So for Halloween a few years ago we weren’t sure what to do. We had not really planned out any costumes – we rarely do – and the holiday was just around the corner. The idea was to dress up and go out for the night, while at the same time sticking to our budget of let’s just say minimal resources.
What to do? As the Chapulin Colorado would say, no contaban con (nuestra) austucia…or in our case, simple Mexican ingenuity.
In a matter of seconds it was decided! I would be Cantinflas, my wife La India Maria, and Edgar a vampire, since he was the only one with an actual costume. After raiding a few segundas – or as my mother in law calls them, “our Macy’s” – we emerged with everything we needed, except for a little makeup, which we improvised for by using some from my wife’s own collection. Our costumes were a hit…even if only other Latinos were the ones who recognized our disfrases.
This year again, the jury is still out on what we’ll wear for the big day, but for the rest of you, ladies first of course, here are a few easy, do-it-yourself, Mexican-themed costumes that shouldn’t cost more than a couple of bucks at your local “Macy’s.”
A classic, ‘La Chimoltufria': aside from getting to yell in your most whiny voice all night, you can be mean an obnoxious too, just because…no questions asked!
If you’d rather connect with your inner child…you know the spoiled one that likes to snitch on everybody and anybody, and also burst into ‘llantos’ when they don’t get their way, consider ‘La Chilindrina’, another classic from the ‘Chavo del Ocho’ series.
Want something more recognizable stateside…and also a little more intellectual? Ugly Betty can be the reason to just roll out of bed, put on whatever mismatched items of clothing you can find and go! Alternate names: Letty or Betty la Fea.
Y si de pelo se trata, who won’t recognize ‘La Trevi’ (shown here circa 1990’s during her ‘pelo suelto’ days, before her little stint in jail)…okay maybe the ‘gavachos’ will just think you’re an 80’s ‘chica’, but we’ll know you’re the ‘rock-n-rolera’ herself!
Innocent, sweet, helpless…think again! More like sassy and ‘pelionera’, with the added excuse of ‘not knowing any better’ to get away with virtually any faux pas. Think Little Mermaid brushing her hair with a fork at a formal dinner…and do it!
Even though she may no longer be a favorite for her harsh words and lukewarm apologies, you can’t deny ‘Paquita la del Barrio’ has Halloween costume written all over her persona and personality – “Rata de dos patas, te estoy hablando a ti…”
And finally, a Doña to bring us full circle…none other than the incomparable Carmen Salinas. Never at a loss for words and as good at the ‘indirectas’ as your momma, with a hefty helping of ‘chuntis’ all over her vocabulary…but be warned, if you take on the Doña for Halloween you better train your tongue very, very well.