My first Halloween costume I can remember -- quite possibly my first one at all since I've never heard stories or seen photographic evidence of my dressing up before the age of three -- was the negligee my mother wore on her wedding night. It was sheer polyester chiffon in Pepto-Bismol pink, trimmed in cheap lace of the same hue, and it comprised all the dress-up clothes I owned as a child. I cannot remember a time before it was in my possession.
I remember several preschool Halloweens for which I threw it on over my sweatpants and t-shirt and -- with the addition of some kind of accessory such as a toy wand -- claimed to be a fairy, a princess, or a fairy princess. It didn't occur to me until I was much older that this was strange. I am not remotely surprised that my hoarder mother would recycle her decade-old wedding night negligee by gifting it to a toddler, but it does seem a stretch that she took me out of the house dressed that way -- both for trick-or-treating and to preschool costume parades at our Methodist church. I always wore clothes underneath, but it was still very clearly sexy -- albeit heinously ugly -- lingerie. I also can't remember a time I didn't personally know it was from her wedding night. She made no secret of what it was, and it was the only piece of sexy anything she'd ever bought -- she made that fact well known too. Somehow as a child I thought that other people couldn't tell what it was. As far as I could tell, it was simply the most elegant article of clothing in the house.