Lost Journal: At Halloween Costume Party, White Blanket is Wet Blanket

Tim Mollen, Lost Journal: At Halloween Costume Party, White Blanket is Wet Blanket

Journal entry:  October 31, 1998 (age 29), Halloween

The only thing worse than a costume party is a costume party where you don’t know anyone.  When my friend Lars Issa invited me and my fiancée, Amanda, to his Halloween bash, I thought, “I haven’t worn a Halloween costume since I was a kid.  This should be fun!”  But as the date approached, I realized we wouldn’t know anyone at the party except Lars and his girlfriend, Julie.  I had visions of myself standing alone at an orange punchbowl while everyone oohed and aahed over the guy in the topical Linda Tripp costume.

At that point, I should have chosen a costume that incorporates a mask, so that I would be able to hide behind a cloak of anonymity.  Then I would have been free to people-watch in a corner, and swap obnoxious comments with Amanda about other people’s costumes.  Another good plan would have been to create an elaborate, expensive costume that was so over-the-top fantastic that everyone at the party would gather around me and marvel at my ingenuity.

I did neither of these things.

Instead, I waited until yesterday to think about what to wear.  I watched Amanda build her costume in a matter of minutes, using odds and ends like a bandanna and a leather vest to remake herself as a kind of sexy pirate.  Women do this kind of thing with ease.  She’s not just a nurse; she’s a SEXY nurse.  A guy, meanwhile, could not get away with a costume as mundane as a “doctor.”  And how would he make the leap to SEXY doctor?  Perhaps he could walk around with his credit cards exposed, I supposed.

I looked around our apartment for something that I could use.  The first thing I saw was our fluffy, white, down blanket.  “Good enough,” I thought.  I grabbed white pants and a white sweater, and after a quick trip to CVS, I had everything I needed.

At the party, Amanda was a hit.  I almost had to punch out one guy who was dressed as a parrot.  He kept putting his hands on her left shoulder and muttering, “Polly wanna cracker.”  Meanwhile, one partygoer after another came up to me and asked what I was supposed to be.  Each time, I replied with a question.  “Did you have a bad day today?”  If they said no, I just changed the subject or excused myself.  But if they said yes, I would give them a hug, enveloping them in warm down.  Then I would offer them a series of small gifts — a throat lozenge, a moist baby wipe, and a small picture of the Teletubbies.  Asked if they felt better, they replied something along the lines of “Um, I guess.  But what are you?” they asked.

“I’m a comforter.”

As I stood alone at the punchbowl, I heard someone ask one of three people dressed as Ken Starr if anyone at the party knew the guy in the blanket — the guy who wants to hug everybody and give them moist towelettes.  He didn’t reply, but I saw him take out a small notebook and begin writing.

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Tim Mollen
Buy your copy of "Lost Journal - the Book" at www.timmollen.com. Each Lost Journal column is a journal entry written in retrospect. In other words, Mollen chooses a different day from his past, and writes about it as though it were today. The date may be last week, Halloween 1980, or the day he was born (May 4, 1969). Some of you may be asking, “But how would he have been able to write a journal entry on the day he was born?” To you he says: “Lighten up. It’s a humor column.” Mollen is a nationally syndicated columnist and actor, and he is available as a speaker on writing and humor.
Tim Mollen

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