This year I have been too lazy to think of a costume. I had a planned to go to a bar until I learned how much they charged as a cover. ( kind of silly since the guests themselves are providing most of the entertainment value.) I had considered going in full drag, something I have never dared to do, fearful that I might enjoy it and it become my latest obsession. (Somehow I doubt it, simply because of all the labor involved in being a woman, shaving and plucking and primping and spritzing and fiddling to no end.)
My funds are, anyway, a bit limited this year – it has been a very expensive year, if nothing else. As winter descends once again, there is no question between a down jacket that can warm these weary bones or a ZaZa Gabor wig with a fringe, spandex electric blue tights and leg warmers- fuchsia. It is hard to justify try as I might. Drag is always dicey but the option of only wearing used clothing.. well.. a lady has to have her standards. And even used clothing is pricey in New York, a warning to all you trannies from out of town!
Another problem is a fairly basic objection: I imagine that I would look like a fearsome woman and I cant imagine the expressions of suppressed terror I would inspire. However, on the other hand, there is always the slight but demoralizing possibility that I might just look more attractive as a woman than as a man and thereafter, begin to crave THAT sort of attention. Transvestitism has to begin somewhere, right?
In years past, I could devote a lot of time and energy to costume projects and, believe me, I came up with some doozies. The time I went to a Halloween party as a flasher was very very entertaining. The effect was produced by a flesh colored body suit- who would actually wear one anyway?. and THAT color? It was so tight and so convincing that as soon as I put it on, I felt too embarrassed to come out of the bathroom. I might as well have actually been nude. As a final flourish, I dappled the chest and stomach with black swirls to denote body hair. The women, oh how they mocked that, for some reason.
To complete the picture, I wore an oversized raincoat and a old pair of my father’s steel-toed work shoes. At the party, I would give a quick flap of my raincoat to my victims, causing to an interesting variety of reactions. From an embarrassed look away to a eyes wide dismay. After the alcohol set in, the shock wore off, replaced by playful grabbing and tussling. So the tables were unexpectedly turned from playing the role of the victimizer to the role of the pursued by screaming fat women who have had a bit too much to drink. That old story of popularity running amok.
The second best costume I manufactured was, in fact, a kind of failure. I managed to obtain one of those cardboard drums you find in warehouses, painted it red and added cursive lettering on the side. I cut a hole in the bottom and viola! I was a can of cola. There were a few problems that I immediately noticed when I got to the nightclub. Number one, there was no way I could sit without my head falling into the can. Since I had worn a minimum of clothing underneath, I decided against ditching the prop.. and what kind of costume was sweat pants and a thermal top? Also people for some reason began using me as a makeshift table for their drinks. Actually only the empty glasses, unfortunately. I received very few compliments despite my labor because, I later figured out, everybody thought I was an advertisement.
The only costume I ever won a prize for was in fact the easiest one. I had planned to go to my sister’s company Halloween party dressed as a fried egg. Delightful, I thought. Who had ever heard of it? but my sister told me that it was too wild and forbade me to dwell on it. She herself had rented an expensive and unimaginative Raggedy Ann doll outfit.
So, being at a loss for ideas, I carefully cut out of cardboard a template. I wrapped it all together with masking tape, sprayed it with steel grey spray paint and it became a wind up key. I was tied around my waist and I wore an ill fitting jacket over that. I became a wind-up toy. At first, nobody seemed to understand it and my sister was quite embarrassed- she should have been used to it. The judge however, was impressed, that's all that counts, after all, and I won a huge jug of white wine. Unfortunately, as we were returning home, the bottle slipped from hands and broke into a million vinegary-smelling shards.