I was in my late-20’s, single and ready to have the stereotypical Halloween dressed as a “sexy” fill-in-the-blank at our city’s Monster Bash – an adult only party where the streets are blocked off in the middle of downtown with bars and dance floors lining the pavement. My girlfriends and I decided we would all be cowgirls … sexy cowgirls, of course. It was an easy costume to assemble since I already had the boots, straw hat, a plaid shirt I could tie around my waist, and a short jean skirt. Add in pigtail braids and an unnecessary amount of makeup, flanked by 3 girlfriends dressed almost identically to me, and we were ready to go!
We garnered lots of attention – that was the point, wasn’t it? Guys were hitting on us left and right, with the ones dressed up as cowboys being particularly forward with their cliché pickup lines (“giddyup right over here” and “let’s ride off into the sunset,” with “I’ll be the horse, if you ride me” being a standout). It was fun and we were smart about sticking together and only accepting alcohol directly from a bartender. I saw some cute guys, but it was also difficult to keep track of Superman in a sea of superheroes and I had no idea what any specific guy looked like without the costume.
So, when I ran into a coworker, I was really excited to see him! I didn’t know him very well, but I did know he was a major flirt. We started dancing and we drank more and I didn’t stop him when he kissed me. We took some fun photos together and enjoyed the rest of the night hanging out and kissing and drinking. I went home with my girlfriends and looked forward to seeing him at work on Monday. I put more effort and energy into my appearance that day, and when I got to the office I shared my photos with some of the women who sat near me. Instead of them oohing and ahhing, they gasped in horror. Apparently, he was seeing another coworker and not only did I have no idea, but he obviously didn’t mention it either. He claimed innocence and unfortunately, I ended up being the villain at work – a costume I didn’t want to wear.
The experience made me think more about Halloween and it’s expectations. We’re supposed to dress up and pretend to be someone else and let loose, which can be really fun for a night – until that one night impacts your work life and thus, your real life. True, it wasn’t my fault that I didn’t know my coworker had a girlfriend (in the office, or anywhere else for that matter), but I also usually have my guard up when I run into people from work while I’m out and about. I was new there and was still paying my dues. My reputation is important to me (anyone who says theirs isn’t, is lying) and I had marred it for two hours of fun when I wasn’t even being myself. It wasn’t worth it.
Dressing up and leaving life’s pressures behind every so often is a necessity, but that doesn’t mean doing things that you’ll regret the next morning. This Halloween, have a blast playing dress-up or partying if that’s your thing, but remember that the holiday isn’t an excuse to forget about what’s important to you!
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