Before you suggest it – in fact, before you even think it — let me stop you right there: Yes, I have already been Daria for Halloween. I’m sure any bespectacled brunette with bangs and a penchant for monotone sarcasm has been told, year after year, “You know, you should be Daria for Halloween,” as if no one else had ever been clever enough to make that connection before, including myself. Been there. Done that, in 2007. And no one knew who I was, despite a practically spot-on outfit.
And Waldo. Of course I’ve been Waldo. I kept a red-and-white-striped shirt in my wardrobe years after it ceased to exist in my regular clothing rotation for the singular fact that maybe, one day, I would need to use it for a Waldo costume. And yes, people found me.
With a pair of thick-rimmed glasses often being my preferred method of vision, every year, as fall approaches, I turn into one of those weirdos who starts planning for Halloween the closer the calendar gets to the “R” months. Thankfully, I’m able to internalize this thought-process until October like a normal person, but it’s always at work in my brain, every couple of nights when I’m trying to fall asleep on Wednesday, or something, and think, “Gee, instead of sleeping, I should take this quiet spell to think up a Halloween costume.”
And having no skill at devising the kind of clever topical getups that brainier people are so on top of — like a binder full of women, for example — I often stick to disguises of the pop-culture variety. Someone everyone knows and is very glad to see at their neighborhood Halloween party.
But I’m running out of options.
Often, the riddle becomes even more difficult when taking into account a specific hair color and length (and an aversion to wigs that developed due to a particularly itchy and tangled witch’s mane that was part of a fourth-grade getup). No matter how many attempts I may make with a box, my locks will never be red enough to pass as a proper Pepper Ann. That year I was Daria? It’s possible no one got it because my hair was chin length and not past my shoulders like it should have been, to be truly authentic. I had a brief Tina Fey-style window in 2010, but now my hair is much too long to pass for everyone’s favorite NBC star, even though it is the absolute easiest costume of all time. I already own plenty of blazers.
Plus Ghost World’s Enid is out, because of the whole wig thing.
I’m out of ideas. The last couple of years, I’ve Googled “best costume glasses girl,” and the last couple of years the same Yahoo Answers page turns up. For 2012, it being so late in the game, I think I’ll be Rushmore’s Max Fischer, as long as I can find some khakis. Still, I’m open to suggestions.
Susan Cohen is a staff writer for a Charleston, S.C.-based alt-weekly.