I majored in fashion, so I’ve always come up with clever costumes for myself and my friends and made them from scratch. A pack of marsupials complete with baby marsupials in pouches? Check. Slutty narwhal? Obviously. Hungry Hungry Hippos? Totally in character all day. But in 2008, I was caught off-guard the weekend before Halloween.
A friend called to invite me to a costume party, and I hadn’t made anything yet. “Don’t worry,” she said. “We can go to the Halloween store.” Big mistake. Big. Huge.
Perusing the aisles, I analyzed my options. The store had a wide variety of sexy costumes, ranging from sexy rabbit to sexy cat to sexy janitor, or something. I ended up not having much of a choice, since most of the costumes in my size were sold out. My fate had been sealed for me in the form of a sexy nurse costume.
The party was uneventful. Afterwards, we decided to go to a local bar. That was uneventful too, at first. We were there for about an hour, a small group of us, just sitting at the bar talking. I was chatting with a friend of a friend, or a friend’s boyfriend, or someone. All of a sudden, I noticed a middle-aged woman whom I’d never set eyes on previously barrelling towards me. Before I had time to process what was happening, she ripped off my nurse hat, slammed it on the bar, exclaimed “you don’t deserve to wear this!” and PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE.
She hit me hard. I was out cold for a good fifteen or twenty minutes. She was kind enough to leave me with an impressive black eye and burst blood vessel so that I wouldn’t have to bother with arrangements for a scary costume on actual Halloween the following weekend.
By the time I regained consciousness, my companions had already found, and then lost, the woman who had hit me. Apparently, they had seen her outside on the sidewalk, brought her to the cops, and said “this woman just punched our friend in the face.” The virtuous small-town cops shrugged and said, “Meh, nothing we can do. Bar fights happen all the time.” My mysterious attacker was allowed to leave without so much as a request to see her ID. I cried a lot, drank all the whiskey, and called it a night.
The next morning, I went to go file a police report. The officers I spoke with were approximately as useful as the ones from the previous night, so I went to the bar and asked for a copy of the security tape. I knew the bar manager well, so I figured it would be an easy process. Not so. After a few days of back and forth along the lines of “our security camera is broken”/”oh wait it’s fixed”/”oh, no it’s not, just kidding,” it was finally available for my viewing pleasure.
I brought a friend and some popcorn, and our eyes were riveted to the screen while we watched in awe as the woman (whom we could now officially confirm had not even come within a ten foot radius of me at any point in the evening) approached and swiftly attacked. We watched it a few times, for good measure. It was like my very own Superbad moment. I asked for a copy of the tape, so that I could show it around town in hopes that someone might recognize her and/or I might gain some street cred. “Sure,” the bar manager said, “come pick it up tomorrow.”
When tomorrow arrived, I was told by the manager that he had made a mistake, and that I had to get the security tape from the police. So I called the police. “Sure,” they said, “come pick it up tomorrow.” Can you guess what happened when I arrived to pick up the tape the following day?
This went on for a month. Every. Single. Day. Back and forth, between the bar and the police station. Finally, I gave up and got the hell out of town. I never found out who she was, or why she chose to punch me in the face. My best guess is that she was a disgruntled nurse who either felt I was mocking her profession or was upset that my “uniform” was cuter than her scrubs.
Ever since, in an attempt to avoid the same fate, I have chosen my costumes carefully so as not to upset anyone. That was the basis of my reasoning for my costume the following year: slutty dinosaur. It’s hard to get offended if you’re extinct.