Friends! October is the month for costumes! Last semester I wrote a column about how springtime made me gayer, but what I really meant is that all the seasons make me gayer, each in their own special way. Each year I will get more and more fabulous until, on the eve of my 30th birthday, I will explode in a cloud of glitter flames.
I mention glitter flames specifically because last year on Halloween I bought a $4 dollar Blaze Witch! costume from Walgreen’s. It included numerous glitter flames, a hunk of plastic called a Blaze Wand!, and tiger pattern imprints around the bosom area. Upon attempting to don this outfit in my room, I was disappointed to find that it was originally designed for 9- to 11-year-old girls and thus did not accommodate my svelte 20-year-old male frame. I was deeply distraught by this development and attempted to incinerate the thing in the Pierson Courtyard, only to find that it was made out of some synthetic material and would not blaze, which upset me so much I ended up going out as Apathy.
I urge each and every one of you to take immediate steps to ensure that the above situation does not befall you. Perhaps you think that because of your wardrobe moxy or sexual orientation you will not end up trolling the Walgreen’s aisles for a Hail Mary Halloween costume, but please do not fall into this hubristic trap. Three weeks away is not too early to begin planning your Halloween costume, but rather too late.
I would also like to reach out to those people who do not dress up for Halloween and tell them that they lead miserable, funless lives. It is difficult for me to overemphasize the role of costumes, Halloween or otherwise, in my development as a person. One of my earliest memories is of my babysitter dressing me up as Rosemary Clooney in “White Christmas” and teaching me to perform, with the help of my equally dragged brother, the number “Sisters.” I think our father came home from work first on that fateful day.
Just in case that wasn’t enough, I have documentary evidence that my parents adorned me in neon turquoise and pink cowboy gear and set me atop a pony in my preschool’s backyard. The pony looks shifty; my neon-framed face is at once terrifying and overflowing with glee. I do not know if the photo, which enjoys pride of place in our hallway at home, should be seen as an early warning sign or a skirmish in a long costume-based campaign to make me who I am today.
By my third grade Halloween it was all over. When my parents asked me what I wanted to be (the year prior I had been a bee), I told them that I would go as Carrie, originally from the Stephen King novel and more recently from the film.
“But Steven, that means you’ll be wearing a prom dress and covered in blood.”
It was all downhill from there. I don’t know exactly which year it was, but I remember I learned who Carmen Miranda was sometime in February and for the next eight months had visions of a pumpkin-laden Carman Miranda strolling from door to door, begging for something sweet.
And then, of course, freshman year I dragged two of my suitemates to the other side of East Rock to purchase a nun outfit at the Costume Bazaar, Inc. I think it took about an hour each way and Andres may have gotten something nasty from that needle he stepped on, but by golly I loved being a nun. For some reason, I decided I would be a pirate nun and added an eye-patch and a clothes hanger as a hook. It put forward its own solution during my midnight rendition of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?”
Lest you think that I have confused October with Halloween, I direct your attention to a different, but equally fulfilling, October opportunity to put on a costume. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire runs through Oct. 19 in Hebron. This means a few things — 1. Busty middle-aged women busting out their chain-mail. 2. Giant turkey legs and cheap beer. 3. A primevally appealing combination of 1 and 2. It also means you only have one week left to strap on your leggings and crystal pendants and savor the twin pleasures of falconry and face-painting. Perhaps you will see me there: I will be the only person dressed as a Neon-Nun-Blaze-Witchknight! and screaming “Fuck you, Edmund! I’m the Faerie Queene!”