We were invited to a Halloween party again this year, which I take as solid proof that my wife is totally and completely wrong when she insists no one likes it when I have a few beers, then go up and seize control of the microphone and sing "My Way" to our neighbors.
If you plan your costume well in advance, really putting thought into it, you can come up with a clever and coordinated appearance at a Halloween party. We have several friends who do this. My wife and I prefer to wait until about an hour before the party starts to get ready, so that our costumes have a fresh, spontaneous, panic-stricken look to them.
"Oh my gosh we have to get ready for the costume party! What should we go as this time?" my wife blurts, signaling that the yearly ritual has begun.
"Why don't we go as ourselves? We could be billed as "the Neighborhood's Most Glamorous Couple," I suggest.
"No," she hisses, throwing open the closet. "We have to wear a costume!"
I watch her flinging clothes around. "How about if we go as "The Couple Who Forgot to Wear a Costume?"
"Would you please help?" she demands.
Agreeably, I go to the closet. "Do you want me to fling shirts or shoes?"
"Anthony and Cleopatra," she mutters. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Heckle."
"I have an idea," I announce.
She stops flinging and regards me warily.
"How about if I put on a sweat shirt and stick a bunch of duct tape on it?" I suggest.
She stares for a minute. "What could that possibly be?" she finally demands, speaking in an "I am talking to a madman" tone which I find to be less than endearing.
"A guy with a bunch of duct tape stuck to him, duh," I respond testily.
She recommences muttering to herself, which I interpret to mean my idea has been rejected by the Halloween Costume Selection Committee.
Eventually she decides on Gilligan and Mary Ann. "Do I even have a vote in this?" I demand.
"It looks like your stomach is voting you go as the Skipper," she notes, apparently in better humor now that a decision has been made.
While I can see how my wife would make a very decent Mary Ann -- she's thin and has shoulder-length dark hair -- I believe it would be less than dignified for me to go as the hapless first mate of the Minnow, and tell her so. "Oh, you're not going as Gilligan," she explains. "I'm going as Gilligan."
Astute readers may be able to figure out what this implies for my own costume, and after a couple of minutes, I understand it as well. "What? You mean that I'm going to be Mary Ann?"
An hour later my short hair is yanked into pig tails and I'm wearing tiny jean shorts, my daughter's pumps, and a gingham checked blouse which ends its sworn duty a full four inches above the belt line. My wife gives me a playful poke in my exposed belly. "I think Mary Ann was concave, but you're a little convex," she snickers, in the second unsolicited comment about my stomach that evening.
To add some convexity to my chest, she balls up some Kleenex and stuffs it into my shirt with rapid proficiency. When I tell her it looks like she's done this before, she shrugs. "Junior high school," she explains.
When we get to the party there is a notable decrease in conversation. I break from my wife's side and speedily approach the bar. "You could use a beer," my neighbor pronounces diagnostically. I nod gratefully, ignoring the eyes on my back.
"So what are you supposed to be?" I demand.
He shrugs. "Guy with a bunch of duct tape on him."
"You know, I always thought Mary Ann was the sexy one," he advises suggestively. He is only the first of 22 men who tell me this during the course of the party. Two others vote Ginger, one Mrs. Howe "because of that feather boa," and one blurts "the Professor" and then follows me around the rest of the night saying "I was only kidding."
I don't bother to sing. At this party, I did NOT do it my way.
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Submitted By: W. Bruce Cameron
Dec 1, 2000 14:15