As I kid, I loved dressing up as a pirate for Halloween, long before Johnny Depp made it cool. Today, I leave the disguises to the kids. Consider me among an apparent minority of people who think costumes are for kids only. To be honest, adults who wear costumes kind of freak me out. Maybe that’s why every year at about this time I dread the increasingly uncomfortable adult Halloween costume party. Chances are, you’re headed to one of these bashes in the coming weeks. Sadly, my firsthand experience with these events qualifies me to offer you a few coping mechanisms for your close encounters of the creepy kind.
The Sports Jersey Guy
Now here’s a guy who deserves your respect, so give it up for him. His lack of creativity clearly demonstrates he’s been goaded into throwing together a last-minute costume for a party he probably didn’t want to attend in the first place. Nicely done number 12! And thanks for leaving the number 69 jersey at home. Same with your “UMass Debate” college T-shirt. Would love to see your closet someday.
The French Maid/Sexy Black Cat/Scantily Clad Cavewoman
Take your pick, but all of these costumes scream, “It’s okay to ogle me. Really, I want you to.” But do not fall for this trap. Instead, consider a pre-emptive strike. Before your wife mentions anything on the car ride home, ask her, “Did you see that slut in the Playboy Bunny outfit?” You’ll get honesty points for acknowledging the obvious, plus extra credit for calling that suggestive attention-seeker a skank.
That violin case? His daughter’s. The white fedora? His grandfather’s. The double-breasted pinstripe suit? His. And there’s the true crime. Politely invite him to join you at the next Men’s Wearhouse two-for-one suit sale. If he’s smart, that’s an offer he won’t refuse.
The ’60s Girl
Considering she wasn’t alive during this decade, you can understand her fascination with the 1960s—and her confusion in putting together the right costume. Some choose the flower power hippie look, with the smoked sunglasses, flaired long sleeves, and matching bell-bottom jeans. Then there’s the go-go dancer guise with the miniskirt and the knee-high white leather boots. Flash this one the peace sign for deciding to go-go shag-a-delic, baby.
This is the guy who takes his velvet purple suit and big daddy cane a tad too seriously and decides tonight’s the night to show off his acting chops. So Mr. Method Actor usually can be found throwing out awkward and uncomfortable insults or pickup lines to the Naughty Nurse “because it’s all part of the act, beeatch.” I know it’s tempting to come to her rescue, but let it go. Only an assimilated adult would think now’s the time to give this D-bag a lecture on the traumatic psychological effects of sexual enslavement. It’s the true accidental adult who realizes that anyone who wears a candy striper dress with white fishnet stockings to a Halloween party probably knows how to put a pimp in his place anyway.
Had enough of your ghoulish get-together? Clear the party early by quietly making friends with the fog machine. When no one’s looking, set it to “high” mode or simply slip some chunks of dry ice into the punch bowl. Either move will bring the guests to the brink of asphyxiation. With a little luck, carbon dioxide can really change the chemistry of your next costume party, and shorten its duration considerably.
Any of these tips help? If so, you can thank me when you see me in the driveway making my own hasty exit from the party. I’m the one trying not to gawk at the mermaid hopping up the sidewalk. Seriously, Kelly.