Worst Costume EVER


Many moons ago there was a lingerie store in the good mall in my hometown. A tiny little nook of a store that, as I recall, seemed to be taking a walk on the racy side. But as this was Montgomery, Alabama they may have simply been peddling a few lacy bras that weren’t necessarily Jesus approved. The store wasn’t really on my radar until the Halloween their window display set me on fire.

In the window sat a sassy lady mannequin decked out with the following accoutrements.

I like red and I like sequins so the game was on. I was gonna be a red sequined devil for Halloween. I pleaded my case, told the tale of the wondrous items in the window, and begged. For reasons unknown, my Mom went for it, walked me into the lingerie store, and purchased my gear.

I went full throttle on costume design. Some girls went full wonder woman, I went full lady whore devil as imagined by a none-too-worldly-eleven-year-old.

I’m not sure what sister’s character was. The “costume” she is wearing is what I wore to school like every Friday of 6th grade.

I’m not sure what sister’s character was. The “costume” she is wearing is what I wore to school like every Friday of 6th grade.

I combined the glittery red accessories with a hazmat style suit made of parachute pant material, cinched the waist with one of my mom’s elastic belts, and paired with my Sunday School socks and some old Keds I spray painted and glittered in the garage. I cannot remember if my intent was to scare or arouse but neither was achieved.

I was high on my design victory and prepared to hit the streets on Halloween. But first I had to hit church. This particular year (and no year before or since) our conservative church hosted a Halloween costume party. I should mention that the Church of Christ is not generally known for its progressive views nor for its embrace of pagan holidays. During my childhood, church was a non-negotiable activity. I was required to be there every time the doors swung wide. So the evening before Halloween, I was delivered to church dressed as the devil.

It occurred to exactly no one in my family that my costume choice might be questionable for this event. The same cannot be said for many members of our congregation who looked on in horror. A few people asked me what I was thinking and in utter oblivion I enthusiastically spilled the story of the lingerie window display. This did not help my cause.

There was a contest for best costume and as usual I was erroneously over-confident. My friend Gin (yes, the now famous novelist) arrived prepared to work the system dressed as an Old Testament lady character and took the prize. I was miffed. I was unaware that they would be judging this thing by best biblical representation. However, if that was the case, you had to admit I was dressed as one on the top 5 players.

All I can say is know your audience. I didn’t and it cost me not only a pretty decent prize but I have been labeled a heathen ever since.