jeanine fritz

Y esterday during lunch, despite Herculean efforts to redirect the conversation to topics such as discounted prescriptions, the merits of mini quiches, or whether or not it was OK to cry during yoga, the girls I was eating pizza with kept the idle chatter focused on Halloween.

The sisters already have two costumes and backup costumes planned. Mind you, these are new costumes, not the ones from previous years, which are folded neatly and reside in the garage. Their dogs and cats have costumes. And of course, their houses are decorated -- not in the crappy-cardboard-skeleton-from-Safeway-taped-by-his-skull-to-the-front-door kind of decorating that I tend to favor, but rather the kind which requires digging mini trenches in the front lawn so the gravestones sit nicely. The kind of decorating which kicks off long conversations about whether dry ice is OK to use in cocktails. The kind of decorating which involves fake, poseable bats with eight-foot wingspans and battery-operated LED eyes.

It's the 15th of October -- halfway through the damn month. My house is not haunted and I don't know what to wear.

It doesn't help that the pumpkin I put by the front door is getting noshed on by squirrels (nature carves this girl's jack-o-lanterns) or that instead of arranging the decorative gourds in the kitchen nicely, I dumped them into a bowl and called it good.

I did find a faux black bird covered in glitter and clipped it to the light over my bed. It'll glint at me creepily every night until I flip out and toss it off the balcony.

I've made an effort; the problem is the costume. Per tradition, I've spent every month but October blabbing about Halloween costumes. "Oooooh, it'd be super cool to be Eastwood's chair for Halloween," I said last month. But I don't want to be that anymore. I see movies, I see news articles, I see dead people...and so long as these things nowhere near Halloween, I'm perfectly happy imagining myself in the corresponding costume. But now I hate all those ideas and just want to be same damn things I've wanted to be for the past five years and have never pulled off. They are:

1) Kool-Aid Guy (how fucking sweet would it be to crash through every screen door you could find shouting, "Oh YEAH!" and not get into trouble because it's "part of your costume?" Pretty fucking sweet.

2) Big Lebowski Dream Sequence Girl with Bowling Pin Hat.

3) Godzilla. (The half-hearted attempt last year stalled with the winter hat sewn into the shape of a lizard head. It had eyes and those spikey spike-things on the top and down the back. It was made for a child, but since my head is oddly misshapen (Dear God, Please don't let me go bald), I thought it'd fit. It didn't. I have no idea where it is now anyway.)

4) Lobster. (Don't know why; just sounds funny.)

Do I have time to put any of this together? No. Maybe the lobster, if I can find those potholders shaped like claws.

It's tradition to slam together an overly-expensive, ultimately nonsensical Halloween costume the day before. Last year, I spent $80 on a Beard Fairy costume: pink tutu, magic wand, fake beard for me, fake beard for whomever I would cast a beard spell on.

But I'm already tired of stressing over it. Maybe I'll go get one of those sweet cardboard skeletons from Safeway, tape it to my forehead and call it good.