You Can Dress Me Up

Gail decided that we were going to dress up for Halloween for our card party. I confess that this is one of my least favorite holidays. I think that its fun to dress up the children and enjoy their experience but I have always felt that adults dressed up to make up for something in their own lives. If I dressed up in an outfit that told the world how I felt everyday, some days I would be a driver, or a cook, or a student or a maid. I wear a lot of hats. The occasional striped prison suit might communicate my feelings at stressful times. If we all did this, we would all know at a glance how everyone else was feeling.

I presumed others were having trouble with Gail’s choice too, so Mags stepped in and told Gail that we should all dress as the same thing. At least this plan would take the competition out of it. Until Gail announced we would all be Marilyn Monroe. Gail gave out the assignments for food and the choices were expected to represent food from a Hollywood party. I had chosen an appetizer, and started to consider what to make. I made little pigs in blankets with a bacon layer on the outside. Planning my appetizer would help me to put off how to make my hair platinum.

On the day before the card party, I hid in the bathroom with cans of dry shampoo and talcum and liberally sprinkled it into my hair. Repeating this technique a few times helped brighten my hair but real platinum blonde would be impossible. I brushed out the excess and started to make dinner.

Needless to say, the kids and Steve stared at my head all night. I excused myself after dinner to start looking through my closet for something to wear. I ended up wearing a white vest of Steve’s over a circle skirt with a wide belt cinched tightly around my waist. A well-placed mole and lots of black eyeliner helped. After putting more white powder in my hair, I tied a scarf as a head band on my head to hold the front wave in place. Marilyn would not recognize me as her doppelgänger.

Arriving at Gail’s, I was overwhelmed with Marilyns of all shapes and sizes. It was a good look on many of my friends but Edie had to be the best. Edie’s baby belly was sticking out under her sparkly dress she found at a thrift store. Edie looked strangely sexy as a pregnant Marilyn and walked around with a hand on her back due to the constant ache she was experiencing. Edie’s hair was hidden in a turban with a huge costume jewelry gem pinned to the front. Mags also made a good showing in a very uncharacteristic way. Mags had picked up a brand new mop head at the grocery store and took it apart and resewed it styled in long waves. It was quite lovely and went well with her long black gown. She sauntered around with a cigarette hanging from a long cigarette holder. Her long black gloves clung to her arms and her bracelets were sparkly. As usual, Mags was the epitome of Marilyn. Gail took some pictures of the group and we took turns taking pictures so everyone was in a couple of them.

The card party was more fun than I thought it would be. Even though dressing up wasn’t my favorite thing about the holiday, I enjoyed it once I got into the swing of it. I even began to understand the wisdom of Mags’ choice. Being Marilyn, even for a few hours, could be fun for anyone. It was a good choice. Dressing up takes us out of our usual selves and lets us pretend to be different.

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