Great People Watching, Part 2

I told you I’d give you a follow-up on the observations I made going out for Halloween!  Not all of them are not people-watching related, but they are all interesting.

The unique and unusual costumes will get the most attention.  Even a well-executed or creative take on a common theme will be overlooked in favor of an original idea, however poorly done.

Costumes in a non-costume setting are okay when it’s Halloween.  Three of us went to Denny’s at around midnight, and while we got some stares walking in, the only attention we got was positive.

People will watch a TV even in a social setting.  It doesn’t take costumes to make this observation.  There were music videos playing at the club we went to and a horror movie on the TV at one of the parties, and when conversation lulled, guess where all the eyes went.

I don’t like crowds. This is not a new revelation, but every time I go somewhere with a lot of people, I make the same observation.  It doesn’t matter the context or the people I’m with, crowds are not fun for me.  At some point I should learn to anticipate and avoid them.

It really is a small world.  There are many people from Illinois who now live in Texas, but last night at one of the parties I met the first person in Houston who not only is from my hometown, but graduated from the same high school as my sister and went to the same university that I did!

Even in comfortable shoes, your feet will hurt after a night standing on them.  This one needs no explanation.

Hope you have a great Halloween weekend!


Great People-Watching, Part 1

Tonight I am going out with a huge group of friends and acquaintances to party it up for Halloween.  🙂  Last year I went out for the first time and discovered that this holiday is a great chance to observe human behavior.  As an author, I try to take the opportunity whenever it presents itself.

So, it is time for me to go turn myself into a character.  Last year I went with Uhura from Star Trek.  This year is a bit less nerdy – I’m dressing up as a zookeeper, albeit with shorter shorts and a tighter t-shirt than any zoo in the country would allow!  (Mostly I’m using it as an excuse to wear hiking boots rather than heels.  My feet were killing me last year.)

I will let you know if I make any fun or amazing observations tonight!  Enjoy your Halloween weekend!  🙂


The Quest for Zebra-Print Tights

Jayme sank into her couch with relief.  The last four hours had taken a toll on her.  Her feet hurt, her back ached, and her eyes were tired and red. As she popped out the recliner on her sofa, she sighed gratefully.  Her best friend Luke definitely owed her ice cream.

Tonight they had been on the Quest for the Zebra-Print Tights.  She was primarily the chauffeur and sidekick; this was Luke’s quest, after all.  It was his costume that required the hosiery.  It should have been a relatively easy task; it was near Halloween, and animal print abounded.  As they traipsed in and out of store after store, however, it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t so simple.  Zebra was abundant, but primarily above the waist.  Leopard was the leg wear of choice, and they saw it everywhere.  Tights.  Leggings.  Thigh-high stockings.  Even skirts and pants.

But as Luke pointed out, leopard and zebra were two very different patterns.  Black and white went well with blue, his main color.  And all of his accessories were zebra, so even a black and white leopard print (which was also frequently an option) would look funny.  Spots and stripes together seemed a bit over the top.

After fifteen stores, the two finally gave up.  Luke would simply have to make do with black.  After she dropped him off at his house, Jayme returned, exhausted, to her own home.   The tiredness wouldn’t have been so bad, had the quest been successful.  But finishing empty-handed simply made it more intense.

A Chance to Be Someone Else

Children love to play dress-up.  It is a chance to use their imaginations, to try out different personalities or professions, to pretend to be a grown-up.  Halloween is just one more chance to dress up, with the added bonus of candy.  Of course, at Halloween it’s easier to find superhero and movie character costumes, but for some kids those costumes may come out throughout the year.

Halloween is different for grown-ups.  Most of us don’t get to play dress-up anymore – we find our chance to imagine ourselves as someone else through books and movies, but this is almost all vicarious.  At Halloween, we have an excuse to try on someone else for a day.  The fun bonus of a costume is that you can put on a different personality, too.  You can act “in character” for the evening.  It’s okay to be louder, flirtier, more daring; you’re someone else!

This year I used my desired Halloween costume as a drive to reach a goal: to lose some weight.  I also had to grow out my hair.  If I did these two things, my reward was my costume.  My hair is now ridiculously long (and getting cut soon), and even though I didn’t reach my weight goal, I got close.  It is not my skimpiest costume ever – that award goes to the “amazing fish girl” that I created for a sideshow-themed party – but I think I look pretty good in it.  I’ll be in a Star Trek uniform, a la Uhura from the new movie.  I went the cheap/crafty/bootleg way and made most of it myself.  (If you want an easy way to create the costume from a t-shirt, check out this how-to video – it’s the old-school costume but easy enough to tweak.)

Now that I have a costume, I’m using the excuse of going out with friends to wear it.  It will be my first experience in the clubs on Halloween; I might come back with some interesting observations to share!

Hope everyone has a great Halloween; I’m off to start working on making myself into someone else, if only for the night.