I still remember the good ol’ days of my youth when I’d pile in my grandparents’ car with my sister to take that special once a year ride to the local pharmacy to get our Halloween costumes. Back then, there were about ten costumes to choose from that came pre-packaged in little cardboard boxes with a see-through plastic pane to show the mask inside. The rest of the costume consisted of a plastic cape or little plastic apron that tied around the waist overtop of your clothes.
Why did I look forward to that trip? Because for one night I didn’t have to be plain ol’ me. I could be a cowgirl out to roam the range for apples, a superhero suited up to nab chocolate, or a gypsy witch who cast a spell with the words “Trick or treat, Give me something good to eat.” (I still have the latter tucked away, and ready to use.)
I believe this also the reason I love to write. When I am in deep POV I’m no longer channeling my characters, I am them…hopefully just as the reader will be if they get caught up in my words.
And for that one day—Halloween—I can let my imagination run wild and be who I’ve dreamed of being, including characters I created myself to break the stereotypical witch/werewolf/vampire mode. However as an adult, who is a self-diagnosed homebody, I don’t have much chance to party, nor would I feel comfortable trick or treating without kids, so my outlet has become my company’s annual costume contest.
The first year I dressed up as Danielle from Ever After, complete with homemade iridescent wings, and recited her quote from Utopia. (I just found out that I was supposed to have won first place, but there was a botch in the voting.) The next year I dressed as a renaissance woman by reusing the costume I’d bought for our local Renaissance Faire. Next I glamed up with a blonde bombshell wig to be Josie Geller from Never Been Kissed and won first place—a light up pumpkin.
Then the stage for our company shenanigans grew from break room strutting to performing center stage at our mandatory attendance Quarterly Meeting. To say the least I was petrified, because I hate public speaking. (It was only one of two classes I got a C in during college because I get dry mouth and forget my lines!) However I reflected on all the accolades I’d gotten during the years before, and new I had people who believed in me. So I hemmed and hawed between ideas, then one Sunday morning I woke up with the speech zinging through my mind and rushed to get a pen and paper to jot it down. The minute I walked into the meeting everyone was already awash with excitement because of my red billowy shirt, tight black trousers, faux sword, and Jack Sparrowish hairdo. Christina Montacore, an English Regency noblewoman about to be forced unto a loveless marriage turned wayward pirate, became my second contest win worth a $100 gift certificate.
Next, I ran with the idea of a love consultant who is open 24/7 via a 1-800 number. I hung up faux appearance signs outside, gave out heart shaped business cards in hot pink and during my 2 minute long speech I gave a few general pointers for people looking for love. Because I adored Afra Dytte so much, I brainstormed a book built around her, which became my sought after manuscript LOVEMAKER.
Last year I won again as a CSI agent who was an expert in food remains. I came in with a bright red wig, CSI shirt I’d ordered for the theme party I’d thrown my sister on our 30th birthday, and a kit of fake tools including evidence of a crime—the slice of pizza left behind after the company’s common fridge was raided. Of course I had no idea who the real culprit was and didn’t want to point fingers, so I implicated myself in a funny skit.
And this year I decided to take on one of my favorite teenage characters—Jem. So I hunted down the perfect pink wig with blonde highlights and picked out a hot pink suit including a mini-skirt. Then I set my sights on creating the perfect Synergy earrings using a pair my mom had given me that were so 80’s and some creative coloring with a pink highlighter over a tape overlay. I memorized my upbeat speech that had a touch of humor about our jobs, then recited it flawlessly this past Friday morning. Everything went without a hitch until I struck out to track down the Holograms for a truly outrageous concert, and landed wrong on my kitten heel. Needless to say I landed on my backside in front of all 100+ employees with my skirt hiked up almost to my hoo-hoo. Through the embarrassment where I willed myself to keep my legs together, I recovered splendidly enough for most of my co-workers to think my spill was part of the act. I snagged the second place prize of thirty bucks, but ended up sitting in the doctor’s office for almost three hours. Now I’m click-clicking this post with my over-worked right hand while my left hangs inside a sling, bound up tight with an elastic bandage over a bulky splint. And of course my follow-up on Wednesday (when I might get this off or atleast down-sized) can’t come soon enough!
So what do you have planned to wow your town with this Halloween? And more importantly, does it involve heels?