Halloween Costume Politics

Trashed Halloween Costume aisle
A typical Halloween aisle at Target, right before Halloween

With Halloween a mere two weeks away, everyone starts scrambling for a Halloween costume right about now. Which means, unless you like the sound of screaming toddlers and 10-year-old boys making light saber noises while poking you in the butt with a sickle, you definitely want to steer clear of the Halloween costume aisles at Target, Walmart, or any trailer park convenience store. (Although that last one is usually the only place you can find really good politically incorrect masks of the people we voted into office the year before. Seriously, they should just start casting latex molds of these nimrods the minute they announce their candidacies.)

Fortunately, I only have to scramble as far as my basement to find a Halloween costume. Between the annual Halloween bash I used to throw back in those carefree Southern California days before kids, and the fact that I own a production company, I have a costume closet that puts The San Francisco Gay Pride Parade to shame. Sometimes I throw on a Lady Godiva or Lovely-Rita-Meter-Maid costume to go grocery shopping just because I can. But more likely it’s because I haven’t done laundry in a while and those two fit me best. Although the Lady Godiva Halloween costume really isn’t cool unless I have some guy tagging along as the horse. Otherwise, it just looks like I need a haircut.

Halloween Costume Mayhem in Aisle 4

Halloween costume wombat
This body type is cute if you’re a wombat

This week I unfortunately DID find myself in the Halloween costume aisle at our local Walmart, but only because I was out of glue-on warts (don’t ask). While I was there a woman who had the body type of a wombat squeezed herself into a Princess Leia costume, cinnamon bun earmuffs and all. And then with all the sincerity of a first grade teacher on Prozac she turned to me and asked, “In your honest opinion, do you think white makes me look fat?”

What the hell? I looked around for the hidden camera, because I thought for sure I was on a Punk’d edition of Project Runway and that Tim Gunn would suddenly jump out, take one look at the intergalactic disaster in front of me and proclaim, “This worries me.” Yes, Tim, it worries me, too. Can’t a woman just buy her glue-on warts in peace without being forced to pass judgment on the obvious?

“Um…well, no,” I said to the woman diplomatically. “I can honestly say that white, per se, does not make you look fat…” However, the resolution of that unresolved chord is, “…because you are fat, so it really doesn’t matter what you wear for Halloween.”

You’ll be happy to know I did not say that last part…not out loud, anyway.

“I don’t know,” she lamented. “I might be too old to go as Princess Leia.”

Being bad at guessing ages I thought it best to be noncommittal. So I simply said, “Hmm. Maybe…”

This time she looked at me like I’d just shot her between the eyes with a blow dart.

Halloween costume Princess Leia
This is NOT the woman I spoke with in Walmart…but you get the idea

For reals, lady? You have the audacity to ask me if you look fat while wearing a garment that makes me want to fire up a projector and show movies on you, yet you take offense when I agree that you might need a more age appropriate costume?

“Well, you can always dress up like Miley Cyrus at the VMAs,” I joked, trying to redeem myself. (Although that would’ve been scarier than Princess Leia…and no I did not say that…not out loud, anyway.) She scowled like I’d just offered her an onion milkshake. “Okay, how about…a government shutdown Halloween costume? Yeah! Go as a John Boehner zombie with a sign that reads ‘Washington Monument closed to taxpayers.’”

“I’m a Republican,” she said haughtily.

“Okay, so go as that. Although if you’re worried about being perceived as fat, I don’t think you should dress up as an elephant. Or as Chris Christie.”

And yes, this time I did say that…out loud.

With that Portly Princess Leia stormed down aisle 4, I assume to purchase her Halloween costume, since she was still wearing it.

Oh, and hey, look…glue-on warts. She was blocking them the whole time! I grabbed me some warts and headed to the registers.

As I threw my purchase on the checkout conveyer belt I thought, some people have no sense of humor, nor do they appreciate honesty. Unfortunately, both go hand-in-hand with me. Which means if I ask YOU, “Does this costume make me look like the western range of the Australian Alps right after a nasty squall?” when in fact, it does, then I’d expect you to spout off an “Amen to that!” that’s so enthusiastic, it’s the same response you’d elicit if Christ himself came down from the heavens and picked out your Sunday socks and underwear.

So conversely, if you ask my opinion, then my opinion, tinged with just a hint of appropriately placed sarcasm and irony, is exactly what you’re going to get. So instead of getting all angry and offended, just sit back and enjoy the unsolicited comedic ride. ‘Cause that’s just me…warts and all.


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Stacy Dymalski is an award winning keynote speaker and stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage. For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in bookstores and on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.