The Hallow-holic

In Personal, Random on October 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, correct? Well, I have a problem. I am too obsessed with Halloween. It’s bad. I attend multiple Halloween events just to be able to dress up more. I love the idea of becoming any character in the world and the creepiness of Halloween time. I start thinking of my costume for next year immediately after my last Halloween celebration.

However, I refuse to buy costumes. I create them myself. Sometimes, I pull from clothing I already own, like when I dressed as a maid for a dinner/murder mystery costume party I co-hosted last year. Sometimes I hit up the Goodwill in search of awesomely tacky items that can be tweaked, such as the furry leopard print dress that I ripped and shredded to be a cave woman. Sometimes I construct the entire thing, from unrolling the fabric myself all the way to wearing the finished garment, like the wispy dress I hand stitched in my pre-sewing machine days to be a siren/ghost/dead thing. Sometimes I do a combo, like when I took one of my old dresses, tweaked it, and sewed a petticoat and ruffles to socks to be a cutesy little baby doll.

Even bigger than my admitted Hallow-holism is my habit of procrastinating.  I may start thinking about my costume super early, but I don’t actually start working on it for quite a while. Example: I have plans the last two weekends of October for Halloween, both requiring a costume, and I am just now cracking down to start looking for the items I will need. One would think that planning for a costume so far in advance would be beneficial even if I didn’t start working on it until last-minute.  And it would be, if I could buckle down.  But all that extra time with pre-planning just gives me more time to change my mind. Which I’ve done. 3-4 times now.

This was my process, and how I inevitably screw myself if I have too much time for any decision:

My first idea was a panda. I already have the black leggings a black long-sleeved shirt. All I would need is a white leotard and something to make ears out of. But then I thought about myself in a leotard in front of other people and died a little inside. NEXT!
I’ve got it. A doll. Not the same cutesy doll I did before. No way will I stoop to repeating a costume, that’s blasphemous! No, this time I will be a broken, somewhat gothic doll with exposed stitching and striped knee socks. That sounds like fun, and 100% appropriate for public wear since my friends and I generally go to one of the gay bars downtown for our Halloween celebration. Costume idea phase: complete!

I then get a proposition from a friend.  Her slightly inebriated idea is for her to be my ho and I will be her lady-pimp.  In all drunken seriousness, her input is either Lady-Pimp and Ho…or corn.  Like a stalk of corn.  I would like to say that this was because she was intoxicated and looking directly at a corn field when she suggested this; that would be explainable.  But her statement that “corn can be sexy” can not be defended.  This tossing around of ideas does not hinder my decision making process for my costume this year.

However, being approached by a different friend with the idea of a group costume made me sway.  Any late 80’s-90’s kid will get this immediately: Blue Barracudas.  SOLD!  I always felt that I should have been a contestant on Legends of the Hidden Temple. I knew I could get that stupid monkey put together in no time. As long as I wasn’t a Purple Parrot or Silver Snake, because those poor kids never made it past the moat. Even better: a third friend dressed as a temple guard. DOUBLE SOLD!  All we need is to find helmets,  tacky pleated khaki shorts, knee and elbow pads, have the shirts made, and create a temple guard feather headdress.

Fast forward to ladies’ happy hour at Hacienda, our regular Mexican restaurant. Chips, queso, half-priced margaritas, and chatter. And there it is: another Halloween costume party invite.  It’s there that I find out that I have another Halloween party invitation. It’s a birthday/fall/costume celebration at a friend’s house.  It’s a Halloween miracle!  All my Hallow’s Eve prayers have been answered!  Maybe I’m being a little dramatic…Who cares, I get to have two freaking costumes again this year!

But instead of re-embracing my doll idea, I’m assaulted by a recurring costume desire from years past. Here it is:  Cher. Circa the “Sonny and Cher” days with the ultimate groovy outfit, huge lashes, and long sleek hair. It’s one of the most glorious images I can conjure in my mind. My friend has a long patterned skirt, all I would need is a proper wig and a shirt.

And so it seems I’ve got it all figured out. And I thought I had, too. Until Partner Barracuda backs out, lacking the faith that we will be able to get it all done. I end up pacing the aisles of 3 different stores on the hunt for a new idea. Cher still tugs at my heart, but my fear is that no one my age will know who I am and will just think I’m a random hippie with a bad wig, because let’s be serious – those wigs almost always have a bald patch somewhere.

The doll had crossed my mind again so I was looking for inspiration and that’s when I see it. It’s a wonderful short black wig with a gold chain headpiece. Cleopatra. I curse myself for falling for another wig idea and beat my brain to figure out why I have such a headpiece fascination this year, but further on down the aisle are options upon options of similar costumes labeled as Roman, Greek, and Egyptian princesses. They are all flowy dresses with gold accents and chunky gold neck plates and gold leaf hair clips and thick winged eyeliner. This is so happening.

I’m still toying with Cher in my head, but that would mean two black wigs and all the retro costume add-ons at these stores are so cheap and tacky.  There’s no way I’d pull off a good costume with that crap.  So I continue to look around when my husband spots a strange little gothic doll costume.  It’s all black and skulls and stripes and stitches.  It’s almost exactly what I pictured in my head, but I still wasn’t sure if it was the right choice.  But then my husband tops it.  He completes the look with the tiny suggestion of having blood tears.  This pale, creepy doll character – crying blood.  I’m pumped.

Decisions made; I’ve now started making my list.  White fabric, gold fabric, black fabric.  Big white buttons, a heavy duty black eyeliner pencil.  Something moldable for a neck piece.  Gold paint.  Body glitter dust, the Egyptian wig, jewelry to match both.  Ugh.  I enlist a friend to help me do my shopping.  Then I go it alone on a second trip.  I’m now fully equipped with white and black stretchy fabric, white tulle, a sheer gold lace, gold and white trim, gold ribbon, white ribbon, gold twine, gold thread, 2 big white buttons, and a box of little gold studs.

I get home, completely stoked about getting to work on my creations.  I’m going through my purchases.  I’m crudely sketching out ideas for the costumes.  I’m gathering my sewing supplies.  I’m attempting to get my sewing machine to work.  I’m failing at threading a bobbin.  I’m hot gluing myself to cardboard.  I’m working for 3 hours on starting, undoing, redoing, giving up, and starting over just on one accessory piece I’m creating.  I’m quickly realizing that one costume is going to take me 2 weeks to make, and I only have 3 weeks to create 2 full costumes.  I’m throwing in the towel.  I’m damn near in tears.  I’m rethinking my Halloween plans.  Again.

So I’m giving in and going on record: I’m lowering my Halloween standards.  This costume is taking too much time and energy to be worn once.  I’m over it.  I will be re-wearing a costume for the first time in my life.  But dammit, it will be a freaking sweet one!

Quick little preview:

  1. […] ran out of ideas.  I think I’m still recovering from my Halloween celebrations.  As if my Halloween preparations  weren’t stressful enough… I wore my homemade Egyptian costume twice.  First was to a […]



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