The Costume ConundrumJoe and I have a costume party to attend tomorrow, and this post marks the first time I've thought about what I'm going to wear. I used to get really excited about Halloween, so I have a cache of costumery, but most of it is the kind of sexpot stuff that was feasible several pounds ago. I do have a cape and a witch's hat. If my hair were long enough to put in a bun, I'd be tempted to dig out an old pair of wire-rimmed glasses, draw on some wrinkles, and go as Professor Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter books. Perhaps I could go as her lesser-known niece, Montana McGonagall. It might be fun, convincing drunken party-goers there's a minor character they can't recall. "C'mon -- she's the one who almost had the one-night stand with Sirius Black. On the Knight Bus? They were both drunk? I can't believe you don't remember!"
Even when we were more gung-ho about Halloween, Joe and I didn't exploit the wonderful world of couple's costumes very much. One time, he was a vampire, I was a vampire's victim...not very imaginative. Another time, we dressed as bunches of grapes. I can't remember who was Concord and who was Thompson, but the costumes involved black pants, black turtlenecks, wreaths of fake grapevine on our heads, and green or purple balloons tied onto lengths of black yarn and pinned to our clothes. It was kind of hard to sit down, as I recall.
There's even a contest at this party. One of last year's winners was a gal dressed in overalls and a flannel shirt. She also wore a computer-labeled cardboard box, hung from straps over her shoulders. Can you guess what she was? The Farmer in the Dell. I know someone else who pinned clothes all over himself, taped a single-serving box of Tide to the outer layer, and went as a pile of dirty laundry. That was clever. Joe dressed as a jellyfish one year. He wore white and carried a clear-plastic umbrella with strips of bubble wrap trailing from the edges. It was great, but the bubble wrap proved too tempting to other guests. By the end of the evening, he looked like he'd been washed ashore and trod on by unwary tourists. Oh, and there was the infamous year we both went in drag! Joe was a ringer for Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, and I looked like Tom Petty after orthodontia. It took a while for people to recognize us -- that was fun.
Maybe I can get excited about Halloween this year. I'm a writer. Surely I can come up with something creative. In fact, maybe I should look to the world of books for costume ideas. Let's see...what famous literary duos can I think of? Nothing obvious, like Romeo and Juliet or Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Something funny and unexpected, like, um, er...
All I can think of is Ahab and the great, white whale.
"C'mon, you remember Montana! She wound up as a stripper in that dive on Knockturn Alley? That's right. The Witch's Tit."