So my sister has a Halloween party every year. Every year there is a theme. This year’s theme was “Hollywood is Dead.” The dress code, as it were, was to dress as a dead celebrity.
I feel a lot of pressure at these things. I still like to think of myself as a costumer, despite life’s recent attempts to strip me of that title, and I feel like there’s extra pressure on costumers around Halloween. I was going to through together a Princess Leia costume. (I’m glad I didn’t – there were two there, classic and Hoth editions, and I can’t top the sheer genius of using a white bath robe or of using legos to mimic the official left-breast military fal-der-ah.)
I got a last minute bug up my butt and went with Carmen Miranda, because I can make a fruit hat in minutes. I have a great respect for Ms. Miranda – she thrived in a time where it was very difficult for women to do so, sure, but more importantly she was fearless when it came to hats. That woman would put anything on her head! (Seriously. Go google it up. This’ll still be here when you’re done.)
So I ventured out into the world, in search of fake fruit, a peasant blouse, and a long skirt. Yes, fake fruit. I can make a towering fruit hat in minutes with fake fruit. The problem is, fake fruit is real expensive. $6.99 a bunch for fake grapes at Michaels? Um, no thank you. $12.99 for a wee baggie of assorted fruit? You know I can’t actually eat this, right?!
I tried Goodwill – two of them. $1.99 for an anemic and aged bunch of fake grapes is better, but it was tacky. (I don’t mean the taste level was low. I mean it was that weird sticky that plastic gets after years in a kitchen. Ewwww.). I tried a Dollar Tree. No fruit; just holly and berries and glitter wasn’t really the look I was going for.
I tried a smaller local thrift. No fruit. Either everyone else did Carmen Miranda recently, or there’s been a terrible disruption in the fake fruit market.
I ended up at Jewel, buying real fruit. This seriously altered my happy hot-glue plans. Here’s how the whole thing shook out…
Rinsed the shirt, went to bed. The party is tomorrow night, and I need my beauty sleep (says the voice of procrastination).
Wake up, putter about a bit while drinking coffee, grab shirt and retire to my workroom.
I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s supposed to happen. I get things all backwards and sideways sometimes.
52 minutes later….
I know! I was surprised too.
I, um, really should have taken advantage of that. I’ve gotten a bit fatter than I remember being!
So….. I have basically no idea what I’m doing with this hat. It’s gonna be heavy. You can only find so much light produce. I know how to build a stable, heavy hat if I can anchor around the skull. I know how to build one if I can permanently embed it in a hairdo. I can’t do either, because I won’t fit in my car. (And I certainly don’t plan to stroll a couple towns over with a literal fruit basket on my head.) So I said some choice bad words, and I went with the first thing that seemed plausible.
Spoiler alert: it was a horrible idea. Don’t do like this.
There are hair types where this plan has at least the same odds as Frosty the Snowman’s winning a tennis match in the 9th circle of hell. I don’t have that hair. Despite my years, I have baby fine hair. Complicating that, I recently switched conditioners and developed sleek, shiny baby fine hair. For those of you who do not have baby-fine hair, let me assure you that basically no woman with it is going for “sleek.” You know those no-slip headbands? They slip, even without the new conditioner. No-slip silicone hair ties? Used to work, but not with this conditioner! I think the secret ingredient is teflon.
With an absolute lack of concern for the obvious, I sallied forth.
So I don’t have a picture that captures this, but here’s what happened
Mom called dinner. (Quite nice of her, I feel.). Sister txted and needed green popcorn from Mariano’s. I finished dinner, got dressed, cursed myself for not trying on the skirt in advance, put on far too much eye makeup, and went to Mariano’s. They were out of green popcorn, but the incredibly nice fellow helping me asked if I needed the flavor (green apple, apparently) or the color. When I said just the color, he freaking airbrushed popcorn for me! I should wear strange clothes and too much eye makeup more often!
Got to the party, and assured doubtful observers that my costume would make more sense with a small amount of assembly.
Then I attempted to assemble myself, and I learned a thing. I really doubt that Carmen Miranda had to put on her own hats. The second I looked a billimeter forward, or attempted to get the elastic around my head, the gosh-darned grapes exploded out of the hat. And that’s bad, because the grapes at the lower left of the hat-basket offset the weight of the banana agh the upper right. No more grapes; hat slides backwards. I gave up after the second batch of dead grapes and decided to just hold the bloody (juicy?) thing on my head
It was really more of a prop than a hat.
I am sooooooo out of practice! Lol! But I was the only “celebrity” at the party who died of natural causes, so that’s something, right?
I don’t know. I do know that if you should decide to make a real-fruit-Carmen-Miranda-hat, you should a) mind your hair type, and b) bring hat pins to the party. I think also I should have done a French braid from the nape of the neck up to the crown of the head and could the braid securely. That would have given me a more stable base, even with my teflon-conditioned hairs.
I switched conditioner formulas the next day….