The sexy myth of Halloween

Halloween might be an excuse for girls to dress 'like a total slut' (thanks Mean Girls) but there's surely nothing sexy about dressing as a cat?

According to Tina Fey: "Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it." I would’t dress like Regina George if you paid me, mainly because I can’t pull it off. Thankfully. I much prefer, ‘on Wednesdays, we wear pink.’

My best-loved teacher was born on Halloween. During my school years, All Souls Day was spent on half term, but my class had always written a card in advance. Such precocious sods we were. Usually it was my job to post this through this door – he lived on site at school – and then I’d scuttle back home to enjoy the last few days of the mid-term break. That is the closest I’ve ever come to Trick or Treating.

The period between 20 October and 20 January is legitimately fancy dress appropriate. It nicely covers pre-Halloween and post-New Year, allowing for party clashes. If anyone calls for such an event, I am a cat. I just have a catty kind of face, it seems. My Facebook profile pictures provide the proof: a perfectly painted cat face, always with a head tint. Cringe.

Apart from a Red Stripe can t-shirt I made for a ‘you are what you drink’ party, it is the only costume I have, simply requiring a black dress, some ears – Claire’s Accessories, circa 2007 – and some face paint. If  I’m feeling spicy (or if, as it often is on 31 October, it’s freezing) I’ll pop on my fur coat. These all exist in my carefully constructed arsenal of always-ready fancy dress, just in case someone gives up the ghost on a party theme. If in doubt, meow.

My university Halloweens so far have been grimly notable: as a fresher I was out-catted by two friends so my face was chalked up and I went as a mime. "Went" is a loose term: we didn’t get further than the kitchen. The union bar had a "mad one" on, but the enormously over-subscribed and immediately sold-out event had a queue snaking half the length of Mile End Road. With that written off, we trudged home and had some toast.

The next year, six weeks into my new living arrangement, I managed two different pubs and pre-drinks – wild times guys – before my flatmate had her iPhone stolen, five days before her insurance kicked in. That night ended abruptly outside a now-deceased pub near the canal. Fur coat and all but a shiny new iPhone, we trudged home and had some toast. Spotting a pattern?

From my high-ranking position as Corporal Catface, it amuses me that anyone could be a "sexy cat" for Halloween. I am the least sexy person ever, and I’m always a cat. And who has ever met a sexy cat? Being a temporary cat involves far too much smudgy face paint to be anything but cute. Face paint! Paint, on your face. No one looks hot with paint on their face. Sorry.

This year I’ll be sporting another non-sexy cat face and a glass of wine. And somehow, from somewhere, I’ll trudge home and have some toast. I’m just not that kind of cat. More of a mystery, like Macavity*. Happy Halloween!

*with thanks to TS Eliot.

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