costume Ever
By Laura Mills
With Halloween just past I’ve been thinking about disguises. Like most kids I loved October 31. Over the course of my younger years I disguised myself as, among other things, Pebbles Flintstone, Raggedy Ann, a princess, a witch, a hippie (several times!), and a cat. But Halloween, of course, isn’t just for kids; for plenty of adults, dressing up as someone or something else is just...FUN.
Putting the festiveness of Halloween aside, I’m wondering why we love disguises so much. Not only on Halloween—after all, a disguise doesn’t require a mask, whiskers and a tail, or even unfamiliar clothes. However we go about it, we find comfort in fooling others about our identity, in others’ not knowing whom we really are. Think about it…as children, who among us didn’t at one time or another want to be invisible? Then, with time dawned the knowledge that we couldn’t make ourselves disappear, but we could do anything but. Now, short of donning fake fangs or a wig, we devise countless ways of hiding the person we are on the inside. Maybe it’s the tremendous relief from self-consciousness….
Years ago, when I taught high school science, every October at least one student would ask me about my upcoming Halloween costume. I would always joke, “I’m going to be a chemistry teacher.” Today, I see the actual seriousness of that statement. The most difficult disguise to wear is no disguise at all. Appearing as the real you—heart, soul, and everything in between, within and without—is more frightening than dressing up in even the scariest Halloween costume. But I have no doubt it’s also the most worthwhile way to let the world see you.