How Old is Too Old to Dress Up for Halloween?

And what will you dress as this weekend, if you do? An open thread...

I want to hear what you think of celebrating Halloween as an adult, and what you might dress as.

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Confession: I don’t love Halloween. I wish I did. I often pretend I do. But I don’t.

I’m blood-and-gore-averse. I grew up in the North East, where most of the time it was too cold at the end of October to trick-or-treat without your coat on over your costume—so you had to stop and explain to every single person you encountered what you were dressed as. (This was especially frustrating the year I dressed as Mary Hartman, and people already mistook me for Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.)

And as an adult, I’ve always put so much pressure on myself to come up with a clever costume concept that I’ve tended to either throw together something at the last minute that was so embarrassingly lame, I wanted to hide, or skip the party altogether.

Still, I defend my right to dress up for the holiday on the rare occasions I feel like it, no matter how old I get. I like the idea of liking Halloween, and not putting any age-limits on participation. And I don’t mind checking out other people’s clever disguises, even if I don’t dress up.

I like the idea of liking Halloween, and not putting any age-limits on participation. And I don’t mind checking out other people’s clever disguises, even if I don’t dress up.

This weekend, my husband, Brian, and I are attending two Halloween parties (for grownups). We basically have 24 hours to get our shit together. What should we be??? Better yet, what will you be?

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Don’t tell anyone, but we’re considering revisiting some of the get-ups we’ve worn before. Maybe “software pirates.” (It’s hard to tell from this low-res shot, but there are floppy disks in the mesh bags—get it?) That’s what we were our first Halloween together in 2003, two weeks into knowing each other:

Or, we could be Dr. Joel Fleishman and Maggie O’Connell from Northern Exposure—one of our favorite shows, from the late 80s/early 90s—like we were on Halloween in 2012. Of course, no one had any idea who we were that night, and they certainly won’t this weekend either, but…does that matter? Maybe we’ll win a prize for Randomest, Most Out-of-Date Concept.

One of us could be a nun and the other a rabbi—a set of costumes so old, we’ve even switched roles a few times.

Alternatively, we could just wear the monster and devil masks we wore one year to give out candy…until we realized Brian’s mask was making toddlers cry. There won’t be any toddlers at the parties we’re going to.

I want to hear from you whether you think there’s an age limit on dressing up for Halloween. And if you’re planning to dress up this weekend, what you’ll be dressing as. Plus any other thoughts you have on the holiday…

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PS Happy 50th (!) birthday today, to Winona Ryder, inspiration for a lot of Halloween costumes since 1988.

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