what are you supposed to be?

I left my Halloween costume ambiguous, mostly by just waiting until the last minute to come up with something. Usually to "come up with something" means to ponder a thought for a while and see what ideas result. In this case, I disappeared into the dark places of my closet, before coming up with a pair of mustard-colored corduroy overalls. Well, it's something. I think I shoved these into a paper grocery bag in the frantic last moments of a church yard sale. I have a few pieces of clothing that are like this - I may have another set of coveralls, actually - and the problem is that I can't not take something weird and free, but at the same time, I really have no opportunities to wear them.

If Halloween is not a chance to wear the ridiculous items lurking in the back of your closet, then I do not know what is. Otherwise, I'm going to have to wearing silly things on regular days. That might be fun, too.

But what I had was an outfit, which is not the same as a costume. A costume implies that you are dressed up as something, whereas an outfit is just clothes that you are wearing. I was doing it backwards. You're supposed to come up with your persona first, then figure out the best way to look like that.

Lots of people wear coveralls, so I could just say I was a janitor. But that's kind of boring. I tried to think of more unusual explanations for my outfit. I could add a corduroy hat and be a corduroy enthusiast. I could be a person who has a pair of coveralls that she never gets to wear. Except that's not a costume either, since I really am that.

I still hadn't really thought of anything by the time I was zipping up my coveralls. I stood in stark contrast to many other women who like to wear as little as possible at the end of October. Maybe it's these particular coveralls, but man! These were really unflattering. They were also very comfortable and warm, with lots of pockets.

I wasn't entirely worried about the fact that I didn't have a costume, per se. I figured that most people are more concerned with their own costumes to really care about what I'm wearing. But what I found was that most people will hazard a guess to your costume if they are not sure. And if you are unsure about it yourself, you can just tell them that they are right. To the five people who thought I was a Ghostbuster, I was a Ghostbuster. One guy thought I was a banana, though I think he was kidding, or maybe he thinks I am strange. The lady at the grocery store, seeing me with Josh as Count Dracula, guessed that we were both from Twilight (she hadn't seen Twilight, but she knew there were vampires, and hey, maybe sometimes they have their cars worked on). My favorite, though, was a guy who guessed that I was animal control. Yeah, all the kids want to be animal control at Halloween.

The real lesson here is that if you don't know what to be for Halloween, just put on some silly clothes and everyone else will provide the answer for you. Then pick your favorite and pretend that's what you were doing all along. Just like that one year where I went as animal control.

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