04 November 2013

oops i thought i posted this

Okay, so I had the great idea to post something topical for Halloween, but I suppose I was distracted and, well, didn't. Anyway, here it is. Sorry.

Halloween in San Francisco is tricky because some people just…look like that. That guy wrapped in purple tinfoil? Is he wearing a costume? No idea. The hobo with a hot pink feather boa? Maybe. The girl who looks remarkably like Waldo? Hard to tell, especially in the Mission.

Halloween and I have sort of rocky beginnings. The earliest Halloween I can remember was tumultuous because I wanted to be a ghost (super creative, I know). Not the sheet-with-eye-holes type of ghost, but a more representative one. My mother dressed me in white, as you do, and things were going great. But, when she started painting my face white to emulate a deathly pallor, she became increasingly frustrated because she figured there must be something wrong with the paint. It was only after a few repeated attempts on the same area of my cheek that she realized that the paint was working just fine, but it was my face that was at fault. It already had that deathly pallor I so desired. At this point, I remember crying while everyone laughed at me. I don’t remember what I finally dressed up as (probably a ballerina or something else accessible like that), but that Halloween still haunts me.

Luckily, as I’ve grown up, I’ve started to appreciate Halloween for the opportunity to do two of my favorite things: dress up and be creepy. I’m a huge fan of homemade costumes over store bought ones, but I lack both the creativity and foresight to make it happen. If I actually planned ahead for once, I feel like I could make something amazing, but that type of motivation has yet to strike me.

What usually happens is that I brainstorm characters from popular culture that I could feasibly resemble, take stock of what I have in my closet that could pass with a little imagination, then fill in whatever is missing by making or buying something else. I also trying to make my costumes kind of inconspicuous, in case no one else is dressed up and I need to ditch the campy elements.

One year, I dressed up as Princess Mononoke, which was surprisingly easy. It was for a party, so I figured it was okay to go all out. Navy blue dress with cut up white shirt on top, black bands around my arms, red lipstick as blood, and moccasins. The only thing I was missing was the wolf pelt headdress, but I made do by buying a wolf stuffed animal, cleaving it in twain, removing all the stuffing, and draping it onto my head. It was one of the more disturbing things I’ve done, but the result was cute so it doesn’t matter.

I have also been Samara, the girl from The Ring. I just wore a white dress, black Mary-Jane shoes, copious amounts of eyeliner, and wet my hair. I committed to the costume by waiting in dark doorways and crawling around while contorting myself into unnatural positions. I did not paint my face white because, as we have already established, I did not need to. Apparently my costume was effective, as I made one of my friends cry when I skulked around a dark corner.

Last year, my friends and I did a group costume as hipster Disney characters. We all wore hipster interpretations of their outfits, added hipster glasses, and pinned signs to us to establish our hipster cred. Naturally, I went as Hipster Mulan in a red and purple floral romper (that I bought from a thrift store), a flower hairpin, glasses, a dragon tattoo that went all the way down my arm that my friend drew in Sharpie, and a sign that said “I did androgyny before it was cool.” My other friends were Hipster Tiana (New Orleans was not compatible with my vegan lifestyle.), Hipster Ursula (I have your voice. On vinyl.), Hipster Pocahontas (You just got to America? How cute.) and Hipster Meeko, who didn’t have a sign because she was a raccoon. Obviously.

So, this year, I wasn’t quite sure how to proceed with Halloween. After all, this is my first Halloween in the real world. I decided that the safest way to go was to wear a costume that could pass for real clothes in a pinch, with easily removable elements should I need to look like a normal person. Red and white polka dot dress, sparkly Minnie Mouse ears, and vampire fangs. My costume? Capitalism. Happy Halloween!


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