I seem to have spent a large part of the last two weekends in fancy dress – first as a zombie geek, and then as a pirate. I wouldn’t have thought that I’m the kind of person who enjoys dressing up, as I don’t consider myself very outgoing, but actually I really do, and we do it quite often.
Although I don’t normally like to draw much attention to myself when I’m out (aside from the unavoidable attention caused by my staggering good looks, of course), I quite like the way a costume changes people’s perception of you. People assume that you are a fun and friendly sort, and they come up and talk to you and dance with you much more. No one would do that when I’m in my normal clothes, as I apparently exude a Fuck Off vibe and have a permanently depressed expression on my face, even when I’m enjoying myself immensely.
My first outfit, zombie geek, was for a Dead In The 80s club night that we went to at the Brighton (formerly Hanbury) Ballroom. It was advertised as a sort of ‘death at the prom’ type affair, and suggested outfits were anything zombie-related, or your favourite 80s celebrity who is now dead. A Thriller Flashmob at midnight was promised, so we thought OK we’ll go as zombies and then we’ll be able to join in with that.
This is my zombie geek outfit:
Which was OK for fairly short notice, I thought.
It was rather disappointing therefore to find that NO ONE else in the whole place had dressed up, and we were to be lonely zombies all night. The Thriller Flashmob didn’t happen, presumably because you can’t have a flashmob with just two people who don’t know the Thriller dance.
We had a good time anyway, and as I say my outfit fooled people into thinking that I’m a fun person and we got quite a lot of attention all night. I choose to believe that was admiring attention at the quality of our outfits, rather than sniggering attention at us being the only ones in fancy dress.
I did get a bit annoyed with one woman though, as she simply wouldn’t leave us alone. There’s a certain type of woman who seems to think that gay men are a bit of a novelty, that they want to be instant friends with any woman that approaches them, and who the next day will no doubt bore the tits off her friends with the tales of “yeah, two gay guys, we danced all night, it was really cool”. You know the sort: a mid-30s type of woman who doesn’t get to go out dancing very often, and so gets completely hammered when the occasion does present itself in case it’s the last time before she turns 40.
So anyway, this is the woman we picked up around 11.30pm and who buzzed round us like a mosquito on and off for the rest of the evening:
I don’t know what her name was, and I don’t really care. She was semi-aggressive at times when the drink got the better of her; I can’t imagine why her friends would have abandoned her to dance on her own with us.
We had a good time anyway, despite Annoying Woman. We particularly enjoyed the two free cocktails we got as well, following a complaint I made to the manager after the last time we went. One of the bar staff had been unforgivably rude to us so I complained rather pointedly to the manager by email the next day and was rewarded with an apology and two free Mai Tais. So it’s always worth complaining, people. You never know what you’ll get.
Zombie geek was followed this weekend by an awesome Pirate Party in honour of Chris’ 30th birthday. He’s not quite 30 yet, but the party was joint with another of our friends and last weekend was sort of between their two actual birthdays.
Chris had hired the 3 Jolly Butchers pub for it, which is quite a small pub near the station, but since you get to book the whole pub exclusively for the party it worked out really well.
This is me as a pirate:
Chris was a cabin boy, complete with crop top and little cut-off shorts, bless him.
Note also my specially-grown facial hair, which I had been cultivating for the whole of the previous week. None of this shop-bought-beard business for me; when I dress up, I commit to it.
The party went really well, and Chris enjoyed it lots which is the main thing. We decorated the whole place with pirate stuff, and even acquired a skeleton for the occasion to play One-Eyed Willy.
People made loads of effort dressing up too, and I don’t think there was anyone not in full fancy dress, or at least a hat and suitably coloured clothes.
It was at least memorable for Chris, and I think that’s quite important for your 30th birthday party. I think it was quite memorable for lots of passers by too, who were fairly startled to see through the window a whole pub full of drunken pirates jumping up and down to Since You’ve Been Gone.
So yeah, that was my last two weekends. I’m going to try to keep normal clothes on this weekend as I’ve got to go and see my mother for her 59th birthday, which will no doubt be a depressing and stressful affair and is very unlikely to involve fancy dress.