Home > Stories from Childhood > I Was Batgirl (Or, The Most Disappointing Halloween EVER)

I Was Batgirl (Or, The Most Disappointing Halloween EVER)

When I was a kid, my mom made all my Halloween costumes. And they were, if I may gloat, AWESOME – and unique. For example, I was a cat (with hand-stitched furry mittens – and an awesomely painted face), a Punk Witch (complete with these fantastic green sunglasses – and an overwhelming disappointment that I wasn’t allowed to carry my black cat in my Witch’s Basket. She was a miracle cat who suffered nerve damage at birth, and she was not allowed outside, because she could not walk in a straight line. She is also proof that cats DO have nine lives, but that’s an entirely different tale.), She-Ra (with a handmade headdress and the coolest boots I’d ever seen), a cowgirl (complete, honest-to-god, with an actual PONY to ride on – that was the year of the Raisin Incident, which is epic in itself), a Fairy (I HAD PIXIE DUST. Consequently, everyone in the vicinity ended up covered in the sparkly, iridescent glitter. It was AWESOME.), and Queen Mab. Now, that is not a comprehensive list, and it’s not in order. Consider it a random sampling of Halloween joy.

But this brings us to my Batgirl costume, which my mom handmade in its entirety. This was, at the age of seven, the most amazing thing I’d EVER seen. It fit me perfectly. It looked just like Batgirl. I had a utility belt. I WAS AWESOME.

This was also my first Halloween in a new state. I didn’t know anyone. I’d just started school. And I went out trick-or-treating with my mom. Still, I was beaming. You see, in my family, Halloween isn’t just some stupid tradition where you haphazardly throw together a costume at the last minute. It usually involves a lot of time and SOMEONE burning  her fingers on the hot glue gun. The end result is always worth it – and I say that being the person who doesn’t have to live with burns on her fingers for a few weeks.

At the time, my best friend times infinity (or BFTI) lived back in my home state. I was, of course, bereft that she wasn’t around to Trick-or-Treat with me. We spoke on the phone, but that wasn’t the same thing. Cell phone were not commonplace back then, although we did have one in case of emergencies, and it was the size of a BRICK. You can still see it in later episodes of Saved by the Bell.

I ventured out in my Awesome Batgirl Costume, ready to knock on doors and score a load of candy. I was filled with the kind of candy-anticipation that only a small child know. My plan was simple: knock on as many doors as possible, before it got chilly and it was time to head home. Obtain the most candy possible. Take more than once piece at each house.

Sadly, this was not to be. I knocked on a few houses, and learned that people did not have candy. I assumed that this must be some kind of fluke, that these people were crotchety curmudgeons of the worst kind. I mean, who doesn’t celebrate Halloween? This did not compute in my seven year old brain. Somewhat frantically, I walked up to another house, my mom behind me. I’m sure, at that point, she felt like she’d dropped into The Twilight Zone, wondering what kind of hellish neighborhood did not celebrate Halloween, seeing her daughter’s AWESOME costume go to waste.

There were two people playing basketball in the yard. Tentatively, I went, “Trick…or…um…treat?” I was met with a blank stare. I must’ve looked ready to burst into tears or have a tantrum, because the girl said “Hold on a minute,” and went inside.

This was it. Someone was finally going to give me candy. The evening would not be a complete waste of my time – and an exercise in humiliation. Halloween would be vindicated!

And then she came out of the house with…an apple. AN APPLE. Was she possibly out of raisins (the WORST Halloween “treat” possible)? I don’t know. I took the apple, politely, because my mother raised me not to be an ungrateful twit. And, dejected, we finally went back home, sad that no one even knew who Batgirl was – where I promptly called my BFTI and lamented, “THEY GAVE ME AN APPLE!” with as much horror as I could muster. She was also thoroughly and appropriately appalled (although, I did eat the apple).

For whatever reason, no one in that town trick-or-treated. Instead, there was a Halloween Carnival at one of the schools, and everyone flocked there like overeager lemmings. The next year, I would attend, and come home the proud owner of several goldfish – which despite their tendency to die quickly, lived for a long time. (And my mom thought I’d never win one. Mwahaha!)

So, that was the worst Halloween I’d ever had – the second runner-up being the time some cracked out lady, upon opening her door, exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! Look, dear, Little Bo Peep!” Needless to say, I was NOT Little Bo Peep and neither was my BFTI (with whom I’d been reunited with, much to my supreme joy). There was nothing to even suggest shepherdess. Neither of us were clutching sheep. We had on hoopskirts, for the love of KitKats. We had parasols, old-school dresses, and bonnets. (Scarlet O’Hara and Melanie Hamilton, thank you very much.)

If nothing else, Halloween is always an adventure.

  1. October 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Pretty much all my Halloween efforts have been utter failures, ha. I’m glad I’m not alone in negative Halloween experiences. And it gives me a nerdy grin to read the last part–yeah for dressing up like literary heroines!

    • Ali
      November 1, 2010 at 9:04 pm

      They were largely good experiences, but this one is funny in retrospect. 🙂 Yay for nerdy grins!

  2. Andrea
    November 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    That is terrible! What sort of awful town did you move to?!?!?! At very least, they should have sent out some sort of community newsletter letting unsuspecting newbies like yourself know that vital piece of information. Poor seven-year-old you! On a semi-related note, I think I love you even more for dressing as Queen Mab and Scarlet O’Hara for Halloween.

    • Ali
      November 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      It was Halloween HELL. Very, very odd non-tradition. I don’t know why they didn’t do a community newsletter, or maybe a neigbhor could’ve mentioned it, someone at school — ANYONE. Scarlet O’Hara was one of my favorite costumes.

  1. October 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

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