Mono a Mano OR Happy Halloween
Okay, I know I didn’t have mono, but it made for a better title. While I was resting from my “mono-like virus” I did some handcrafting.* It was restful handcrafting, so don’t worry. I made my Halloween costume!
If we’re FB friends, you probably already know what I went as, but for those of you who didn’t see the final photo, did you figure out from last week’s teaser what it is? No? I’ll give you some hints:
1) I love the 80s (as evidenced by my iTunes Library and my Halloween costume from two years ago–Claire from Guess Who?)
(Photo of Claire card courtesy of http://thatsbangorang.com)
2) I’m a big fan of John Hughes movies
3) I’m a total geek
4) I wish I went to high school with Jake Ryan
Still not sure?
Why I love** Geek Girl:
She’s resilient. Even though she bumps the drinking fountain with her brace, then can’t lap up enough water, she doesn’t give up. That didn’t work, let’s try this. Okay, this didn’t work, let’s try something else. She doesn’t flounder or keep banging her brace against the side; she finds a solution. Even though she gets sprayed in the face in the process.
She’s pathetic without being pitiful. Although her scene at the drinking fountain is funny because we sympathize with Geek Girl, she doesn’t inspire pity. Not once did I feel like she couldn’t handle whatever the movie threw at her.
She gets up and dances. Let me tell you, it is not easy dancing with a brace on. And mine wasn’t even tightened the way it would have been if I really needed it, nor was it a full-body brace like I’m assuming Geek Girl’s was. My friends applauded me for “staying in character” and moving awkwardly the whole evening, and some of that was me hamming it up, but some of it was because of the limited range of motion allowed.*** But despite this, Geek Girl can be seen twisting it up with another girl and seemingly having a great time. No wallflower here.
She shows us being alone without being lonely. Only one scene shows her talking to anyone (Farmer Ted/The Geek on the bus), and she’s mostly politely nodding and responding to his pining over Samantha Baker. The rest of the time she’s doing her thing (standing against the wall, getting a drink of water, moving and shaking, trying to drink a beer). And she seems perfectly content doing so. I wish there were more female characters in shows who aren’t constantly in pursuit of/defining themselves in relation to a guy (no offense, Molly Ringwald, but you’re the worst at this. But, I still love you. And Sixteen Candles).
Wanna make your own Geek Girl costume (or just learn how I did it)? Scroll down and see.
My friend Lisa broke her pelvis and two vertebrae in early 2012 and she needed a neck brace/C-collar to keep her spine in line. She remained in good spirits, though, and toward the end of her brace time I saw her out at a bar after our mutual friend’s thesis reading. Luckily, Lisa fared better than Geek Girl with her beer, but an idea was born. I traded her a beer**** for the brace, but I had to wait a year to make the costume because last year I was in the final hours of my thesis and didn’t leave the house the last few days of October.
First step this year was to purchase a red sweatshirt. They are surprisingly cheap online (the shipping cost more than the shirt itself), and the other fabrics were procured from my mom (I’m not sure where the lace is from, but the white fabric I used to make the shirt and skirt comes from an old dressing table of my grandmother’s).
Mom and I did some initial sketches of the figure, just like they do on Project Runway.
We paused and replayed the drinking fountain scene over and over to get it right.
Mom also helped me find a paper doll to use: Trixie Belden, who was a character from a girl detective series from 1948 to 1986.
Some Frankenstein-ian cutting and taping:
a pair of shorts from a dress my Aunt Joy gave me:
a cotton ball bust (between paper and fabric):
sequins instead of rhinestones:
lots and lots of tacky glue:
and a semi-solid stitch job later:
Throw it over the neck brace, add a jean skirt, black shoes, white rolled socks, 80s eye makeup, and a set of curls, and voila!
Apparently, I like costumes that involve 80s characters, curling my hair, and not being able to turn my head from side-to-side. So, what’s next? Ronald McDonald automaton?
Check back next week for another round of Projecting (Part 3), in which I show you how to get rid of underarm stains***** and ******dye your clothes.
*Mano means hand in Spanish. Hence the second half of the title.
**Geek out about Geek Girl, if you will.
***I took it off to drive, so don’t worry.
****Actually, she left the neck brace on her porch in a gift bag and I left a different gift bag containing a beer in place of the other one, so I guess that makes me the neck brace fairy.
*****If I write an end-of-my-life memoir, I’m going to title it Sweating Through My Shirt.