OK, so admission: I kind of hate Halloween. I hate it so much that I’ve been stressing out over writing this column all week simply because I can’t think of anything to write. And it’s not just because there’s never anything good at the Salvation Army, or that it smells like pumpkin whenever I walk into any kind of food store, or even that the streets get obnoxiously rowdy for like 10 days preceding the actual holiday. (Seriously, dressing up one day is fine. Two days is OK, too. But when you’re going out seven days a week, each in a different “sexy” outfit, it’s time to put on some real clothes.) It’s the pressure of it all.
In all honesty, much of my beef with the holiday stems from the fact that I can never think of anything good to dress up as. The extent of my creative stupidity is truly boundless. The zenith of this materialized during last year’s Halloween, when I tried to convince three of my friends to dress up as the “Mean Girls” by snipping holes in our t-shirts, which would reveal circular pieces of our multicolored bras underneath. Needless to say, this idea did not go over well.
For me, Halloween is all about toeing the line between decency and creativity. This takes more thought than I can possibly muster. It also takes good cutting skills. Let me voice out a few of my neuroticisms for you.
1. You have to make sure your body is prepared if you want to dress up like a (creative) slut. This not only calls for working out months in advance but also gradually building up a resistance to 30-degree weather, because Halloween night is going to be freaking cold.
2. If slut is not for you, the next most important thing is to be recognizable. The imperative is not so much that you’re creative but that people will know what you are. This way, you won’t have to keep answering the question, “What are you supposed to be?” all night.
3. But, at the same time, you can’t be too predictable. This usually means that you can’t dress up as a celebrity, because odds are you’re going to pick Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson or the cast of “Glee” (for reasons unknown to me, because don’t they just wear regular clothes?), and so will everybody else you know.
4. And you definitely can’t dress up as Snooki. I love “Jersey Shore” as much as the next obsessed fan, but you know how many people are going to rock the fake-tan guidette look. Don’t worry – you will find your “guido juicehead” with or without your bumpit.
5. Once you actually think of your idea, you have to go to some vintage store or the Salvation Army to buy all the stuff you need. In the process, you’re going to see other people picking out stuff for their costumes and feel bad watching them plan out really awesome ones while yours just seems really stupid.
These kinds of stressors could drive you to do truly crazy things, such as buy one of those shirts from Urban Outfitters that say: “This is my costume.” It’s just so easy! But when I’m feeling really desperate, I always, always try to keep this decree in my mind: Do not, at all costs, shop for your costume at American Apparel.
Seriously, have you seen their “costume builder” for this year? Way to blatantly pass off clothes you already own as a “costume.” My favorites among these stellar selections are: “mermaid” (a bra top and two skirts around your ankles), “sun and moon” (a gray sweater and hot shorts) and “cupcake” (three fluffy skirts over your shoulders). The incentives are even dumber — 15 percent off your whole outfit on the chance that you would like to purchase these ridiculously expensive “costumes.” Thanks, American Apparel, I’m so happy I get to save a whole $30 off this $200 purchase so I can put a skirt on top of my head and call myself a “sexy nun.”
So now that I’ve effectively ruined your holiday and depressed you beyond all reason, ignore everything I just said. The truth is, all you have to do is wear a freaking costume — after a while people will be too drunk to remember what you came in as anyway. Happy Halloween, you guys.