Hi all! I had no idea what to talk about today, so I was chatting with a friend when she asked what my first Halloween costume was. Honestly, I have no idea what my first one was, but I have had some pretty cool ones since then! Thus, since it’s October, today I will ramble a little about costumes/Halloween and how the whole crippleness thing plays into that (or doesn’t).
Personally, I love the idea of dressing up as someone you’re not and getting to be a superhero or a ghoul or whatever for a little while. I always have. It’s fun. And it’s probably the reason why I like cosplayers so much. What’s not to love? Plus, on Halloween, free candy is involved!
Some people might wonder how Halloween is different for people in wheelchairs. Does the chair affect the costume choice? Does it inhibit where you do your trick or treating? What about haunted houses? For me, the general reply is that it doesn’t make much of a difference to me. Depending on what I wanted to be any particular year, I chose whether or not to include the chair in the costume. Yeah, I couldn’t get up some driveways, but that’s what siblings and friends are for (someone to lug your bag of loot up to the door and point you out so you get candy regardless). I’ve never been a fan of haunted houses, but you can usually find accessible ones if you look hard enough. It’s all about what the cripple person is willing to try.
My favorite part of Halloween was always the costumes (though the candy was a definite close second). When I was really little (like five and under), I could walk holding onto things and I could be carried, so for the first few years, a chair didn’t play too much of a role in choosing what to dress up as. In fact, even once I was wheelchair bound, it took me a while to realize the chair could be part of the costume! I honestly don’t recall many of the non-chair outfits aside from the tiger above (I was freakin’ adorable once upon a time) and being the pink Power Ranger (yes, I was one of those children).
Once I started wanting to include the chair in my costumes, things got a little weird. I remember being a zombie truck driver one year (before zombies were cool) and having the cab of an eighteen wheeler built around my chair. I don’t have any pictures of that one. Another year, I was a hippie in a VW Bug (seen below). I’m sure I was a lot of other great stuff, but I can’t remember what.
Anyway, being cripple doesn’t have to make something like Halloween difficult. Especially if you’re surrounded by creative people, which both of my parents were. Mom was the artist and Dad is the craftsman. Hell, even to this day, I plot out costumes and different things the chair could be! The only reason I don’t pester Dad with the technical parts is because I don’t know any seamstresses to help me with the outfit parts. I’m sorry, a steampunk chair needs a matching outfit or there’s no point to it.
So, what are you doing for Halloween?