My coworkers and I have been talking about the office Halloween party for literally months. Every year on Halloween, we take a couple hours around lunch time to get together and have a costume contest. Some people are really in to it. I get really in to it. Last year I dressed up as a hamster and won 3rd place!
And this year, I knew, would be my last Halloween party with these guys. I graduate in December, and after that I’ll be moving away. So months in advance, I thought of the perfect costume. Something that would really wow the guys. We’ve all been very secretive about our costume choices, though as Halloween drew nearer and nearer, we started dropping more and more hints to each other. We talked about it pretty much every day.
Part of the reason we were extra excited was that the production department (my department) was putting together a special video for the party. When we took staff photos over the summer, we also took a picture of each and every staff member wearing a funny pair of goggles. Here’s mine:
And ever since then, me and the one other student worker have been working every day on this Halloween video. As the deadline drew nearer, things got really tight. I ended up finishing my half and then doing half of my coworker’s half. We stayed late and worked long hours. There may have been some crying. From me. But at last, somehow, we finished it. It was a crazy project. But it came out AWESOME.
Phew. What a job! I couldn’t wait to see what everyone thought of the video, and of my costume. If anyone was excited about this party, it was me!
So Halloween morning came. I had planned on skipping my morning class to get in to costume. I woke up…and I felt horrible. No matter! I thought. Nothing will stop me from going to this party. Mind over matter! It’s Halloween for Pete’s sake!
So I got up…I grabbed my costume….and I had to lay down. What the heck was going on? It felt like I had the flu all of a sudden. There was no slow onset, no, just sudden fever, chills, exhaustion, WHAT. THE. CRAP. But did I call in sick? Heck no! I was going to that party one way or another. I sat up, pulled off my pjs, and put on my shirt. Then I had to rest again. Then I sat up and pulled on my leggings. Then I had to lay down. Then I got my socks on….then I ran to the bathroom and threw up.
My little kitty, who is not famous for her intuitive caring by any means, rushed to my side. I feebly petted her, and she ushered me back to bed where I took a much longer rest. I texted my husband that I wasn’t a hundred percent sure I could make the party. I didn’t mention my raging fever or the fact that I couldn’t even keep sips of water down. Just that….maybe….I was too sick to go.
I pulled my wrap top on, and my leg warmers. I laid down again. The party was starting in ten minutes. I told myself that after a quick rest, I’d get up, and by sheer will do the intricate makeup and prosthetics needed to complete my ensemble. Husband called, and even talking on the phone was exhausting and sickening. I admitted defeat. Husband came home instead of meeting me at the party. He found me in bed, all dressed in my sith robes. He quickly built a nest of blankets and pillows in the living room. He pulled off my socks, leg warmers, leggings, wrap, and turtleneck. I slipped into an oversized t-shirt, and he carried me to the nest.
People from work were starting to text. I told them I was at home, sick and broken-hearted. Then something really amazing happened.
My phone was flooded with an outpouring of compassion. They knew I was really sick. There was something so beautiful and freeing about this. Any doubt that may have been previously displayed was gone. They were falling to their knees and tearing their shirts screaming “NOOOOOOOOO!” via text.
They knew that nothing could have stopped me from coming. They knew I must have been physically unable to get there, and that was the only explanation. People believed I was sick. It wasn’t just a happy coincidence, I was missing something I didn’t want to miss. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long day of paperwork or a Halloween office party – even I forget how my body can roundhouse kick all my plans in the face and force me to spend the day in bed.
Even my cat was sympathetic.
So it wasn’t such a bad Halloween after all. My fellow Halloween enthusiast at work sent me a ton of youtube links to keep me occupied, including a radio drama he put together himself that was set to debut for Halloween. If you’re still in the spirit of things, have a listen to Mr. H’s The Theater in Your Mind – Episode 1, the Man in the Red Suit:
And on Friday, when I returned to work (a little prematurely, I admit), my husband convinced me to go ahead and go in costume. After all, I’d been talking it up for months, and everyone wanted to see it. So I did, and it was a big hit.
The guys showed me pictures from the party, and informed me that the video was a huge success. They shot nerf guns at me, and I deftly deflected their fire with my double lightsaber. My boss especially loved that – he wants one of his own now! Too bad I got mine back in the 90’s.
All in all, not the best Halloween. But not the worst either.