Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014 part 2

This entry follows up the last one, about my adventures on Halloween as Alice in Wonderland this year.  The previous post spoke of disappointments, this part does not.  This part speaks of my greatest adventure to date.

To begin, it was the nails that were killing me.  They always do.  Every year I pre-paint nails, and then waste 15 minutes trying to glue the damn things on.  Easier just to paint my nails, but I love the inconvenience of the claw-like things making it harder to do simple tasks.  A good reminder of that part of being a girl.  But somehow, the glue for these nails had dried in the bottle.  So I am sitting m y car in a parking lot, having pried the spout off the bottle, trying to use the goopy paste to get the nails to stay.  It wasn't very successful.  When I got out of the car, I had 10 sparkling deep red nails.  I got back in 30 minutes or so afterward with none.

The time also got me away from my usual practice of "confidence building" -- doing a series of small steps to get comfortable.  Using an ATM, talking a stroll, things like that.  Realizing the world won't end because I'm in a skirt.  Nope, no time for that.  I had an appointment at 8:40.

What type of appointment could I have?  Pictures.  No seriously, I had set up an appointment with a professional photography company.

That was located in a mall.

Not glamour shots.  Just photos.  I'd done it onine a week ago in a fit of adventure.  Then  I realized it might not go over well just to stroll in as I was, and it was here I had some great help.  An online friend of mine had kindly called earlier the studio earlier that night to help set up the story.  So when I walked in, the rather kind photographer in her 50s understood that I was to return with two sheets at least of pictures of me in costume, in a pose fitting for a girl wearing that costume.  Happily, she was cool.

But I get ahead of myself.   I had to get to the mall.  I'm waiting at a red light, waiting to turn into the place, when I hear"  Hey!"  The truck next to me.  "Hey you.  Allison!" (Allison?)  The car beeps.  What the heck I figure, I look over.  Some trailer park guy looking at me.  "Where is the Halloween store in this mall, dude?"  I try to tell him I don't know as the light changes, and his buddy gasses the pathetic little car they're in.  Great.   Am I going to a ghetto mall?

In my rush to get there in time, I didn't have time to consult a map of the mall on my phone, so here I am walking into the mall, possibly right next to the studio.  Or far distant from it.  Tottering up the sidewalk in my heels, carrying my stuffed bunny, I pass two people who eloquently say nothing.  Heart pounding, I walk up the entrance way and happily a directory is right there.  Unhappily, the studio is on the other side of the triangular mall.  So I go off on a walk.  I did hear several bursts of surprised laughter, and experience many people stoically pretending that there was nothing going of note.  I did have one girl outside a store on the other side of the mall yell out "You are so adorable!  Come get a lollipop!"  I smiled and explained I didn't have time as I continued on into the studio.  The laughter trailed behind me as I walked into the abandoned storefront.

"You're late" she said, smiling a bit.  She was cool.  Got what we were doing, didn't freak out, didn't ignore it.  Thankfully, after checking in, me standing there on sore feet in front of a counter, we were led to the back for some pictures.  We did some on a white background, some on a black.  She suggested the poses, and I complied -- hand on a hip, sticking out my tongue, etc.  I was lectured for not smiling enough at one point, or trying to hide my bunny.  It was wonderful, and I started to relax...especially when  I could sit on the stool and relieve my throbbing calves.   She took about a dozen poses, including one where I precariously went down on one knee...it wasn't easy getting back up.  To the right is one of the best.

We made small talk as they were printed up, and after some 25 minutes I was back in the mall, heading to the car.  The mall was shutting down, so there were fewer people, aside from one extended conversation in Spanish as I went by.  One lady told me she hoped I'd been paid a lot to dress like that, while another in the parking lot just told me she liked my outfit.

At that I collapsed into my car, endorphins flooding me.  I can't top this.  Without someone right there with me, Halloween 2014 will go down as tops.  Thanks to my friend who called ahead to ease the path.  I can't wait for 2015...I just don't know how it could get better.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

So, Halloween 2014.   Thsi time I'm not going in order.  Saving the best for last.

What was not a roraing success was my trip to a local university.  Last year I had an extended walk in costume and got a small dose of attention.  I was going for more this year, and was prepared.

I was dressed as Alice, per the costume on the right.  I carried a blue purse on my shoulder that matched my outfit and had on a pair of cheap (and painful) Mary Janes with  a two-inch heel.  That would prove to be a bit of a downfall.  I had a wig, and a pretty good makeup job that didn't make me look completely feminine, but was in some ways surprisingly good.  I also carried a stuffed rabbit by the hand.

I'd prepared a sign reading "ask me for a card".  With help from some friend's I'd prepared a series of dares sealed in envelopes and taped to playing cards.  The idea was someone would receive a card upon asking, and I would perform the stunt for them.  They were more about silliness -- singing, and skipping and whatnot.  Sure, I hoped things would snowball into awkward situations with a girl dressed as a cop eager to try out her handcuffs, etc.

But it never really happened.  It took a while to screw up the courage once I arrived at a major public university to even get out of my car.  The roads were filled with hundreds of college kids in various states of inebriation, dressed in costume.  They guys usually went with a couple props and their normal wear, and the girls were usually skin-showing bunnies, cops, Supergirls, or whatnot.  The line from Mean Girls came to mind often.

Eventually I did emerge from the car, and made it about 5 steps before unpinning the sign.  I walked down a ramp that took a lot of skill just to avoid sprawling on my rear, petticoats flying.  I safely made it to the bottom, but the attention was already on me.  "I see you, Alice" called out one girl from a bus stop, teasingly.  "Oh baby" chimed in a male.  I got about six of these almost one atop another, admittedly freaking me out.  Plus my feet were killing.  After about ten minutes, I did hightail it back to the parking lot.  I felt that alone I came across more as a bizarre guy than anything else; if I'd had a companion or two it would have been different.  The best moment, I have to admit, was when a passing car slowed to take a corner and I heard a girl yell "Oh, my god, is that Denny?"  I just waved and shook a bit, and her laughter in response.  "It is!  Hey Denny!"  I still laugh at the thought of Denny hearing that people are saying he spent Halloween tarted up like Alice in Wonderland.

I wasn't comfortable, though and suspect I hit my outer limits on that walk.  I wasn't ready to tackle a crowd by myself, especially unable to move quickly.  Nor was the "lost a bet" excuse going to hold much water.  Plus my feet were killing me.  Though being seen as a girl by a couple dozen catcalling kids might have been exciting to me once, no longer...

This trip had come on top of my dinner.  I had been intending to enter the "dining room" at Wendy's but actually it was locked, so I was stuck in the drive-through.  But I'll tell you, I was a star.  How do I know?  One of the girls at the drive-through said "Alice, you're a star!"  All three people gathered at the window to coo over my costume, and one insisted I park in front so that when it slowed down, they could come take a 'better look at me'.  I did sit there, and the girls did come out and have a chuckle.  Very kind and good-natured.  But that wasn't close to the best thing that happened on Halloween.  For that, you will need to wait until tomorrow, dear readers...