Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mrs Doubtfire

I love fancy dress. Not in the kinky, dominatrix bend-over-and-whip-me-until-I-say-the-safety-word way. Well, not on weekdays anyway.

I digress, that’s a future blog. Theme parties, Halloween, hell, even black tie. I love every second of it. A party is always more fun when you are dressed up, and look different to your normal, everyday self. You get to pretend to be someone else. Your confidence soars, you smile more, and generally, more fun is had by all. If you are not the dressing up kind, I urge you to try it just once. I find most people who say “I don’t dress up” are afraid of looking silly. But when everyone else is in costume, and you’re not…who's the silly one?

As a kid, dressing up was for Halloween. In the younger years I quite happily rocked the witch look. At the age of 11, my friends and I went Trick or Treating dressed as Men in Black, complete with guns made out of toilet roll tubes and tin foil. During my college years I deemed myself “too cool” for costume, although looking back at the pictures it seems every day was my fancy dress party.

When I was 18 my aunt and cousin took me to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’d never been and was a bit dubious about how to dress. I went for the dangerously low cut white shirt with heavy make up. I needn’t have worried. I was sat next to a 20-stone bloke wearing not much else apart from fishnets and a thong. I was less worried when I went again a few years later with my mum and Sarah. I’d gained a lot of weight in those years, but I still shoved my 18 stone frame into fishnets and shorts. OK, I had to cut myself out of them when I got home and had spent the night with my thighs looking like a fat naked guy in a hammock, but I had an awesome night, and that’s what mattered.

A friend’s 21st back in 2007 was “Things beginning with P” themed. She was dressed as a princess, her boyfriend a priest. There were plumbers, punks, prisoners and so on. I went as a painter, wearing stained overalls and used an empty, rinsed out paint bucket as a handbag.

My 23rd birthday was a Hawaiian Luau, complete with leis for all guests, a patio heater to simulate the sun, paddling pool, limbo and little cocktail umbrellas.

More recently I have seen myself finding any excuse to be in costume.

Halloween 2009 saw Anthony and I dressed as Marilyn Monroe and JFK. While my costume was obvious, him dressed in just a suit caused confusion and resulted in me drunkenly scrawling “Jeff K” on his forehead in red lipstick (if you get the TV show I was referencing, give yourself 10 points!).

Just a few weeks later saw my company’s 10th Anniversary party. 90s themed, I convinced a friend and colleague, Lizzi to be the Garth to my Wayne. I spent a silly amount of money on a proper Wayne’s World trucker cap, shipped from the USA via the wonderful world of eBay. Complete with inflatable guitar I partied the night away with people dressed as Fembots, Spice Girls and we even had Right Said Fred perform which topped my evening off quite nicely.

Moving onto the future of my costume events, we have my birthday and this years Halloween to think about.

I have started making it known to my friends that my birthday will be themed as “People from the 80s”. This is as far as the planning has gone, I still do not have a location or a plan, but the costumes are the most important part. I didn’t want people sticking on a pair of leg warmers and calling it a costume, so I have made it clear that half-arsed attempts are unacceptable, and I don’t require a present or even a card if the costume is of an acceptable standard.

Halloween 2010 has been decided for some time. After the fun of last Halloween I have convinced Anthony to come back to our home town for this year’s event and team up with me again. We’ve decided on Batman and Robin, with him as Robin. That part was my idea, not just because I want to see him in red tights, but also because it’s bloody funny.

I’ve always wanted to do a toga party, so maybe that’s a future birthday attempt…

If you have any good costume ideas, or have been to any creative and interesting theme parties, please do share them!

While writing, I listened to:

Letter to Cleo – I Want You to Want Me

Bobby Brown – Two Can Play That Game

Spandau Ballet – Gold

Lisa Loeb – Stay

Sugar Ray – When it’s Over

Fleetwood Mac – Tell Me Lies

Ting Tings – Shut Up and Let Me Go

Erasure - Sometimes

Ween – Voodoo Lady

Michelle Branch – Empty Handed

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