But with my own 21st birthday themed-bash coming up in exactly a week, I am reminded of a costume party that kind of ... wasn't.
My sophomore year of college, one of my friends decided his birthday would be Dr. Seuss themed. The event was made, invitations sent out, definitely a costume party. I talked with people about what they would dress up as. I plotted my costume for about a week. I was going to be the cutest Cindy Lou Who in all of Whoville.
First: the makeup. I'm somewhat a crunchy granola girl, and my usual makeup "routine" is a swipe of mascara and lipgloss. Not for Cindy Lou! I brightly lined my eyes with shimmery green liner, filled in a pseudo-smokey eye, bright lips, super-pink cheeks, and a couple freckles included.
Second: the outfit: I have an eyesore of a dress in electric pink and white stripes. Total Who-wear. Also sparkly glittery earrings.
Finally: THE HAIR. My hair, though much longer than it is now, reached slightly past my shoulders. It is superfine and superstraight, and overall a huge pain. What would give me a mini-conical beehive? A styrofoam cup was much too tall. My roommate emptied out a fruit cup, washed it out, and fastened it to my head somehow. The odd bits of hair not covering the cone were woven into braids. This concoction head together through a slew of bobbypins and enough hairspray for Al Gore to put a hit out on my name.
The result, in comparison:
|The pink comes from the animated movie; |
the hair is from the live-action.
I head over to the party with two friends dressed in normal clothes with "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" safety-pinned to the front of their regular-party clothes.
"Oh poor them," I think. "They will feel so out of place when we get to the party and every is dressed up ridiculously."
We get to the party. Guess who is dressed up ridiculously?
I am the only person with a costume on at the costume party. I am the only person with a costume that cannot even be mistaken for regular partywear. I. Am. A. Freak.
The birthday boy laughs and said he couldn't really get anything together, so he decided to dress normally. Or, maybe as Dr. Seuss himself? One friend had something taped to his chest... "The boy who refused to get dressed" or some really, really obscure character... still dressed in normal clothes.
One girl, thank goodness, had brought her costume separately and changed into a really cute Fox-in-Socks outfit. Besides the tail and ears, it was a pretty normal party outfit. And in our circle of friends, tails'n'ears could be just a anime fan thing, barely raising an eyebrow.
I, however, looked like the love child of Snooki and the Bride of Frankenstein that lost a fight with a cotton candy machine.
As the night began to progress and more people, friends of friends, started coming, I had another horrifying revelation: Not only am I the only person dressed up for a costume party, MOST PEOPLE HERE DON'T EVEN KNOW IT'S A COSTUME PARTY. They just think there is a terribly weird looking girl with an ugly dress, too much makeup and ... is that a fruit cup in her hair? Who invited the crazy?
I thought maybe one drink would take the edge off. WRONG. I'm an anxious-aholic. I felt even more tense and awkward and freakish. People were laughing at me. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to go outside and call long-distance-boyfriend who (wisely) didn't want to talk in the middle of the night while he was also out with friends. I hung up the phone and then everything hit me at once - being so excited about this, the shock at opening the door and seeing no one else dressed up, the laughter and sideways glances, trying to get comforted and failing - and then I just started BAWLING.
Huge, heaving, can't breathe sobs. Afterward I slipped inside to the bathroom to assess the damage.
If I had at least looked like a cute Cindy Lou Who, albeit out of place, before, I now looked like Cindy Lou Meth Addict.
Long, dark streaks of eye makeup ran down my face, smeared with the blush. My eyes were red and puffy. My hair had half-fallen out, exposing part of the plastic cup but still sticking out rabidly thanks to the hairspray. One braid had unraveled, frizzing out everywhere. A smear of grime covered my backside from sitting outside on the porch railing.
Woah, crazy chick. Time for you to go home.
I mercifully found a good guy friend to walk me back to my dorm. (Never walk by yourself at night. It doesn't matter how in-control you feel or, inversely, how much you want to hide embarrassment. Get a buddy to walk with you.) My roommate, thank goodness, wasn't in. I headed straight to the showers and washed my hair at least four times to get every bit of hairspray, and the lingering fruit syrup scent, gone forever.
What about you, readers? Have you ever had a costume-party fiasco?