Alison Berkley: The Princess’ Palate
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
I’m pushing 40 and still faced with the same dilemma: What the hell am I going to be for Halloween?
If nothing else, this ridiculous holiday is certainly a testament to the Peter Pan Syndrome that runs rampant in Aspen. While my peers across the country are toting their tots to the highest-density neighborhoods for trick-or-treating, the only candy I’m looking for is mushroom chocolate. (Holding? Shoot me an e-mail.)
I’m jumping on the bandwagon with my various friends who are thrilled for a chance to regress and live out all their fantasies. So the girls dress as sluts and the guys, well, a lot of them dress up as women or something equally as perverse.
Last year, my ex-boyfriend and I weren’t speaking (for one reason or another) and he dressed up as Dick in a Box from the Justin Timberlake boy-band spoof on “Saturday Night Live.” So there we were, standing 10 feet from each other in the same room a friend’s party ignoring each other. Me, dressed as the “Devil Wears Prada” in a red flapper dress with devil horns and Prada bags pinned all over me, and him on the other side, wearing a gift box on his crotch with a huge dildo hidden inside. And I thought the whole point of Halloween was to escape reality. I don’t even want to know what he’s got in mind for this year, unless of course he has some candy to share.
Seriously though, I didn’t even like Halloween that much as a kid. My mom said when I was little I totally freaked out the first time I saw kids getting their faces painted at the carnival and wanted nothing to do with it. I remained anti-face paint, even on Halloween. I also hated masks, wigs, and basically anything that altered my identity. I had no interest in costumes, or being a part of the school play or doing those dance recitals my friends did where they dressed up in sequins and put bows in their hair. My mom wouldn’t let me do it anyway. She said it made all the little girls look like prostitutes. Mom always had a way with words.
I don’t know if I was an egotistical kid or what, but I liked myself just the way I was and didn’t want to mess with it. So, every year, Becky Seale and I dressed up as cheerleaders because that’s what we really wanted to be.
Becky was my best friend in the neighborhood because she had an above-ground pool. I would ride my bike around her house in my bathing suit until she invited me over to swim, and after like three years of that, I didn’t have to ask.
We did everything together: gymnastics team, soccer, and boys. Becky was really advanced. She was into kissing boys and timing it on a watch. Then she’d write a certificate in my diary that said, “Alison Berkley kissed Todd Bluestein for 17 seconds” with an authorized signature.
She practiced making out on my brother when she was 10 and he was 4.
“Just stick your tongue out, Dan,” she said. As far as I know, Dan was not at all traumatized after being molested.
But the cheerleader thing was out of hand. We’d camp out on the sidelines during varsity cheerleader practice at Simsbury High School. They were the Simsbury Trojans ” I don’t know if that was before or after the condom company took on that name or what.
We memorized their routines and their cheers and practiced them at home. Every Halloween, we made our own pom-poms out of newspaper we cut into strips, painted, and tied together with handles made from masking tape. As we got older, our costumes got more and more sophisticated. We discovered we could buy pom-poms at Leader’s Drug store, bushy blue and yellow ones with white plastic handles. We wore blue crew neck sweaters from Carroll Reed and little yellow skirts with tennis socks and sneakers, our hair in ponytails tied with red and yellow ribbons. Our neighborhood sucked for trick-or-treating because the houses were far apart and there weren’t many of them, so we probably walked at least four miles to get to maybe 15 houses ” anything to be cheerleaders for a day.
It’s ironic I moved to a town where Halloween is one of the biggest holidays of the year, second only to New Year’s Eve, which is probably the only other celebration that permits excessive drinking, drug use, and trolling.
Which is why every girl I know has found a costume that allows her to sport a super-short skirt, fishnet stockings and/or cleavage bearing dress. Couples are required to come up with clever, more creative costumes because they know they don’t have to sink as low to get laid.
Then there are my friends who, I’ve almost forgotten, have kids. I’m like, “What are you doing for Halloween?” hoping they might know where I can get some chocolate.
“We’re dressing our baby up as a bumblebee and taking pictures for our Facebook page,” they say. Or, “We’re heading over to the North 40! Kid land!” It’s probably the only time of year my neighborhood is considered cool, and it’s only because of the damn rug rats. Whatever.
I was thinking about skipping Halloween altogether but then I realized I’ve been sweating my ass off in the yoga studio getting ready for my beach trip to Brazil so I might as well dress up in some slut outfit that shows off all my hard work.
Since I moved here, I’ve already dressed up as everything I am: a princess, an heiress (Nicky, not Paris), and a devil in Prada. So this year I figured I’d try something new. And god knows, I’m no angel.
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Columnist Paul Andersen continues to hope that the moral arc of the universe trends toward justice.