Like a lot of kids — maybe more commonly girls — I went through a Florence Nightingale phase. My fears of illness, hospitals, sick people, blood and needles, along with my limited aptitude for science mean I probably would not have been cut out for a life in medicine, but I loved the stories about her caring for the sick during the Crimean War. So I wanted to be Florence Nightingale for Halloween, when I was probably ... seven or eight.
This isn't that easy of a costume to make, you have to understand. You can't be a regular nurse in a regular nurse's costume, y'know? Little white cap, white pantyhose, whatever. I specifically wanted to be Florence Nightingale. So my mother, who I believe was working full-time by then, made my costume. She sewed me a pale blue dress with a full skirt, and she made a white apron with a red cross on the chest. I'm sure there was a cap of some sort, though I've forgotten it.
I always think of that as my favorite costume, because it was actual clothing sewn for just me, to my specifications. Don't get me wrong — lots of kids love being Batman in a standard-issue Batman costume. There are lots of ways to be happy at Halloween. I was also a fortune-teller once — that was a very uncomfortable mask. I think my mom also made me a blue fairy outfit because we couldn't find pink satin at the fabric store, but that is a very old memory and I might be making it up. But for me, my nurse dress was special.
With Halloween coming up in a week, it seemed like as good a time as any for an open question: What was your favorite costume? Either one that you wore or one that someone else wore? Why did you love it?
We are here to listen. And possibly laugh at you, but only in the nice way.