Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sexy Corn, Sylvia Plath and a Hastily Written Halloween Promise

This last weekend I cobbled together the same costume I've pulled together many times since 1991, the one that says, "Dear Costume Party Host, please be as gracious as I know you can be, and simply note that I put forth the effort to wear any costume at all, and then let's get on with the evening."

The worst part of the costume is not that I return to it over and over.  And over.  It's that it's wrong.

It's a Sylvia Plath costume.  I go as Sylvia Plath.  I dress like a generic Beat, and then I string a noose around my neck, and then I cover my neck, eye sockets and lips in a blueish, purplish, greenish bruised-up yet drained-of-blood melange.

It's wrong because the "Beat" I use for inspiration is actually Audrey Hepburn in FUNNY FACE.  Maybe that's more sad than wrong.  But it's still wrong.  The costume is also wrong because Sylvia didn't kill herself that way.  In my defense, I usually spend much of the evening explaining what's wrong with the costume.

Because that's a good time for everyone.

But let's put a pin in my social ineptitude, and set it aside.  The real issue is, what message am I sending into the world with this half-assed costume?  That I'm ill-informed?  That I think the people I chum around with are poorly educated dolts?  That cutting a corner or two won't really matter?

Oh, it matters.  It matters deep in my tell-tale heart.  As each new set of eyes takes in the costume, the beating grows louder, louder!  It also matters because, "my playing small doesn't serve the world."  (No, that's not Sylvia Plath, it's Marianne Williamson).

It took until this year, but now I see that this is bigger than me and the way I think a party of drunk people in their own shoddy get-ups are evaluating my intelligence based on my slapdash costume.  Much bigger.  My inaccurate Plath Suicide Costume is like that butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo or wherever, causing a Frankenstorm on the other side of the ocean.  But this storm is one where people think an acceptable Halloween costume is a sexy hamburger, or a sexy ear of corn.  My willingness to let details slide helps to create a general atmosphere of lameness, costume-wise.

I can't have that kind of horror on my conscience, and so I'm going to start doing my part, thinking globally and acting locally.  With that, I promise you, my dear, non-existent readership that I will craft a period accurate gas-oven headpiece in time for next Halloween.  If time does not allow for oven-making, I will cover an overcoat with some toy fish, kelp and what not, fill its pockets with rocks, wear it with some blue stockings, and go as a pretty respectable Virginia Woolf.

You see what happens when you take pride in your work!  I created one good plan, and a solid back-up came along for the ride!  You put top-notch out, get top-notch back.

This little light of mine?  I'm going to let it shine.  Next year, I will stand tall and proud in the historically accurate suicide costume of my choice!