When I signed on for the trip, I sent Melanie an email: "Hey, what are we thinking about doing for costumes?" I suggested the Royal Tenenbaums cast. I was quickly shot down.
My mind went blank. There are characters in the video game? Wasn't it just Ms. Pac-Man eating some dots?
A quick Google search refreshed my memory and I remembered that yes, indeed, there were other characters in the video game. In addition to not really participating in Halloween activities, I also didn't spend a whole lot of time in arcades growing up.
Melanie and I's conversation continued. "So far, we have four ghosts (Randy, David, Zach and Jackie), a Power Pill (Joe), a Pretzel (Fais), Cherries (Laura and Julie--from http://www.julieversusvegetables.wordpress.com/-- Julie likes to dress up like produce, she just doesn't like to eat it) and I'm Ms. Pac-Man."
"Ok...so is there anything else you need?" I asked, not quite sure I wanted to know her response.
"Why don't you be the strawberry?"
A strawberry? That's not so bad. I'm a strawberry blonde, so it makes sense. A red dress, a green headband, some drawn on freckles for the seeds. Done.
I was curious to see if an actual strawberry costume existed. So I Googled "adult strawberry costume." Sure enough, there were several "strawberry-ish" costumes. Strawberry Shortcake, strawberry doll (what?), strawberry daiquiri.
All of these costumes featured a different busty blonde wearing a mini-dress, thigh-highs and stripper shoes.
Really? I loved Strawberry Shortcake as a child, but I certainly don't remember her being overtly sexual. In fact, I don't remember her being sexual at all. She lived in a strawberry patch and hung out with Care Bears. When did Strawberry Shortcake become a hooker?
These costumes proved my point that adult women use Halloween as an excuse to dress up like sluts.
Well not this strawberry. Those awful Halloween corporate monsters may have ruined Strawberry Shortcake for me, but I was going to be a Ms. Pac-Man Strawberry with some dignity and class!
And then somewhere around email 112 with the group, go-go boots were brought up in the discussion and it became apparent that my group, along with every other group in America, would also be participating in slutty Halloween.
That's right, the fruit would wear white go-go boots and Ms. Pac-Man would wear pink ones. A short red dress and go-go boots and apparently even fruit can be risque.
I also learned in the email chatter that the reason the group decided to be the Ms. Pac-Man cast was chosen was because Randy wanted to have a costume that lit up. So there was a lot of discussion about ordering lights to attach to costumes. In fact, there is a website dedicated to helping us achieve our goal: http://www.flashyblinkylights.com/. Best. Website. Ever.
Honestly, I wasn't 100 percent on board with making fruit sexy, but making the costumes light up? Sold!
Right before I left for the trip, I had a friend in town and several busy days at work, so I put off shopping for this costume until the weekend before. But I wasn't concerned. It's a red dress. How hard could it be? And then I went out and actually tried to find one. And couldn't.
I started at American Apparel where I found an array of red dresses in a multitude of styles...that would all fit my Barbie. Interesting that the mecca for hipsters makes clothes for women without hips.
I tried department stores, thrift stores, discount superstores and kept striking out.
And then, as if I was still a child in need of a costume, my mom called and told me she found, and bought a red dress that looked like a strawberry. She continued to give me a five minute detailed explanation of what the dress looked like, stitch by stitch. It gave me a headache. I finally told her to put it in the mail and I would give it a try.
Not completely confident, I kept searching for a backup dress. And I eventually found one that would've worked had mom's dress been a disaster. But it wasn't a disaster! It was perfect. It came in the mail the day before I left. And it really did look like a strawberry. I'm 29-years old. And my mom bought my slutty Halloween costume.
The night of Halloween finally arrived and after all of the stress and the search for the red dress, my costume came together. The group execution was a success. At least I thought it was. Until some guy dressed up like a monkey asked me if I was the Statue of Liberty.
"I thought you were a Christmas tree," someone else piped in.
Looking at pictures, I can kinda see what they both meant. My light-up "stem" did look like the crown on the Statue of Liberty. And it was dark out there. Maybe they thought my red dress was green. Or maybe they had a few too many beers and/or psychedelic drugs.
No surprise, Team Temecula rocked Halloween as Ms. Pac-Man.
And I rocked it my first time a part of a group Halloween costume as a Strawberry/Statue of Liberty/Christmas tree.