Siobhan's birthday party was on Saturday. She always throws these elaborate costume parties. The first one I attended was three years ago -- an 80s theme, with prizes for the best costumes. This is how we dressed, (photo from 2004):
It took 45 minutes to blow-dry my hair into that hairdo, and I still didn't win a prize.
This year's evite said to pick a costume from any decade and dance style of our choice, such as 1780s rain dance, or 1950s sixth grade dance.
I chose 1920s flapper. Here is an example of what flappers look like, from google images:
I went to a costume shop on Saturday. Tom was in the city hanging out with me, so he accompanied me.
While there, he took the opportunity to goof around:
I told the shop owner of my costume idea. He had all the gear. "I'll flap you up!" he said.
I bought everything he suggested: feathered headdress, black-and-white feather boa, flapper dress -- plus fishnet stockings not included in the picture. Flapper was sure to be a popular costume idea, and it was likely I would not be the only one at the party. I decided to go all out.
I had to ensure I would be the best flapper, or at least not embarrass myself with the crowd of five or six other flappers.
At home Saturday night, I googled for "flapper makeup". I carefully applied smoky eye powder, sequined eyelashes, and kohl eyeliner.
At 11:30pm, I took a cab down to the Orbit Room. The cab driver didn't bat an eyelash at my outfit. This is San Francisco after all.
I walked into the bar, and ... I thought I must be at the wrong place. NOT A SINGLE OTHER PERSON WAS IN COSTUME.
Siobhan came up to me, in a strapless black dress. She opened her mouth to say something, but only gibberish came out because she was laughing so hard.
I watched her doubled over in giggles. "How did this happen?" I said.
She stopped laughing long enough to say, "No one else took the evite seriously."
"I can see that," I said. "Why not?"
Rose turned around from the bar and spotted me. She came over in a little black dress. "Did you just come from a costume party?" she asked.
"NO!" I said.
"Then why are you dressed like that?"
I stared at her. "Did you not get the same evite that I did?"
"Oh." Her eyes widened. "You got dressed up for this party?"
"Yes! Why didn't you?"
"I was lazy."
That was the same excuse given by every other partygoer, as they looked me up and down, and then commended me on how it was wonderful that I got into the spirit of the costume and how I should not feel out of place at all.
A picture of the ridiculousness:
In the movie Legally Blonde, there's a scene where Reese Witherspoon dresses as a playboy bunny for a costume party. She discovers upon arrival that it's a regular party, not a costume party.
I never understood why she walked inside, bunny ears and lingerie and all, instead of turning around to go home.
Now I understand. When you spend an hour putting on every last touch of your costume, getting your eyelashes just so to match the damn flapper photo, you are not going to just go home!
Even if your friends decide at midnight to move to a dive bar with a jukebox, where the other patrons are wearing rock-and-roll T-shirts and playing pool.