It is not an exaggeration to say I’ve been listening to my Seattle-ite friends talk about Halloween plans for months now. As a holiday that I haven’t dressed up for in ages, I didn’t understand the fuss. All I knew was that people were planning costumes in August, so if I knew what was good for me, I was going to have to put some thought into a costume…which is something I haven’t done since I was about 7. But I sure as hell couldn’t be half-assing in the costume department if I was any kind of respectable human in Seattle.
I thought about it for months. A friend of mine was throwing a party, so I knew I had to get my act together because I couldn’t be that one girl that shows up without a costume. I looked on the internet and was instantly disappointed when I realized the funniest costumes were for dogs and babies. What was a grown woman supposed to dress as for Halloween?
That’s when I came across a picture of a Cruella De Vil costume, and I instantly recognized it as my Halloween spirit animal. There was no doubt that if Disney translated to real life, I would fall under the villain category rather than the princess or damsel in distress. I didn’t really appreciate her skinning puppies as a kid, it kind of crossed the line because of my love of dogs, but now as an adult I at least have respect for the dedication the woman had simply to sport an amazing coat. Maybe faux fur would have been the way to go, but the woman was committed to fashion and didn’t care what anyone thought about it.
Plus ultimately I just wanted to wear a two tone wig.
I spent a few weeks trying to come up with a cheap, relatively believable Cruella costume. I bought the wig and a friend of mine cut it short for me and gave it some crazy looking bangs. I bought a cheap dalmatian stole, pulled the look together with some long red satin gloves, and topped it off with a cigarette holder. If everyone in Seattle took Halloween seriously, I was now ready to hold my own.
I’ve been waiting months to bust the look out, and for the first time in years, I was genuinely getting excited for Halloween. When the day rolled around, I worked all day, counting down the hours until I could get home and change into my getup.
I drove through the ominous rainy streets of my neighborhood which seemed to be the perfect setting for the holiday. I watched children dressed as princesses, ghosts, and skeletons walk down the streets with their parents. I laughed as a man dressed like Godzilla walk into the grocery store as if that’s what he wore every day of his life. The streets were littered with costumes, as if I had driven into an alternate universe.
I watched in fascination as I sat at the stop lights, when suddenly my heart sank. I watched as a black and white two tone wig walked into the local Starbucks. “That bitch stole my look!” I yelled to no one in horror, glad I was in the car so no one could hear me.
I thought to myself that my costume was better. My wig was better. Plus I had the cigarette holder. I sighed in relief, when I saw her child run up to her in a dalmatian puppy costume. I just lost Halloween to a mom trick or treating with her kid. I couldn’t beat that.
I wondered if there was a place I could rent a puppy for a night to bring along with me as a prop. It would be the cutest prop ever, and I’d clearly be the hit of the party. I figured that couldn’t happen, so I thought about seeing if the lady would let me bring her child so I could have a good prop. Then I calmed myself down and hoped she wasn’t showing up to the same party I was later.
I went home, got dressed, and headed out to the extravaganza. I was told by one of my coworkers that on Halloween people in Seattle transform from their typically reserved selves and blossom into a city of social butterflies for the night. I imagined something like Cinderella, where the clock would strike midnight and everyone would stop making eye contact with me the next day as if nothing happened the night before.
I waltzed into the party, in full Cruella outfit, ready to check out some great costumes. There was Xena Warrior princess and her sidekick Gabrielle. Left shark and right shark from the Katy Perry superbowl performance. John Snow. Half the cast of Jurassic Park including the T-Rex. It was fantastic.
There was a pumpkin barfing out guacamole. There was wine served in blood bags. There were jello shots in the shapes of urine samples. There was even a photo booth. Every detail was thought out.
A friend of mine said hello to me casually before walking by and then turning back around and saying she didn’t even recognize me. I was officially successful at Halloween.
And the Seattle freeze was nonexistent. People kept approaching me and taking pictures with me, my resting bitch face finally be put to good use in order to accurately portray a Disney villain. There was some kind of magic in the air where behind the masks everyone could feel free to mingle and be more talkative than they normally would have been. It was wonderful. Halloween had turned from a holiday that I casually watched pass by on the calendar to something that I genuinely loved.
I took my wig off in the lobby before catching a taxi home. I figured the clock had struck midnight, so it was time to retire from my villain costume for the night. I secretly wished I could just sport some two tone hair for the day, but my blonde locks would have to be fine for the time being. I walked into the eerie ambiance of the darkness and pouring rain, was picked up by a skeleton, and arrived back at my door after what might have been the most successful Halloween I’ve had in about two decades.