Hula at Your Own Risk

6 Nov

You know those mornings when you wake up wearing a coconut bra, surrounded by remnants of a fake grass skirt?

As with any great Halloween story, that’s how mine ends.

The origins of my story date back to August, when I made the very conscious decision to purchase an artisanal coconut bra, a giant grass skirt, and some floral accessories to wear for Halloween.

The genius of this costume was in its dual nature: “Supporter of Local Artisans,” in the event that I scored an invite to an alternative hipster party…(which I did not score)…or “Basic Hula Girl With a Splash of Authenticity,” in the event of all other scenarios.

In case you’ve never had the good fortune to wear wooden coconuts and a grass skirt, let me let you in on a little secret: that shit will change your psyche. The minute you realize that your chest is protected from accidental jabs, spilled drinks, and nip slips, something inside of you clicks and you become a warrior. (Now I know why knights wore armor: for courage and nip slip protection.)

As for the grass skirt – well, that’s just fun and breezy! Like a loincloth or ass-less chaps…I’d imagine…

I think that some people would be able to handle the combination of Halloween, warrior breasts, and a grass skirt. I, however, responded to these stimuli in the same way Gwyneth Paltrow’s children would respond to eating cake for breakfast: with fits of excitement and borderline unhinged behavior.

The majority of the week leading up to Halloweekend consisted of me consulting with multiple people multiple times about which night should be dedicated to which costume.

After settling on a Night Three hula girl, I opted not to open and try on my costume until one hour before my Night Three party…at which point, it became painfully obvious that the local artisan who’d strung together the grass skirt had designed it for IZ (R.I.P.) and not for a female.

Thus began the classic string of “SOS my grass skirt won’t fasten” panic texts…typical of most Halloweekend, Hempfest, or really intense gardening club correspondence.

Luckily, my roommate, Laura, had a giant paperclip that managed to do the trick.

Costumes ready, my friends – a cheerleader, a seventies disco dancer, and a jazzercise instructor – and I headed out.

Lucky for me, I’d chosen just the costume to wear in the monsoon conditions that characterized Night Three. But nothing could deter me from ending Halloweekend with a bang!

And end with a bang we did!

Some highlights of wearing hula attire to parties:

  1. Sneak attacks: Let me tell you, there are few joys more satisfying than sneaking up to someone and swatting them with a giant wad of grass. It’s a playful maneuver, and incites really effective conversation-starting questions like, “why is she here?” and “could someone please lock her away?”
  2. Visible attacks: Grass skirts make the best gentle weapons. Someone took the last of the jungle juice? WHAP. Someone accused you of “lacking all the necessary skills to play any drinking game”? WHAP. People actually dared to eat the candy you brought and “offered” to the general public in an attempt to seem outgoing and friendly? WHAP.
  3. Noise-making entrances: You can put your “for parties only” maracas away because a grass skirt is all you need to make you presence known! Every time you move, that baby will rustle and heads will turn.
  4. Noise-making entrances II: banging on your own coconuts – or asking people to bang on them – is a great way to engage a group in a common activity, while simultaneously shining the spotlight on yourself. (Bet Martha Stewart never thought of that party tactic.)
  5. General comfort: hula attire offers the same comfort as nudity, but with the visibility of half nudityYou don’t have to forego morals to keep it comfy. (The slogan for my new line of Au-Pair specific lingerie, coming to a Victoriana’s Secret near you.)
  6. Armor: like I said, you can feel free to walk into walls because wearing coconuts means you’ll ricochet like one of those magnetic balls from a desk top toy. Demonstrations of walking into walls are also another great way to engage party guests (see Highlight #4).

Despite all these hula highlights, I feel I need to issue a PSA with regard to one aspect of hula attire.

Warning: hula attire may cause insanity.

As I said earlier, hula attire was to blame (and was the only reason) for any displays of *erratic behavior*.

Some other highlights from the night?

  1. Me inviting my friends Selby, George and Deven to the costume party, but telling them costumes were “totally optional” and that not that many people were even dressed up. (Apparently, I don’t consider fifteen Spidermen suits and three giant hot dog suits to be adequate costumes.)


  1. Me Snapchatting everyone to have ever existed. Sorry.
  2. Me finding this mustache and making mustache pun(s): “I mustache you a question!” IMG_9307

(Okay, so one pun, said multiple times over the course of a few minutes.)

  1. Me walking to my friends’ apartment – definitely uninvited – and breaking out into random combinations of running, sprinting, skipping, and “Irish heel clicking,” like a kid who came into some money and decided to get coked up on an entire convenience store’s worth of Reese’s and soda pop.
  2. Me robbing trees of their leaves so I could point them at people and say witty things like, “I’m a Wizard! BOOOOO!”
  3. Me devouring someone’s pasta that I found on the counter and then asking when the pizza was coming. (We hadn’t ordered pizza.)
  4. Me falling asleep on a couch, coconuts down, and sleeping like a blissful angel.

When I woke up on Sunday, I was still in my costume. Everything seemed to be in tact, except for the grass skirt, whose grass had thinned faster than an 80-year-old man’s hair.

As I scurried around trying to pick up all of the long strings of skirt grass from the floor, new strands kept falling and staring up at me in mockery.

Finally, I decided to give up and borrow a pair of Selby’s pants.

Picture this: a young woman walking down Comm Ave wearing Adidas athletic pants, heeled booties, a coconut bra, and a bright pink raincoat, and carrying a giant grass skirt…

Now, imagine that it’s windy and snowing and the grass skirt becomes tangled in the young woman’s coat and loses several more strands to the ferocious monsoon conditions.

Now, look at this picture and see if it’s what you imagined:

monsoon skirt

Long story short? I took off my pants and out tumbled an entire turf field.

The happiest of Halloweens to you all.


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