all shallow’s eve

2003: Hawk Girl: I won first prize at work for “Best Mask.” I did an unseexy Hawk Girl. I could have done a mini and a bra top, but I chose chic over cliché; there was nothing seexy about my costume. Brown sweater, brown jeans, feather face mask. It was all hottitude.

2002: Time to Make the Donuts Girl (I wore normal clothes with an apron and passed out munchkins)

2001: Poison Ivy: I wore a barely-there green leotard with thick cheerleading tights, and knee-high boots. Ivy weaved through my ringlets and up my legs. Ivy leaves were painted around my eyes and littered across my bare back.

2000: Fred & Ginger: The Wasband went as Fred the Donuts Man, and I went as Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. Champagne beaded gown, cigarette filter, called everyone dahling as I asked them to pass the munchkins. I stayed in character, only eating the cinnamon ones.

1999: A Wasp: not a hornet but a brightly dressed woman in pearls who drank a lot. Too bad I’m Jewish, otherwise, the shoe would fit today. Yes, that’s a photo of me… today, not in 1999.

I’ve been dressing smutty on Halloween for the whole of my life, obvious slutty, like Versace perfume.

“Mommy, I want to be a cat.” translated to, “finally, I get to wear black skin-tight clothing.” Or a witch—again, a black hat with black clothes. When I was eight years old, I actually went as a harlot.

All the other kids went as white fairies with netted wings and gold ballet flats; they had wands with glittered stars at the tip. I’m a princess. I’m a ballerina. Look at me; I’m Cinderella. They twirled, with outstretched arms, creating an atmosphere of soapy bubbles and pink tulle. Boys were firemen, superheroes, cowboys, or hobos, and the closest they got to smut was dressing like green M&Ms.

Kids stuffed their pillowcases and orange plastic jack-o-lanterns with candy and coins, all the kids except for Meryl Glass. Meryl wasn’t allowed to trick or treat; Meryl was Jewish and didn’t see it as a treat at all. Her parents kept her inside, while all the other kids at school (besides Allison Redmond who was allergic to eggs) ran wild in the streets with toilet paper, shaving cream, and crazy string. Meryl was only allowed to invite other children from her Hebrew School over to play.

“But I don’t get it. What will you do?”
“We’ll watch shows.”
“But everything on TV is a Halloween Special. Can you watch Charlie Brown?”
“Well who cares. It’s a holiday for Christians; it’s not my holiday.”
“Will you play dolls?” And then she pushed me.

Okay, I come from a womb on Long Island; there was no shortage of Jews. It’s not as though there was only one Jewish family in my town; no one whispered about horns. I mean, come on, there was, afterall, a mall. The north shore of Long Island is chockablock with German cars, diet lobster salad, iced coffees, and beauty salons with “Best” in the their names. When I was in middle school, they even had one of those “tone-o-matic” places where all the ladies mounted automatic machines that claimed to work out for them. All the other Jews were allowed to ring and run, why wasn’t Meryl?

“Stephanie, it’s a holiday for saints and souls.” Meryl said “souls” the way someone would say “ghouls,” in a low voice reserved for dreaded things.

As far as I was concerned, this All Hallow’s Eve she spoke about was a holiday for candy. “Do you want me to fill a jack-o-lantern for you and tell people my Jewish friend needs some candy?” Surely my eight-year-old self, dressed in black feathers, would jingle some sympathy from the neighbors. Poor girl. She’s destined to be a pregnant teen; I’ll give her extra candy so she can enjoy what’s left of her youth.

“Okay, that would be great.”
I pressed dark lipstick between my lips, drew a black birthmark above my lip, wore hoop earrings and a black feather boa.

“What are you supposed to be?” asked Janene Jager’s mother with a twirl of her wand.
“I’m a movie star.” Ahem, hooker. Total slut.
“Which movie star?”
“Just a movie star.”
“You can’t be just a movie star. You have to be someone specific.” This inquisition wasn’t worth the Jager candy. The Jager’s were more of an apple and pennies household.
“Well who are you?” I asked while looking at her makeshift paper plate wings.
“I’m Glinda, the Good Witch.”
“Well I’m still a movie star.”
“You can’t be.”
“My father told me I could be anything I want to be, including the first female President of The United States of America, as long as I work hard enough at it.” I defended the rights of eight-year-old ho’s everywhere.
“Okay, dear.” She gave up and plunked a red waxy apple into my bag.
“Thank you Mrs. Jager, but I need another one.”
“You need another one?”
“Yeah, for my Jewish friend who isn’t allowed out.”
“No dear, everyone gets only one.”
“I thought you were a good witch.” A star was born.

Halloween is an excuse for women to dress like sluts; it’s like summer. Not all women go here: French maid, Eve, Genie, Cat Woman, English School Girl, Farm Girl, Cow Girl, Cave Girl, Playmate Bunny, Slutty Nurse, Easy Girl Scout, Pirate Queen, Dominatrix, Wonder Woman, or a FemeBot from Austin Powers. But a lot of them do. What does it say about these women who always go ho and put the “lo” in Halloween? Why don’t they ever dress as Missing Milk Cartons, Mummies, or Martha Washington? They’re starved for attention from men. They don’t want “wow, that was really creative” attention; they want erections. Meryl’s parent’s were probably onto something, keeping her home on All Shallow’s Eve.

2004: A Freudian Slip



  1. I've always wanted to dress like a trollop at Hallowe'en. But I can't, I'm too Amazonian and bean-like, I would look more like a skinny man in drag than a vixen (or at least that's my paranoia)

    Last year I was a blissfully unsexy red crayon, (until I learned what the insinuation of a red crayon was!) so this year I'm looking for new ideas.

    I love some of your past costumes, especially the hawk. Way more provocative than a slutty devil.

  2. is one place to look.

    I like to scan the costume websites:

    or for lots of "slutty" ones:

    Then get them cheaper on E-bay.

    I'm not going as sexy this year– I'm doing "glam scary". But I've definitely done the slutty sexy thing. It's a lot of fun to do, and yes, lots of women like it. I guess cause it gives us an excuse to be all those things society says we ought to not be and not apologize for it.

  3. Best Costume prize winner from a few years back: My wife and I did a team costume. We both wore sunglasses, each carried a white cane with a red tip so we would look sufficiently "sight-challenged." Then we ran a string from the top of each of her shoulders to mine, and hung signs around our necks that said "VENICE."

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Venetian Blinds! The tie-breaker that got us the award was the synchronized turning we did to simulate the blinds tilting back and forth. That got us the gold!

  4. Love the Venetian blinds idea, Brian. Might just have to steal that from you for a Halloween party my beau and I are going to (if you don't mind).

    I'm having a hard time coming up with a good couples costume idea, and despite every year that I think I'm going to come up with a great idea and make my own costume in advance, I usually end up throwing something together last-minute. Hmm, I wonder if this has anything to do with the dreams I have where I can never find a costume in a second-hand clothing shop on Halloween…

  5. Be my guest, Kristi. The gag is even better with more people, which is how I first saw it done. If I catch any sight-challenged people from Venice in the next couple of weeks, I'll be sure to say hello.

  6. My favorite couple's costume was when we did Marilyn Monroe & the hubby was Joe DiMaggio. You could go JFK, or Arthur Miller too (although I doubt anyone would get Miller). Or you could have a group costume and have Marilyn with all four. :) But that would be naughty. :) Marilyn is a FUN costume. As soon as you put on the fake lashes and the wig you suddenly start to talk like her. It's like channelling.

  7. "And they say you don't tug on Superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off an 'ole Lone Ranger
    And you don't mess around with [Stephanie]"

    –Jim Croce 1972 "You don't mess around with [Stephanie]"

    [the pen after all is mightier than the sword]

  8. Honey, I'm 40 and a goth. I wear a custom-made black dress that leaves nothing to the imagination and the skirt part of the dress has large white leather crosses. You're my heroine dressing as a 'ho so long ago.

    I think it's probably the same reaction my neighbors had when I dressed my 5 year old daughter several years back in a gorgeous green silk kimono. When the neighbors asked what she was, she replied, "I'm a geisha." This was the year "Memoirs of a Geisha" was out, and it made everything slutty seem sexy!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.