I get this type of question a lot, not just for Halloween, but throughout the year and under different pretenses. What animal would I be? What kind of plant would I be? What type of car would I be? What country would I be in? Which Greek god would I be?
I get these questions from my kids. Quite possibly every three days.
I wonder if I thought much about these questions when I was young.
As a kid, I didn’t put too much thought into what I would be for Halloween. It was all about the candy! In elementary school, my dad would take my brother and sister and 2 cousins to the store to get our masks. If the 3 holes were in the vicinity of the eyes and nose we were all ready for Halloween. Aside from really wanting a full Tinkerbell costume in 2nd grade, what I wore as a costume was not priority. I just wanted more candy. My strategy was to pick the best trick-or-treat route, not adorn the best costume.
Some time during my late 20s, I dressed up as Dora the Explorer, and my boyfriend was my sidekick, Boots. In the same thrift store, I found Dora’s little lavender backpack and a big pair of red suede Ugg-ish boots. Yep. My boyfriend (now my husband) can be goofy and was willing to dress as a blue monkey, wearing red boots. I just wanted to go to the party. The costumes luckily came together.
Years later, with 3 little kids, we wanted to have a few friends over for Halloween and host a haunted house. It was spooky and such fun. The following year we added plastic cockroaches and some freaky background chantings. Living in NYC made the flying cockroaches screamingly believable. I’m not sure what I wore for a costume. I just wanted to host a fun party and make home-made Halloween treats.
My own costume was not a priority for Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated all the thought and little details in the costumes I saw, especially DIY ones.
I still do. However, this year, I know what I am going to be for Halloween!
A cactus. The plant that grows in the desert.
As I become more and more knowledgeable about cacti, and Halloween is just around the corner, my costume points to the cactus.
The cactus — resilient and powerful, uniquely adorned and structured, and efficiently armored. Its characteristics remind me of the traditional heroes and super-heroes, and of the princesses and fairies and knights and warriors. Such costumes are always part of the line up.
A cactus can even lose its parts and still go on unaffected. Like zombies.
The cactus. The super, unique, awesome and scary plant. And costume. My Halloween costume this year. Happy Halloween!
Ruth is a partner and branding manager of Fat Leaf Water, a cactus-water based sports hydration beverage that will be available in late October on Amazon.