Isn't it true how one season just seems to blend into another with celebration milestones?
From Christmas to Valentine's Day and Easter to Mother's Day to Father's Day, and not forgetting all the birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, communions, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties (or hens and stags depending on which side of the world you're from...or which part of the world you're going to descend on with thirty friends in tow!!) And, most importantly of course, those big corporate heads who just want to give us another reason to spend our hard earned?
Last month was the turn of one of the biggest, and most expensive - Halloween.
You're not anyone if you're not dressed as someone else! Every year we spend small fortune splashing out on new low quality costumes made out of plastic and polyester just to get a laugh for about an hour, only to throw it all off at the end of the night (you're one of the lucky ones if you even make it that far!) and put it under your bed, never to be seen again.
You always manage to convince yourself in the pre-Halloween spending hype that your costume is really clever, totally unique and "totally worth it"...only for no-one to really know who you are, or turn up at a party where your "original" idea has been duplicated many times over by other revellers, and probably better and with more ingenuity.
I remember a friend of mine went as Angelina Jolie once with a long black wig, huge lip-lined lips and loads of dolls strapped to her body in a hilarious poke at her rapidly expanding brood, but that was when we were in college and we were much more creative, and of course more broke! We had to think about what we'd do then to do it on a shoe-string, and plan weeks in advance, raiding our mother's wardrobes like we were seven all over again.
Nowadays, it's all 'internet shopping' and ordering some costume off the 'net that looks half decent in the picture but that arrives crumpled up in plastic, undoubtedly a 'one size fits all' scenario when, in fact, one size doesn't fit all. At all.
So, of you go trying to make the best of it (these things do not come cheap!) by adding a belt or tearing this...sowing that...but you're still always left with the feeling that you could've done a better job as a kid with an arts 'n' crafts set and some glue.
This year, I rebelled against the girlish convention of being "sexy." Now, I've never really opted for a "sexy" anything, but I've never really fought it either. Until now!
No, I for one am sick of all the "sexy school-girl," "sexy nurse," "sexy firewoman" or even kitten or Lil' Bo Peep -- anything that involves short skirts and knee socks really -- so I opted to be the complete opposite. A MAN!! And just not any man, oh no, I decided to go as Randy from hit Canadian mockumentary Trailer Park Boys (actually, his gigolo counterpart, Smokey!) with my partner Simon as his partner, the infamous drunkard Mr Lahey. What better tribute to our newfound home than to reincarnate two of Novia Scotia's finest sons for the night?!
So, in preparation, I researched and ordered a fat suit online (as you will have seen from the clip above, Randy -- and the entire trailer park really - happens to have a huge hankering for cheeseburgers, and even hears the birds tweeting "cheeeeeeeeeeeseburgers" everywhere he goes!) but, to my horror, I discovered a few days before the big night that it wasn't going to arrive in time. Why does that always happen?
I got stupidly even more wrapped up in all the hype and decided I needed to invest in another. Sure, everyone needs TWO fat suits in their arsenal, right?! (The second one arrived literally two days after Halloween. Typical.)
I was really very excited to buck the trend and go as one of my favourite male characters instead of Mariyln or Beyonce or even Morticia Addams which of course is another female vixen of choice.
However, the reality of the situation was not as appealing as once thought. First of all, I had to buy a very unflattering male wig that made me look, well, masculine!
Then I had to buy fake chest hair to cover the fat suit, in order to make it look somewhat realistic, and also buy a man's black shirt so as to cover up my scrawny arms.
Finish with a cowboy hat, a homemade badge saying "Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor," a sign around my neck saying "Wanted: cheeeeeeeeeeeeseburgers" and a bottle of liquor in hand.........well, I looked manly!!
No, no, everyone just stared blankly at me, mild disgust in their eyes as they tried to figure out who the hell I was supposed to be, while random fellas shouted at Simon, "Mr. Lahey, oh my God it's Mr. Lahey, respect man" followed by the obligatory high fives and round of whooping, while I stood clumsily behind in my men's wig and fat belly whispering, "I'm Randy, his boyfriend," only to be ignored by accompanying girlfriends.
You try to be a feminist for the night (I know, I know, it goes against every convention of the feminist movement but, hey, I tried!) - rebelling against social conformities and attempting to prove the age old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"...screw that, I couldn't even get served at the bar, man!
Normally (not to blow my own trumpet here, it's not like it takes much to get a barman's attention), I wouldn't have any trouble getting a drink but, boy, they flat out blanked me! And you know those awkward moments when you're ordering a drink and you catch the eye of the person next to you in the mirror behind the bar and maybe exchange a curious glance?
Well, the poor patron beside me went to do the same rigmarole and to say he recoiled in horror is putting it mildly. I suddenly went from "I'm a girl in a fat suit dressed as a man taking a stand against sexy girl costumes" to eyeing up all the gratuitous boobs and ass on display, along with cute lil pigtails and cute little accessories such as a wand or a whip or something, and wishing I could pop into the toilet and come out refreshed and re-costumified, like a sexually confused Superman/woman.
But, lord, it was an experience and one that I'm happy I followed through with. A kind of twisted self-experiment in the powers of beauty and bucking trends. I won't be trying it again (next year I'm going as something über sexy, I don't care what!) but it was fun for a night, to not have to worry about my make-up, or hair, or clothes or re-applying the lippy in the bathroom (that was one of the places I got the strangest looks...no surprise there then.)
The problem with all this of course is that now I've nowhere to put the two fat suits! I keep telling myself that I'm sure we'll use them one day, like when myself and the boy want to dress up for some kinky games (in fat suits??), but the likelihood of this sick little scenario happening is second to none.
When we came to Vancouver originally we had little or no room in our bags (actually, we were quite a bit over but luckily they didn't weigh our luggage as it was first thing in the morning on the first summer flight with this new budget airline -- which has since closed down!)
And, although I promised myself as best I could that I wouldn't do it all over again, yes, it turns out I AM still a woman and therefore cannot say no to any sort of shopping activity, no matter how unnecessary. I have such a pile of crap clothes in my wardrobe and all new stuff that I know I can't even bring home to Ireland. And the apartment's over here aren't that big (well, those within our immigrant budget that's for sure), so it's not like there's room for this stuff!
(Out of interest, this is my boyfriend's tiny closet space and mine...yes, the evidence speaks for itself!)
Even our trip to Las Vegas (baby) last month seems to have filled our gradually shrinking apartment in a mysterious way.
Still, I guess it was worth it in the end. Simon got me with one of those joke zap chewing-gum prankster things, where someone offers you a stick of gum and then when you accept get zapped by the fake 'Exrat' (he got me twice in front of a large group of men.
Yep, twice in the space of about two minutes...I think I must've had one too many frozen $2 margharitas.
Can you just imagine how much these guys loved it in the line-up for the crazy shot glasses?!
And of course The Tournament of Kings medieval mania at The Excalibur which was just so much unadulterated fun, with 'goblets' of soda (or beer in our case!) and eating with our hands while cheering on our favourite knight! Actually, our knight was from somewhere else in Europe but the diners spectators beside us got the 'Irish knight' so we cheered for him instead!
And, on the subject of useless Halloween costumes and a woman's compulsive urge to shop (you feel my pain ladies, right?), I actually came across a medieval maiden's costume in a vintage shop so I just HAD to buy it...so now we're thinking of holding a medieval-inspired Christmas dinner with Knights of the Round Table (or whatever shaped table we come across that day!) and their Fair Maidens...why the girls of course! (Boyfriend, I TOLD you they'd come in useful somewhere!!)
And, until then, it's snow time. I've never been skiing or snowboarding before so it's a whole new experience and slightly terrifying if I'm honest, but I think if I just get up there it will help break the ice (pun intended) and I'll be a pro 'boarder in no time!
Just in case, I'm going to wear wrist supports and maybe book a few lessons, but then I'll hit the piste (as opposed to getting pissed, which is another joyful activity I hear is linked to snow sports!)
I'm worried about just how fragile I may be as I hurt my back recently and not from doing yoga or mountain biking or anything. No, no, I hurt it rolling over in bed. That's right folks, rolling over. I heard something snap in the middle of the night (although that could be Simon's incontinence nappy hardy har har) but I knew I'd pay for it in the morning, and I did.
I tried another new sport which was going to the chiropractor (no fun, have you ever had a man grab your head from behind and pull at your skull until it cracks? No?? Well, lucky you because I have and let's just say it's disturbing to say the least!) but it really did make me think - we really just are a bunch of bones, aren't we?
I'll leave you with that lovely thought! ;)