YOU know that horrible moment when you turn up at a party only to realise that you ‘didn’t get the memo’ regarding dress-code?
That was last night.
Picture the scene… Jacks and I walk past the man bizarrely dressed as Cleopatra in the apartment complex hallway, past the pumpkins and cobwebs laid out on the furniture, and enter the lift (sorry elevator) to head upstairs to the party.
We get to the apartment, I knock on the door, and the hostess answers.
“What are you guys supposed to be…?” she asks as she eyes Jacks and I up and down noting our almost-matching black leather jackets.
There she stands in blonde wig, moustache, vest and jean hot pants (she was Seann William Scott’s character from Old School with her boyfriend made up as Will Ferrell as ‘Frank The Tank’ – complete with dart in his neck).
You see earlier this week the party hostess – who is also one of the U-T TV hosts – asked if Jacks and I wanted to come to a party at her and her boyfriends’ apartment.
“Is it fancy dress?” I remember asking.
“No… it’s not fancy dress at all,” she replied.
Of course, I now realize that ‘fancy dress’ isn’t the ‘fancy dress’ that us Brits know, and refer to.
‘Fancy dress’ in the U.S. refers to ‘fancy’ dress – as in smart wear like a tuxedo.
What I should have asked is it ‘costume?’ – because that’s how they refer to our ‘fancy dress’ here in the great U S of A.
Just to add to the hilarity, when we woke up yesterday on the morning of the party I suggested we go to a fancy dress shop and grab some fake blood and vampire teeth – but then backtracked thinking that we’d be the “odd ones out”.
“How stupid would we look if we rocked up all dressed up and no-one else was…?” I pondered.
So anyway, there we found ourselves, surrounded by dozens of excited costumed party people.
Talk about odd ones out.
|Odd one out...|
Even another guy from work, who didn't really make an effort, still wore a T-shirt with skulls on just to fit in.
Yep, we’re still just as lost in translation as we ever have been here in San Diego. And I can’t even rely on my wife to help out as she’s just as lost as me in the language.
Oh well, it gives me something to write about.
And it gives you all something to laugh about… albeit at my/our own expense.
|Fancy dress or night my wife still looks amazing|
If there's one thing more scary than Halloween itself, it's the American fascination with it.
It was a pretty strange sight to be stood in the supermarket aisle next to the Phantom of the Opera, and his witch girlfriend.
|Even the Phantom of the Opera has to shop right?|
It was another weird moment to be stood outside checking my emails, only to be asked for a light by a mummy fully-dressed head to toe in bandages.
Even pets here can’t escape the madness.
|Clearly not amused|
Sure, as a student I dressed up as a vampire or zombie and went to parties in the UK but here… well, it’s another level.
Jacks and I are gearing up for the army invasion of sweet-toothed trick-or-treaters expected on the 31st.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of it.
Someone told us last night that after New Year’s Eve, Halloween is the biggest fancy dress, sorry… ‘costume’ night of the year.
And who needs an excuse for a party right?
I just can’t get my head around it just yet.
The premise of Halloween is ghouls and ghosts right? As in ‘All Hallows’ Eve?’
It’ just that Halloween just doesn’t seem scary when you’re living in a place which is so ‘new’.
I joke to people that I have cutlery at home which is older than San Diego.
It seems that Hollywood has made Halloween the big deal it is here.
Some of the weirdo tramps who shout random things at you on the train are the scariest thing about this place.
Downtown’s ‘Haunted Hotel’…? Give me a break. The décor appears to be the scariest thing about it. That, and the price of admission.
Pumpkins are synonymous with the autumn or ‘Fall’ in the U.S.
It seems that you can’t go anywhere at the minute without seeing them.
Outside most stores here there seems to be a stand selling pumpkins or other weird vegetable/fruit thing which looks like it was grown on Mars.
|Yep, your guess is as good as mine...|
Starbucks are also serving ‘pumpkin lattes’, which I just can’t bring myself to try.
Are they on sale in the UK too?
Halloween of course falls at the end of October – a time of year when, back at home in the UK, I’ve packed away all the shorts and T-shirts and unpacked the hoodies and jumpers.
However here, even the coolest day yet in San Diego has felt like a pleasant English summer day.
But all I hear from people here is how “cold” it is.
One colleague told me last week she was “so cold” she had the heater on all night.
That’s when the temperature didn’t actually drop below 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Centigrade).
I’m still parading around town wearing shorts and T-shirts like I would in the height of summer in Cornwall.
And there I am passing people wearing full-on North Face coats complete with hats and scarves.
You know it takes time to settle into a new place and I guess we’re still finding our feet – even after six months.
Next year you can be sure that we won’t make the same mistake again of not dressing up for Halloween.
We’re planning it now.
Be afraid… be very… afraid.