Halloween Tales from the Other Side of the Rainbow

1 Nov


Halloween is a stressful time for me. It’s stressful because I STILL am not used to the idea that I am “too old” to go trick-or-treating.

Who the eff decided that a person can be too old to approach another person’s door and beg for candy? No one ever tells those Green Peace people that they are “too old” to come to my door and beg for money! Old people don’t respond to them with “sage life advice,” in lieu of Milky Ways and Snickers. What’s with all the hypocrisy? Free love, free sugar, let’s all hug and sing Cumbayá and feed each other chocolate yadda yadda…

Besides the fact that I’m a suppressed sugar hippie trying to exist in a world of dream crushers, Halloween is stressful because of the costumes. I am SO BAD at thinking of costumes in the abstract.

If you asked me, “Sophie, what should I be for Halloween?” I would respond with something either a.) Boring as heck, such as “a kitty cat!” or “a pumpkin!”; or b.) Bizarre and sure to repel people, such as “a donkey who has wings and a passion for chemistry and who carries around a bleaker full of donkey kibble”; or c.) Totally cliché and store-bought and involving several trips to iParty and a second (or third) mortgage…

Which of these options do I usually choose for myself?

Nope, not the donkey one. Although maybe next year…

If you said C, you know me well enough to know that I always take the most difficult, time-consuming, poorly thought out method of doing ANYTHING. This Halloween was no exception.

Yesterday afternoon (THE afternoon of Halloween,) I decided it was probably time to get a costume together. I had a mere three hours; three hours to walk a mile to the store, find a costume, walk a mile home, change, eat dinner, finish 40 pages of reading for French class, buy candy, and still make it to a cappella rehearsal on-time? Yeah, that should be fine.

When I walked into Party City in Brookline, several things struck me: first, I noticed that my inclination was to shop in the kids’ section…that was alarming.

Second, I noticed that they no longer sell my size in the kids’ section…that was even more alarming. (NO, I DID NOT JUST “GROW OUT” OF THE KIDS’ SECTION. THE KIDS’ SECTION JUST CHANGED.) And third, I saw that all of the costumes for women had a certain…je ne sais quoi.

Take this flapper costume, for instance:


This costume – with the va va voom boa and the short, “I’m cool enough to sport a trendy bob and not look like a soccer mom” hairdo and the fishnets – was the NUN costume of women’s costumes. Seriously though, if you ever think about dressing up as a nun for Halloween, just go as a flapper because it will have the same effect.

All of the other costumes looked big enough to cover a portion of my thigh and maybe some of my pelvic bone (if I stretched the one of costumes out on one of those medieval stretching machines and THEN wore it).

I guess I just don’t understand why I should pay $70 to be a “Sexy School Teacher.” Isn’t it illegal to dress sexy for students? Or, a “Sexy Nurse” – WHAT’S WRONG WITH SCRUBS?? Or what about a “Sexy Tin Woman” from the Wizard of Oz? Yessss because tin is the sexiest metal and not having a heart is the sexiest trait a woman can possess (according to a new poll from Cosmopolitan Magazine).

What’s next? Sexy Supreme Court Judge? Sexy French Diplomat? Sexy Cartographer?


This was the internal rant I was having in my head while I stood in the store. Ten minutes gone, just like that.

With time quickly running out, I decided the best, most efficient way to approach this shopping situation was to stand in the middle of the store, stare at every costume I saw, get in the way of multiple shoppers, and then end up more confused and less decided than ever before.

Shockingly, this approach yielded zero results. So, I resorted to texting everyone I know in the neediest, whiniest of ways and trying to get costume advice. This yielded multiple “I’m in class!” and “NO ONE CARES” results.

That’s when I looked to my left and found the flapper costume hanging on the 50% off wall – slightly more fabric and 50% off. I’m no businesswoman, but isn’t that the opposite of how a sale is supposed to work?

All things were pointing to flapper; it was easy, it was cheap, and it was…SO UNORIGINAL. Sounds like my kind of costume, I mused.

And that’s when my dear, kind, understanding friend Emalie responded to my needy texts with the wisest of advice:

“Flappers are kinda unoriginal. I think I’m just gonna throw something together at home and hope for the best lol.”

GENIUS. Just like that, I knew that the answer to my costume question did not lie in the assembled costume section, but in the accessories section.

With 40 minutes of dazed and confused shopping under my belt, I rushed to the accessories section. And right there, like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, was…A TINY PLASTIC PIPE.

(If you don’t automatically associate tiny plastic pipes with leprechauns, then there might be some holes in my writing. So, here’s a hint: I DECIDED TO DRESS AS A LEPRECHAUN.)

I grabbed the pipe, a tiny plastic mug of beer, a gold bowtie, some four-leaf clover stockings, green suspenders, and a tiny top hat. And just like that, a leprechaun was born:


This ended up being the PERFECT Halloween costume for me. Mostly because I love to pretend to smoke an Old Man Pipe. And I’m 3/8 Irish, so I didn’t even need to “method act” to prepare for the part! (Although I did practice smoking the plastic pipe in a “realistic yet humorous” way.)

This was also a great costume because I have a tendency to jump in the air and click my heels together…which is totally normal (some might even say, cool) behavior when you’re dressed in a leprechaun outfit.

In case you’re wondering, I managed to do all of the chores on my list within the three hour period.

And, later that night, I even managed get my friends to hold candy out to me while I said “trick-or-treat” and showed off my costume.

Yeah, I have good friends. As well as a solid sugar high.

I guess you could say it’s the Luck of the Irish.

5 Responses to “Halloween Tales from the Other Side of the Rainbow”

  1. fit4review November 9, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    Holy crap! We live VERY close to each other. :O

  2. Lydia Harriet November 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    You’re funny. I like you

  3. debtnthecity November 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    So…. you’re saying you went with sexy leprechaun?

    • sophpearl November 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Haha, I saw it more as “sassy leprechaun”…those leggings provided more coverage, if anything…that’s how I rationalized 🙂

  4. lorna likiza November 2, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    You should check `the typical Kenyan man’ face mask online. Can’t remember the online store selling it. Guys were outraged. Just when a section of Kenyans are starting to celebrate Halloween, someone comes up with such a lame idea of a costume. Others said it was racist. You would wonder why. we are 70% African in the population,lol.

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