My best Halloween costume was not even my own. I didn’t make it, and I didn’t wear it, but it has gone down in my personal history books as my favourite Halloween memory – and I wasn’t even there to enjoy it.
This bizarre tale begins at the La Guardia airport in New York City, when I turned my phone on after disembarking the plane. There was a string of text messages from my friend Richard. The content was curious, to say the least – he was asking for up-close photos of my tattoos, specifically my thigh, chest, and finger tattoos.
I immediately asked why. “It’s for my Halloween costume.” What? “I’m going to go as you for Halloween.” This is when I broke the news that I wouldn’t be attending any St. John’s house parties or Mardi Gras on George Street – I was in New York City with a pal, celebrating the holiday in a new way.
Though slightly disappointed, Richard wasn’t deterred… he was now even more excited for the opportunity to be me, since there would be no real me around to compete with. The idea for this non-traditional costume was born accidentally. While stressing about what to wear, a mutual friend tossed a blonde wig at Richard – I was blonde at the time, – and told him to do something with it for Halloween. He laid it next to his leather biker jacket, identical to mine, and the costume basically created itself.
He added a pair of thigh high socks, black boots, a black dress, a black hat, and red lipstick, and yep, he had created a typical Wendy outfit. To make the costume extra authentic – anyone who knows Richard knows that he always goes all out – he enlisted help from local tattoo artists and handy friends, perfectly recreating all of my tattoos.
“A Nice Photo of Wendy”
As I was putting on face paint, nearly 2,000 kilometres away, my phone beeped. It was Richard, showing off his creation. Though slightly disturbing – it’s pretty weird to see “yourself” with a five o’clock shadow – he had nailed the costume. He pulled it off so well in fact, that his bar-hopping travels that night were dotted with friends of mine, who did not know Richard, stopping him to ask if he was dressed as Wendy Rose.
Later that night, I updated my Facebook profile picture to a selfie of “Wendy Richard.” My dad showed my mother the photo. Presumably (hopefully?) not wearing her glasses, she replied, “That’s a nice photo of Wendy.” …Thanks, Mom. The photo went on to be my most “liked” post of 2015, and this past summer, on Richard’s birthday, it became immortalized in a painting by a mutual friend. I may not be blonde, and I’m decidedly not a man, but I’m totally OK with being remembered that way.
Happy Halloween, b’ys!