Happy Halloween and all that jazz.
I used to love Halloween. Because you know, creative idiots like myself, love that crap. I was always a bit out of step, though.
I just got distracted… Vanilla Ice is performing on the Today Show. Oh it’s a flashback theme… well that makes sense.
Anyway, believe it or not I’ve always been a bit odd. Starting as a little kid, I just had to be different. While all the other kids in my Catholic elementary school were wearing princess outfits and cool store bought outfits of like Woody Woodpecker or something. (I”m not kidding, it was like 1972 or 1975, you know in there, stuff was lame) I was dreaming big. But it was good because Halloween hadn’t become real commercial yet. So what did I really want to be?
Yes, Carmen Miranda. My Mother and I made a hat out of a paper plate with a bunch of plastic fruit piled on it. We had a Mexican peasant girl outfit in the dress up box, so I wore pieces of that. I thought it was fabulous. The other kids thought it was stupid. One of the younger priests got a chuckle out of it though. But it figures ‘cuz we always thought he was in the closet.
Thus started a long line of costumes I thought were hysterical but everyone else thought was stupid.
I remember having an epiphany in junior high. Remember I’m the youngest of 6. My oldest brother was in his 20’s, just out of college and living in an apartment in Buffalo. He went to a party there, then came home to Dunkirk to hit the bars in Fredonia (town right next to us where Fredonia State University is) for Halloween and brought his costume to wear again. He put it on, he was dressed as an Arab shiek with a large Exxon logo on the back of his head-dress thing. Ok it was 1977, there was a huge gasoline shortage, the oil embargo and all that. This oil thing was all new to Americans. We never had a problem before. To me it was hysterical.
As a 12 year old, didn’t I go and borrow the costume. Total bomb. Completely lost on 12 year olds.
This went on for years. Finally some of my friends enjoyed my college costumes. Freshman year I bought a little kids Spiderman costume from K-Mart. Yes, I was that small then. I wore that by itself the first time, and by the end of the night on the dance floor, I had blown out the seat of the pants. So out of necessity and creativity I kept tweaking the costume for several parties over the next 2 years. To cover the split I wore bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian shirt over it and was Spidey at the beach. Then I wore a big yellow raincoat and rainhat I found at a thrift store and was Spidey goes fishing, or Spidy Gorton, or the Gorton’s of Gloucester. (remember that?) Then I wore some punk-wear that I had and… Spidey goes punk. While other sorority girls were starting to be cute kitties an devils… yea… me.
Then my junior year I acquired the nickname Madge from all the guys with thick Maine accents who were trying to call me “Marge”. I was a college DJ and named my show, “Soaking in it with Madge”. So I went to K-Mart (again) and bought a pink polyester smock and wrote Madge in cursive as if it were an embroidered nametag, wore a skirt, sensible shoes and carried around a bottle of Palmolive. Voila, I was Madge the manicurist from the Palmolive commercials. That was kind of a hit. Although fraternity guys kept sticking their hands in my beer saying, “I’m soaking in it?”.
However as an adult it was fail-city again. One particular poor year out of college, I cut a hole for my head in a fitted bed sheet, draped it over myself and went as… a bed sheet.
Then there was the year I was pregnant with one of the kids (like really pregnant) and I went and bought a Lil’ Red Riding Hood costume. Pregnant Red Riding Hood? Come on! Ok, nevermind…
Then for a few years I used that same costume and went as LRRH gone bad, I pulled the stretchy neckline below my shoulders, wore lots of makeup, drew on tattoos, wore fishnets and heels and had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. I called myself Little Red Riding Ho.
Ok, so about 10 years ago I wore a polyester wrap around dress, big high heels, feathered my hair, lots of chains, big hoop earrings, caked baby powder on my upper lip and had a purse full of fake drugs (baggie of oregano, baggie of baby powder, pill bottles) and went as a Studio 54 patron.
I finally gave up a couple years ago after I wore a long gown, a long black wig, really elaborate overdone makeup and went as a drag queen.
Maybe one of those years I should have gone as a sexy kitty or sexy policeman or sexy sanitation worker or something. I maybe would have at least gotten a drunken grope rather than a blank stare.
So I got nothin’ this year. Maybe beehive my hair, wear a 50’s dress and go as Lucille Ball. I’ll probably get a polite smile after I get asked 100 times “Who are you supposed to be?”. *heavy sigh again*
Oh wait, tonight I’m going with my best gal pal (ok it’s a gay guy) to a gay bar for Halloween, I bet I’d be a moderate hit if I resurrected my old childhood Carmen Miranda costume!
What are some of your biggest Halloween costume fails?