By Jamie Kirk

Butch Queen Up in Pumps. The Naughty Housewife. The Mermaid. The Grim Reaper. The Incredible Hulk. Anatasia Beaverhousen. The Football Coach and the Hot Cheerleader. All of these costumes are super popular on Halloween night for the parents while the kids are out trick-or-treating. And yeah, the costumed clichés don’t vary too much.

Obviously, you have folks dressing up as the President, you have a take on the hottest celebrities, and football players, but we don’t tend to sway away from the beaten path. Just like in many other areas of society, we have gotten extremely sensitive and don’t color outside the lines. I’m saying, we say to heck with the lines, and let’s just use every color in the box.

Halloween is that one 24-hour period where we should be allowed actually to BE our alter ego. We should be able to look forward to doing and being someone totally different than what others think about us. Heck, we should even look forward to doing and being someone different than what we think we should be. Halloween should be the one day we permit ourselves to just be. Be free, be unbothered, be care-free, and just relax for this one day.

No worries about work, school, expectations, bills, eating healthy, going to the gym, etc. This one day should be our one chance just to hang out. Hang out with our neighbors one floor above us, one floor below us, our kid’s parents, or just do a potluck in the neighborhood, with adult-only dranks. Taking this one day to throw caution to the wind and dress up and behave unorthodoxly. We should not have to explain the idea for our costume, why we chose it, answer if we got sent home from work, etc. We should just dress up and show up. All while having fun in the process!

Halloween used to be for the kids, and honestly still is. But in recent years, we have gotten away from having fun and playing it safe as adults. Celebrities often have to tweet apologies regarding their choice or explain why they “didn’t see anything wrong,” the next day. I am not talking about choices that knowingly will be controversial, but outfits that express who we are (on the inside). Someone that we suppress all year. Halloween is the perfect excuse to unleash the person that is being smothered by relationship woes, obligations, family drama, weight issues, car problems, outstanding debt, and all that crap. Let’s just throw in the towel for this one day of reality and hop into the world of fantasy.

I mentioned earlier about the apologies that some folks feel inclined to give the next day. As long as you exercise taste in your choice and choose an outfit that will not be offensive, you are good to go. Dressing in drag should not offend anyone. Dressing as a naughty librarian should not offend anyone. Being a sailor or being a police officer are not choices that you should question are you offending anyone. But to that end, maybe you do want to push the envelope, maybe go as a streaker, maybe going as a Boy Scout with tiny shorts on. Whatever you decide to do, make it fun, and make it entertaining. But keep in mind you are doing it for you, not for others. Even if you enter a contest, the decision to be judged falls on you alone. Just let it all hang out.

As Halloween comes and goes another year, just remember that if anyone mentions your outfit or your behavior during this special Adult day, just ignore them. Don’t get trapped into explaining “oh, it was bet I lost” or telling people “I ran out of ideas” or “someone else stole my idea” – walk in the true spirit of Halloween and tell them, “nope, this is the costume I chose.” And have a good time.

This is the last chance we get before the holiday’s come upon us. All of the efforts with cooking for Thanksgiving and the pressure of gifts, parties, traveling in December, will be enough to make your head spin. Make this go-around for Halloween different from other years. Make it about your choice to break the mold and just have fun. After all, how many times a year do we get to make bad decisions and not have to explain them?