I have always been amazed at how many adults look forward to Halloween so that they can dress up in a costume and go to a party. For years the purpose eluded me. I think, to some extent, it still does. But I’m getting a better understanding now that I see the fun of it all.
When I was a child I loved Halloween. Costumes were make-believe on a grand scale. The rest of the year I had to pretend I was dressed as Batman while saving Gotham City in my mind. At Halloween I actually could wear the costume! The part I hated was going door to door to get candy. Not that I didn’t like candy, but to me that was unnecessary. I had the costume to run around in and that’s all I ever wanted in the first place. However, social protocol dictated that I traipse around the neighborhood dutifully knocking on strange doors while my mother watched from the sidewalk.
As I got older the costumes changed to Frankenstein and Dracula, leaving Batman and Casper and Bugs Bunny in the past. But eventually it all got to be too silly for me. Not just the trick or treating but the idea of dressing up in a costume and socializing. I just couldn’t get into it. I think now I know why…
I started acting in plays. Hey, guess what? You get to wear a costume! I got dress up and play make-believe throughout the year! Halloween costume parties were silly to me because I got to wear costumes when I worked in a play (and later television and film). In one play I wore a glued-on beard, in another I was an Army captain in uniform, then a cowboy, a policeman (many times), the captain of the Titanic, the sane and insane, drunks and priests, I played them all.  And each time I got to wear the costume to complete the illusion. I always loved the first dress rehearsal because you finally added that last layer to your character. It was just plain fun, too!
Anyway, it’s been a few years since I last played a role on screen (as a doctor in The Horribly Slow Murderer) and I have lately discovered that I missed the fun of dressing up in a costume. And so, last year I donned a leather jacket with khaki shirt and brown fedora and went to a party as Indiana Jones. Nothing to it! “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.”
This year I opted for Captain Kirk. I found a wig that resembled a tribble, placed it atop my dome as the infamous “Shatner Turbo-2000 hairpiece,” and slipped into my Starfleet replica tunic to go to a party this year.  You see, it’s not right to own a Starfleet tunic to wear around the house. People will talk if I do yard work wearing it and pumping gas in it is also a no-no (or so I have been cautioned). But Halloween is the perfect time to pull out the Captain Kirk shirt, go out and have fun, and just enjoy the little part of us all that harkens back to those simple days when make-believe was any day and anywhere.
Who knows? Maybe next year I will return to my roots as Batman and save Gotham City once again! Yeah! Wearing the gray leotard and black satin Adam West version of the costume! And I could spend the night dancing the Batusi! (“You shake a pretty mean cape, Batman.”)
Or… maybe not…
I’m just saying…