duck-shaped pain

31 October 2002
A complete absence of holiday spirit.

For most of my life, I have been a complete party pooper on Halloween. It's not that I don't like dressing up, it's that I don't put much thought into it. I know a few people who spend the other 364 days of the planning what they're going to be for Halloween, and coming up with elaborate costumes that I can in no way match. So I cede the day to those people.

I figure that if I was going to come up with a costume, I'd want it to have the greatest impact possible. So I think May 12 would be a much better day to show up to school or work wearing a tail or lingerie or an enormous orange blob on my head. That way, I'd really stand out. And when people stare, I can berate them for not participating in the spirit of my holiday.

I have had costumes in the past. But once I became older, once I got past the point where my costumes came in a box from Target and consisted of a stinky plastic mask and a vinyl tunic-like thingy which ripped within five minutes of putting it on, the sheer amount of effort it took to come up with something unusual never really seemed worthwhile.

My sophomore year of high school, I dressed up as The Queen of the Goodwill. I had this crappy plain black dress, and I covered it with pieces of broken jewelry and other shiny odds and ends. I combined this with a long blonde wig (which ended up getting tangled up with the things on the dress), and actually won some really lame prize in the school costume contest. It was very hard to sit down while wearing my costume, though.

My senior year, I went as a dead lawyer. Nothing original, but I liked it because I got to dress up in a suit and snarl at people for fun.

Then there was a long, long interval without any costumes at all.

When I lived in Portland, I worked at this photography company where they took their holidays very seriously. Halloween was a big, big deal, and they more or less stopped work all day for a big costume contest. Everyone was required to dress up, and people went all out for the contest because the prizes were pretty decent. (First prize: a day off with pay. Second prize: a steak.) I knew there was no way to compete, so I didn't even try. I showed up to work in my bathrobe and nothing else, because I'd always wanted to wear my bathrobe to work. I didn't have the oddest "costume" there by any means, but I did get my fair share of looks, from people trying to figure out just what the hell it was I was trying to be. The two owners of the company, a husband-and-wife team, decided to dress up as "punk rockers" (just using that phrase makes my teeth hurt), which was just sort of excruciating and didn't work at all. Especially since the wife ran around throwing glitter at everyone, yelling, "Anarchy!"

Today, I didn't dress up. I thought about maybe wearing my pajamas to work, but that was only after I actually got to work and remembered it was Halloween. My coworker C. wore her slippers to work, but that was about the extent of the holiday spirit there, probably because everyone's in an extremely bad mood (see last entry). I don't expect much excitement tonight, either, since I have a bunch of articles to read and write something about before tomorrow morning. My house is dark and scary, so there's never any trick-or-treaters. On the off chance I do get one or two, I have plenty of bottles of water and string cheese to give them (forgot to get any candy)

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