A Decade Under the Influence: Ten Years of Trickin’ & Treatin’ in my 20s

Over the years, I’ve really come to enjoy celebrating Halloween. Many people my age have kids, so their Halloweens revolve around cutesy costumes and candy, which is awesome. Unfortunately, I can’t convince my cats to dress up as hula girls, so I’ve had to make due. At times, I feel as though I’m a little too old to be parading around in Halloween costumes, but then I remember that Halloween is a holiday, and I like holidays. And also, I’m fun. And fun people dress up for Halloween, right?

So now, as a tribute to…well, I guess myself — oh, and all the crazy roommates I’ve had over the years — I present to you a 10-year time line of Halloween adventures.

2001: The Beginning of an Era – Josie & The Pussycats
Halloween 2001

Ah, 2001. I was 20, living in the Chi O house with 31 of my sorority sisters. I can’t remember how Andrea, Jess and I decided on Josie & The Pussycats as our Halloween costumes, but I’m pretty sure it involved me suggesting it 97 million times until my suite-mates gave in and agreed that it was the most spectacular idea ever.

I can’t say much for the creativity of these costumes. We found some coordinating shiny shirts, wore similar color jeans, black boots, ears and fake tails (that we made out of a cut-up pair of old sweatpants and safety pins). Oh, but those were official Josie & The Pussycats ears…from when the movie came out. We went to a party at the German Club Manor and then some other party the next night.

I had this crazy plan to create a collage out of these photos and frame them in CD jewel cases for Jess and Andrea as Christmas gifts, but I never got around to it.I still have the ears though, and 2001 was definitely up there on the list of cool Halloweens.

2002-2003: The Devil Years
Halloween 2002-2003

I don’t really know what to say about these pictures. As if I didn’t learn well enough that devil was just not a good look for me in 2002, I made another attempt in 2003, and again failed miserably. Maybe it was because I didn’t have the confidence to don an entire costume or something. 2002’s red Abercrombie t-shirt, black skirt and knee-high boots were pretty awful. In 2003, my first costume didn’t work out, so I re-did devil a little better with this cheap, sparkly shirt and red glittery belt, but…seriously? No.

Let me tell you the story of the long lost pineapple costume of 2003, though. I was visiting Blacksburg with my mom, and I had this wild idea that I wanted to be a pineapple for Halloween. Yes, a pineapple. I bought green sweatpants, a huge yellow t-shirt, some fake foliage, a lampshade and a piece of ribbon. I drew brown details on the shirt, and then I colored the lampshade yellow and brown and cut two slits through either side of it. I stuck some leaves in the top and tied it to my head. Then I completely chickened out for two reasons: first, I was visiting school after college and I wanted to look hot — not go out partying in sweatpants; and second, the leaves on top of my head were tall and top-heavy, so I figured after a few beers I’d be falling over and crashing into door frames. Hence, devil. Oh well.

2004: Pleats, Plaid & Pink
Halloween 2004

In 2004, I was 23. I had just moved into my first apartment in Virginia Beach, gotten my first job, died my hair red and I was skinny. I wasn’t planning to dress up for Halloween until The Big A decided to come visit, so when I left work that afternoon, I headed straight to the mall to find a costume. I ended up squeezing myself into this skirt I found on clearance in the girls’ department at Dillard’s. That skirt was not a girls’ 16. Nor was it a girls’ 14. That skirt was a size 12. Score. Oh, and it was actually kind of like a skort — it had shorts built into it, which was a major selling point for me because even though I’m prone to occasionally wear something inappropriate, I’m never trashy. (Does something need a major selling point if it’s on clearance for $7.99?)

Add knee-highs, Mary-Janes, collared shirt and a sweater, and I was good to go. Andrea went as a biker chick, and we had a fun night on Granby Street.

2005: New Hotness – Lisa & Allison Take Over the World
Halloween 2005

Okay, 2005. Now we’re talking. Allison turned 21 on October 30th of 2005, so we obviously celebrated Halloween two nights in a row (which pretty much became the norm from here on out).  This was the year we discovered scandalous Halloween costumes and MySpace groups — I was a referee and Allison was a sheriff. When our costumes arrived, we modeled them in the living room for photos. (This was also right around the time that Allison convinced me to dye my hair dark brown if you couldn’t tell.)

We thought we were so cool, so we started a MySpace group called “Allison & Lisa Take Over the World” and encouraged everyone who joined to post a profile pic in their Halloween costumes in order to win our giveaway. (I’m not sure what we were giving away or if we ever actually sent a prize to anyone, but it was a pretty innovative concept for gaining popularity at the time.) Our group grew to over 300 members! (Actually, I can’t verify that. That might be my imagination running away with me. I know it was more than 85 though.)

We spent Allison’s birthday night at a big Halloween party. The following night, we decided to go out again. Allison’s friend Candice was in town, so she wore the referee costume on Halloween. I wore my schoolgirl outfit again — remixed this time. Halloween of 2005 was officially the one and only night I ever went out in public with my stomach showing (not counting the beach). It was a fun night, but ended a little crazily with a bunch of drama, people making out, and Mark ending up on the Cut Off Wall, but that’s another story altogether.

2006: So Much for the Sailor
In 2006, I dressed up as a sailor, and I didn’t take enough photos. Unfortunately there are no photos of me in my sailor costume that don’t involve either my ex-boyfriend trying to remove blue latex and cotton balls from his face because he thought he should paint himself as Papa Smurf or my friends in various unflattering poses and angles that I just don’t want to post because I’d kill someone if the posted a picture like that of me. So, we’ll leave it at that. I was a sailor in 2006. It was okay.

2007-2008: A Lisa in Wonderland
Halloween 2007-2008

Um, hello BEST HALLOWEEN EVER. 2007 was awesome. I grabbed this Alice in Wonderland costume from Hot Topic, and it was sooooo cute. Heather dressed up as a mermaid, and we went to Town Center. It was a pretty awesome time. Memories of the night include the dick-in-a-box dudes, “The Big Green Monster,” and…you know, I really wish I could remember more of that night. Oops.

The following night, I headed to Granby Street with Tara, Michelle, and a bunch of other friends for a costume contest at Baxter’s, and that was fun, too. I had a blast in this costume.

I wore it again in 2008, but that year was kind of lame. Heather and I spent two hours getting ready, and then we just sat in a booth at 501 all night. Yeah. Lame.

2009: The Pirate & The Peacock
Halloween 2009

Okay! Last year I started planning my costume early. I knew for a fact that I wanted to be a peacock and that I wanted to make my costume. As you can see, I ended up going out twice again — Friday night for Alli’s birthday and Saturday for Halloween.  I borrowed Tara’s pirate costume to hit up Granby Theater on Friday night, and I had fun with my makeup, using eyeshadow to create some dirty-looking cheeks. But, on to the peacock.

I found this electric blue dress at Plato’s Closet and used a little Stitch Witchery (that’s a product — I didn’t make it up) to shorten it. Then I found a matching piece of fabric and some brown and turquoise chiffon at the fabric store. I ordered a crapload of peacock feathers off the Internet, and invested in a glue gun. I cut jagged edges into the three pieces of fabric and pinned them to an old elastic belt. Then, using hot glue, I bustled up the top piece of fabric and stuck peacock feathers into the folds and underneath the bottom. I topped this costume off with peacock earrings, feather necklaces and a tiny hat complete with a few feathers glued on. Oh, and lots of sparkly eye makeup.

J decided he wanted to dress up kind of at the last minute, so he actually went as Colonel Mustard and I went as Mrs. Peacock. Heather was a cave girl, and I’m pretty sure it took her three weeks to comb all of those bones and sticks out of her hair. Another successful Halloween.

2010: Last Halloween of my 20s
Halloween has become a really fun holiday for me over the last 10 years. I never thought I’d still be dressing up in silly costumes six months shy of 30, but here we are. J and I have a cute idea planned for this year, but you’ll have to check back for photos because it’s a surprise.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: festive
And I’m singin’ along to: A Decade Under the Influence – Taking Back Sunday

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