Brief Thoughts on an Introvert Halloween.

I am a little disappointed this Halloween. I had no Halloween party to go to. You know me. I am not a huge party person, and indeed I would have only gone to any for Halloween had it been of a certain size and attended by certain types of people. Yet no such event took place, and I am a bit let down by it.

Not because I need an excuse to buy candy or beer or play games. I can do all of that at any party. But this year I was going to try something new. I bought some face paint and was going to work up an interesting design to paint on for a party, as opposed to dressing up as something particular. (Every year I say I am going to go all out and get a mega-fancy costume, but it never happens. I usually end up as an NFL referee because someone once gave me a ref shirt as a gag gift.)

I’m not sure, but I think my plan was to paint my face black and white only. Either a black face with white tears running down, or vice-verca. Symbolism? Kind of. Not so much that I am always crying on the inside, but that being an introvert, most things for me are on the inside most of the time, not just tears. A “mask”, even a painted one, that expresses emotions so plainly would have been an interesting experiment. The one time when perhaps an expression of the internal could be made to the external world.

Halloween of course is a time for masks. Disguises. Make-believe. People of almost all stripes become something else on Halloween. Many of them gory. Or goofy. Cute or sexy. Some fancy, some minimalist. All sorts of ways to be something else for a night. Something with which your regular persona may have little in common.

Yet with an introvert, I think the potential for one of the greatest ironies comes about on Halloween. If, like I was planning, an introvert were to wear a costume or mask that accurately depicted in a very public manner how they were feeling and what they were thinking inside their heads, then Halloween could in some ways be the polar opposite of what it is to many others. While the world tries to be as creative as possible in designing a costume that transforms them into something far removed from their real selves, an introvert could use Halloween to actually show more of their real selves right away than ever before.

Yet would people recognize this? Most would not, I dare say. Most would either miss the point, or would even ask “what are you supposed to be?” But then again, introverts are used to that, so maybe Halloween wouldn’t be so different when it comes to that.

At any rate, Happy Halloween to all of the introverts and extroverts who do have parties and events to go to!

Do you think modern Halloween has different uses and meanings for different people? What is Halloween to you?


  1. I'm definitely one of those people who looks to Halloween — and costuming in general — as a means to become the person I wish I could be. Putting on a new persona emboldens me. It's like a clean slate. An opportunity to become a better version of myself.

    This year, I was Lola from Run Lola Run. She wears green jeans and has bright, red-orange hair, colors that would normally be too bold for me. On Halloween, however, I can be more self-confident.

    I also love how bad-ass she is, and I love her stamina and endurance. I wish I had her physical strength.

    Maybe aspirational costumes aren't necessarily so different from costumes that reveal one's inner self. Maybe by being someone else, I reveal my deepest desires.

  2. (As always, Ty, you've supercharged my thought processes, and I'm going to have to explore this on my blog too. In the meantime, you get the stream of consciousness.)

    Halloween is my favorite holiday. From the years of trick-or-treating (all the way through college) to baking curry pumpkin seeds to deciding that how to pull off a Dead Steamboat Gambler or a Demented Voodoo Sorceress, Halloween has pretty much always been fabulous.

    It was the candy, it was the dressing up, it was the license to be out after dark, it was getting away from the normal stream of life. Sure, you can spend weeks or months planning what to wear for just one brief day or a short weekend of fun, and sometimes you freeze parts of you off when going from car to party, but it's worth it.

    It's not about the candy for me anymore, but it is still about the dressing up. Yet I have to say, Halloween has blended over into real life for me in those after hours, and it's because of the people I hang out with. For them, and for me, “dressing up” is pretty much the norm, no event or holiday required! Steampunk/Victorian, Renaissance Faire, goth–it's become okay to wear something a little or a lot different, even if you're just going to a house party.

    Or rather, I've become okay dressing up without needing a holiday or event as a cover. Looking back, I wonder if I've always wanted to, and just needed to find like-minded people to make it okay.

    So our whole club could be full of introverts, but you'd never know it because we're all happy behind our costumes no matter what day it is. It's permission to come out after dark being perhaps more truly you than the face you show to the work-a-day world. Halloween just adds that extra something special, a little more spice to that nearly-perfectly seasoned dish, a little more “Dead Man's Party” and “Every Day is Halloween” from the DJ, a little more shared admiration for each other's ingenuity.

    And it's fun!

  3. Both of you have an interesting perspective on this.

    Steph, I thought about covering this idea of being able to be something one is not the rest of the year. And to an extent I touch on it, but you bring up an even more extended notion of this. To actually do things that lack of confidence of comfort prohibit for the rest of the year. I have never done that before either. Probably because, I will admit, I usually am not worried about being different than I am. But once in a while, maybe that would be refreshing.

    Becky, you sound like you live a pretty fascinating Halloween each year. =) In a way IN envy that, and I look forward to your own blog post on this subject.

  4. Thanks, Ty. I owe it to your post!

    I think I ended up exploring more than I originally intended, and I still feel I have more to go, but it's out on the front page. I may yet revisit it this month to unravel it further, but I'm supposed to be saving my words for NaNoWriMo. *grin*

    If you're ever interested, I'll show you pics sometime! Often our club is the only place we go to for Halloween, and it feels good to see a whole sea of creativity (and not always on Halloween either).

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