What Halloween Is REALLY All About

My family is from the small island of St. Lucia and Halloween was not a glorified holiday when my mother was growing up, so when she came to the U.S., I was not raised to embrace the tradition of dressing up and going around collecting candy (I was never a child that went crazy over sweets anyway).

The few times I did dress up, I was one of three things: Pocahontas, a cat, or a vampire. I was Pocahontas because she was as close to a black princess as I could get, a cat because it was a last-minute plan drawn on with my mom’s lipstick to get a few pieces of candy with my sister, and a vampire in the 5th grade because Halloween happened to fall on an overnight trip with my school. We were going to have a party and I decided I would be a vampire, so I convinced my mother to go out and buy me a costume. I was excited to put on my cape on and fake teeth until one of the girls from the next room came over looking for fake blood.  Let’s call her Addy. Addy was a vampire too, and when she walked in the room my roommates swarmed her ooing and ahhing over her costume. It was a tight-fitting layered black and red laced dress that seemed to give her curves I had never seen on her before. The matching cape flowed down her back with ease, and it looked as if she had stolen it from a movie or museum.

Suddenly, my loose fitting black outfit and over-sized cape was no longer cool enough. Somehow with her appearance, my costume had gone from cute for a man vampire and Addy was the sexy woman vampire. So, I had figured it out, that’s what I had to do, I had to have a tight-fitting, revealing costume to capture the true essence of Halloween. I still went on to have fun that night, (probably more than Addy whose costume was rather… confining) but I never forgot the night I learned what Halloween was REALLY all about.

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