Autumn Sweater

October 16th, 2007

I love Halloween. Much more so than I did when I was of the age that I could actively participate, for Costumes + Hate Center of Attention = Anxiety. And that whole getting egged thing that I recounted last year. Nothing quite reinforces nerdy tendencies like literal egg on your face.

Anyway, now? Halloween is a blast. Little peapods and pumpkins and kids in Spiderman pajama pants and I can’t get ENOUGH, I tell you! The cuteness and candy and near-constant availability of Reese’s peanut butter cups, and I know, I know, I say this every year right around this time, and I honestly believe this is the third damn year in a row.

And, like last year, I can’t believe the misery of some people around Halloween. This list! This list that suggests that people hand out tiny bags of pennies or worse — they suggest that people hand out individual applesauce packages! APPLESAUCE! Who the hell wants applesauce on Halloween? You might as well hand out pork chops while you’re at it. Oh hi! Do you want some pork? How about some brussels sprouts? Maybe a nice order of BEEF BRISKET will whet your appetite this All Hallows Eve?

No. NO. And if that’s what any of you are thinking of doing, I’m telling you right now, prepare yourself for the morning-after egging — or maybe applesaucing — by angry teenagers, and I dare say you deserve it. If you don’t want to — or can’t — participate in a proper Halloween, do everyone a favor and pretend you’re not home. I feel very strongly about this. I mean, even if you have allergy issues, you can at least get some SweetTarts or maybe some Spree.

Hey, by the way, am I the only kid who had an inordinate number of residential dentists in her neighborhood? I don’t know if it was the zoning where I grew up or what, but I recall coming home with a ridiculous amount of miniature toothbrushes and travel size toothpastes and maybe some dental floss. How … tasty.

In other shocking news, I am positively floored by the number of Philosophy devotees there are out there. I mean, I accepted a long time ago that it was one of the few areas where Amy and I would differ, at least on Smackdown purposes (Because, y’all, have you SEEN how much she loves Philosophy? Alas, I got despair rather than hope in that jar, in the form of unwanted blackheads and pores the size of a large white whale. Seriously, you could picnic on the bridge of my nose and marvel at the lovely dark polka dots! Festive!

Also, speaking of festive, I have a work event to go to on Saturday night, and while there’s a lot of vague discussion in the invitation about it being a “black tie gala,” the pictures from last year show that many people — important people — did not opt to go black tie, and instead wore dark suits. At least one of my coworkers is going in this direction as well, and frankly, that’s where I’m planning to steer my own man, because really, a rented tux? (Who owns a tux? Do any of you own tuxes? I mean, your significant others. Or maybe you, if you’re a dude, or just a chick with a penchant for pushing the envelope. I don’t know. I just know that the last black tie event I attended was honestly my senior prom. Maybe that means I’m missing out on a higher level of living that involves a lot more chiffon and cummerbunds, but I’m okay with this. But why am I still in parentheses?)

Seriously, is there anything worse than being in a tux when everyone else is wearing a suit? I can’t imagine it would be a comfortable situation, unless you’re George Hamilton and your face hasn’t moved since 1979, so what’s a bow tie in the grand scheme of things? So I ask you — would you rather be overdressed or underdressed, assuming that you are not GROSSLY underdressed? And given the parameters I’ve laid out for you, what would you do?

Incidentally, I’m planning on wearing this again, because I can. (Pictures of me in it are on Flickr, actually) And also because that outfit was worn in another state, and no one here saw me. And yes, I plan to wear it again to the wedding of a friend in November, because that friend will not be at this weekend’s event, and because I am the type of person who wears things to death, and also maybe hates to shop.

Happy Wednesday! It’s been a good week so far for me, and I hope it’s the same for you.

*Or tux. Whatever. Yo La Tengo

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27 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Josh  |  October 16th, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Me too! MEEEE TOOOO! I love Haloween so much! It’s not even funny. I wasn’t allowed to participate in the devils day as a child. But as an adult I have surrounded myself witht he devils music, premarital sex, parties, and everything in the horror genre. And when you are in your mid twenties and single, that is basically everything Haloween stands for. This year I’m even gonna be someone from the Devil’s Rejects. It’s so cool.

    I seriously go ape shit over my costumes. And yes, at 23 you can still dress up and have fun. The candy is just a little different. I’ve already spent over a hundred bucks on my costume supplies. And in addition, I also bought enough fake blood for my family, and make up for another person. Plus I convinced two non participating people to dress up and come party with me. And for absolutely no reason, not that you need one, I bought a gorilla mask and a mexican wrestling mask.

    I am so siked out I am about to burst out of my skin. And besides this being the coolest party year, and my best costume ever, I might even get some hot lovin! Go me! It’s lookin real good for me this year. But seriously, people who give out anything but candy should be pranked mercilessly. That how evil holidays work you know. Pay up or suffer, and don’t be lame. That’s the whole point of trick or treat, you are paying off the tricks. So cut the health crap and shovel chocolatey, carmely, nuegety goodness into the mouths of strangers or reap the consequences.

    And I always under dress as a rule. In fact I go to great lengths to avoid situations that even require collars. (with the exception of Haloween when I over dress) (PS – hot dress, rock that shit)

  • 2. annabanana  |  October 16th, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Dark suits are FINE and will be the norm at this work even or any party. Trust me. My husband found a great deal on a tux, bought it and has never worn it. He wears his wedding suit (a very handsome calvin klein black) to all things of this sort. Men have it much easier. Overdressing, in my opin, if far worse for men than women. YES wear your dress again. Honestly, no one will notice! I do it all the time.
    Trick or treat is a blast!! I agree, join in on the fun (which means chocolat or any packaged sugary treat-(mike ‘n ike’s & skittles are my fav) or go to sleep!

  • 3. jonniker  |  October 16th, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Josh, dude, you take Halloween to a level I have not yet dreamed of.

  • 4. Jennie  |  October 16th, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Mike wore a suit to our wedding because my hatred of tuxes is probably more heightened than most. Why the extra fancy? Seriously?

    Also, your dress? LOVELY.

  • 5. Kristi  |  October 16th, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Umm….that Halloween “treat” list blows! I’m mean, you’d have to be seriously fucked up to let your kids watch Halloween V whilst downing some lovely containers of CANNED FRUIT and sugar-less gum. OH OH, and let’s not forget the BLOWN UP balloons! Stuff that in your pillowcase loser!

    Also, underdressed every time. More fun that way.

  • 6. Trina  |  October 16th, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    I love Halloween! Not so much the dressing up (though that is fun and I have a good enough figure to go totally slutty if we have a party to attend) as the spoiling of other peoples’ children. I *love* providing fun and sugar for kids I’m not responsible for! Plus, we were never allowed to t-o-t more than 3 streets when I was a kid – my folks were all too aware of how sugar affected us, not to mention all those razor-blades-in-the-apples psychos everyone hears about. So we had very little candy.

    Therefore, I feel the need/desire to hand out great fists-full of the *good* stuff to every kid that rings our bell. And living in a townhouse development, we get a LOT of kids. I LAUGH at all the parents who say “just take one piece” while I slip 5 more in their kids’ pumpkin-shaped candy pails! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha…

    Seriously. Don’t send your kids by me if they have sugar issues. I’m making up for years of deprivation here.

    As for “black tie”, Chris has several very nice dark/black suits that do the trick, while I deck myself out in sparkly numbers because – really – when the heck else am I going to get to dress fancy? I always think men should dress the bare minimum in terms of requirements, and women should go as all-out as is fun for us. I have glittery floor-length dresses and rhinestone chokers that aren’t going to wear themselves!

  • 7. Heather B.  |  October 17th, 2007 at 4:59 am

    When your birthday falls right before Halloween therefore everyone thinks that your birthday needs to be a Halloween party and then they dress up as clowns or feel compelled to tell scary stories during your (lame, but lovely) birthday sleepovers…when all of that occurs? Halloween certainly has that nightmare aspect to it.

    But go forth and enjoy and eat some reeses for me.

  • 8. TwoBusy  |  October 17th, 2007 at 5:36 am

    Hallowe’en-themed erasers and balloons? Yeah, good luck with that. I’m looking forward to her follow-up article, offering a list of great, cost-effective fixer-upper ideas for your house after it’s been vandalized.

  • 9. Sadie  |  October 17th, 2007 at 5:44 am

    I used to love Halloween as a child, and then it became fraught with anxiety as an adolescent because of the pressure to have a cool, cute costume and also not get egged. I have only in the past few years started liking Halloween again, and it’s mostly because I like to coo at the adorable children who come to my door. Oh, and it’s an excuse to make my dog wear clothes, which is unfailingly hilarious.

    Regarding formalwear: I think a black suit would be okay for this event if that precedent has been set in prior years, but if an event’s dress code is black tie, I think it’s better to be slightly overdressed than to be underdressed. I would always rather look EXTRA good as opposed to half-assed. Also, my boyfriend owns his own tux (but he’s a purist and wears it Bond-style with a simple black bow tie, white full-collared tuxedo shirt, black suspenders, no cummerbund). He has to attend about 2 black tie events per year for work, and he is very tall so rented tuxes never fit him properly – he did the math and decided buying his own would be cheaper in the long run, plus he could have it tailored to actually fit well.

    And finally, I see that your lovely black dress is now on sale, and in my size! Damn you, I might order it.

  • 10. Lawyerish  |  October 17th, 2007 at 6:18 am

    My husband has a tux, which we bought him for our wedding. He has worn it maybe three times since then? We were feeling a little flush and fancy at the time, and this tux is wayyyyy better than a rental in terms of fit and cut and style. It has no cummerbund and the shirt has no ruffles or pleats — it’s simple and modern, yet classic, and he wears a regular tie with it (just a fancy, spangly black tie with silver threads in it).

    (Apparently, I am a little excitable about the tux issue.)

    I think Adam would be FINE in a dark suit with a dressy tie and a plain white shirt. And not that it is relevant at all, but the guys in our wedding party wore their own dark suits rather than tuxes. I don’t think anyone noticed or cared.

  • 11. TB  |  October 17th, 2007 at 7:24 am

    Unless you go naked, it’s virtually impossible to be underdressed in Florida. You’ve seen what these people wear… button down Tommy Bahama is considered fancy attire.

  • 12. Suebob  |  October 17th, 2007 at 8:05 am

    That “treats” list was obviously written by someone who has suffered some type of brain damage that has left them unable to connect with a single childhood emotion – balloons are sure to be a hit? Pencil toppers? Even when I was 8 years old, I knew pencil toppers were lame. What is so freaking hard about buying some bags of candy? Worst case scenario: you get hundreds of trick or treaters, so you spend $40 ONCE A YEAR

  • 13. Suebob  |  October 17th, 2007 at 8:06 am

    ….to make HUNDREDS of children happy. Or you can spend $20 to let them know that there are weird, stingy jerks out there in the world. A valuable lesson, to be sure, but not the one I want to be giving on the Most Precious and Sacred Holiday of Free Candy.

  • 14. dawn  |  October 17th, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Sorry, but not a comment on the Halloween subject. Instead I am interested in what skin care products you use since you haven’t had luck with the Philsophy line. I just bought it (of course) but am wondering what I’ll try next if I wind up hating the line like you.


  • 15. elise  |  October 17th, 2007 at 8:17 am

    I’d rather be overdressed. And if anyone gave me a bag of pennies or applesauce while I was trick-or-treating, I would be sadly, terribly disappointed. Also, my mom probably wouldn’t have let me eat the applesauce. Because ewww. It’s someone else’s applesauce.

  • 16. jonniker  |  October 17th, 2007 at 8:47 am

    All, I have received clarification: Black tie optional. Ergo, it will be a black suit all the way. Rock on, and thank you!

    Dawn: I use Clinique (don’t hate me) Superdefense during the day, and I love it — LOVE IT — and have noticed an improvement in my skin since I started using it. At night, I’m leaning towards … well, I’m overwhelmed by the suggestions, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. At the moment, I’m using Aveeno for oily skin, but I don’t love it. I need one for nighttime that comes sans sunscreen.

  • 17. sjb  |  October 17th, 2007 at 9:03 am

    OK, so, confession, I don’t like halloween anymore. I would if we had a parade of cute little kids in costumes but…I handed out candy 2 years ago and we had about 5 little kids and 2 dozen surly youths age 12+ who at best wore a rubber mask and sometimes were just carrying it, not even bothering to put it on. They were all like ‘gimme candy’ and I was thinking ok, do I want my car to get egged, no…. It took all the fun out of it. So last year I made sure to go to a halloween party and I’m planning on doing likewise this year. I will admit that I went trick or treating past the appropriate age ( I think the last year I went I was 15) BUT! It was because my best friend and I were taking her 7 years younger sister and we went all out in dressing up. And if people didn’t give us candy we certainly didn’t complain. So there is a right way and a wrong way to do the teenage trick or treating and the wrong way just pisses me off.

  • 18. Kristin H  |  October 17th, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Yeah, my best friend gives out pencils for Halloween, just like her mom and dad did. She steadfastly refuses to cave to my annual Halloween pencil mocking. What is WITH some people?

  • 19. Leah  |  October 17th, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I saw a chubby little seven-year-old Russian boy rocking an apparently-always-in-style-in-Eastern-Europe mullet and A TUX at a family restaurant over the weekend. It was awesome.

  • 20. JenUwine (formerly jen from boston  |  October 17th, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Okay, I just got married and on the most formal day of mah life, I had Mike go for a really nice, new, black suit (which he can wear now for infinity). So if Black tie is optional, and you don’t have a tux, suit ’tis.

    Sort of corollary, having said that, the under v. overdressed debate, though not a hard line here, I am on the overdressed side, because personally that’s what *I* like to do and why not(tho if you saw my closet, it is not exactly sequins for miles). At a fancy work event at the Rainbow Room last year (I referred to it as “the insurance prom” – as the event used to be a black tie affair pre 9/11) I wore a strapless number cuz, hello, NYC, Rainbow Room, $10,000 table, it was a fanciness excuse for ME. I was prob. THE dressiest there (many came from work, some women wore nice suits), and even though I had a hunch that was what would happen, I wanted to go for it.

    Here’s the dress if you care:

    I also use Clinique’s Superdefense (for oily skin) and it may be the 1st jar of moisturizer I ever finish (w/ SPF 25, which the Philosophy creams do not include, right?). I use the Hope in a Tube for eyes, which is fine, tho I think it is pretty hard to fuck up eye cream.

    Also, the Phil. zit shit did exactly that for me: jack shit. I was stunned. Maybe my acne is just that stubborn.

  • 21. clickmom  |  October 18th, 2007 at 7:21 am

    My lesbian step sister wore something like a tux to my formal wedding 17 years ago. The jacket was white and had patches of astro turf sewn into it with black cow splotches. Niiiice!

    I’d say the banana Republic dress is appropriate no matter what.

  • 22. Cobwebs  |  October 18th, 2007 at 8:48 am

    Yeesh. If you’re completely against giving out candy, at least head over to Oriental Trading and give something cheap and fun like glow bracelets.

    That’s treading on thin ice, though; nobody should monkey with the Most Holy Day of Free Sugar.

  • 23. the new girl  |  October 26th, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    lmao about the pork chops and beef brisket…

    One year, my bother-in-law and a bunch of friends and family were hanging out [partying] while passing out candy. They ran out of candy and the kids kept coming and so my crazy-ass BIL started handing out CANNED VEGETABLES. lmao.

    I can’t help but laugh every time I think of how heavy those bags must have been…

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