Here in Northeast Florida, we’ve finally reached that time of the year when it’s possible to walk outside of the house without wanting to die immediately. Yes, the high temperatures are in the mid-80s, the humidity is slightly lower, and I can drink a Sam Adams Octoberfest without feeling ridiculous.
It feels kind of like fall, which means that Halloween is coming, which means that I’ll spend the next four weeks talking about my awesome plans for a Halloween costume, only to show up at whatever party I get invited to in my tried-and-true Marshmallow Peep getup.
After exchanging a few costume ideas via Twitter with Scott, George and Kerri last week, I started to get excited about all the possibilities there are for diabetes-themed outfits. It’s perfect, right? Diabetes is terrifying, and full of terrifying things — and there’s a delicious wickedness to wearing your ailment on your sleeve on a holiday dedicated to eating as much candy as unhumanly possible.
Really, is there a mustachioed man more intrinsically connected to the ‘beetis than Mr. Brimley? You can create this costume the complicated way, with an old-man wig and stick-on facial hair and giant glasses, or you can go the hilariously bad route, and print out a life-size photograph of Wilford’s face. Attach it to a piece of cardboard, cut out holes for the eyes and mouth, and affix to your head with a piece of elastic. Complete the look with a sweater vest over a collared shirt, or cop Brimley’s horseback look with a white 10-gallon hat and a plaid shirt (horse optional). Whatever you do, remember to carry your meter with you at all times, and urge others to check their blood sugar — and check it often.
Tube of Glucose Tabs
Fashion a body-length sheath out of cheap white fabric, and use fabric paint to create the Dex 4 logo (or generic logo) on the outside, along with the fruit of your choice. Make sure to include the starburst that says “4 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate per tablet!” Use a styrofoam plate as a hat/lid.
Spouse or Partner of a Person With Diabetes
This one’s perfect for your husband or wife or best friend or parent — or any loved one who’s there to clean up after your midnight hypoglycemic episodes and listen to you complain about high blood sugar headaches. Dress your friend in a basic, everyday outfit. Then, tape used test strips (you know you have some) to his or her clothing in a haphazard pattern. Splatter a little bit of fake blood on your friend’s shirt (gushers know no bounds) and stuff candy and juice boxes in all of his or her pockets.
One of the scariest diabetes costumes of all! Make yourself a big ugly badge out of cardboard and resentment. Include a slogan like “To Inspect and Peeve” for effect. Spend the day talking about your cousin twice removed who had diabetes and went blind and died before the age of 23 because he ate too much ketchup on his waffles. Bring an enormous candy container, and use it to hold all the treats you snatch out of other people’s hands when you tell them, “You can’t have that.”
Islets of Langerhans/Beta Cells
Since few people have ever seen any Islets of Langerhans in person, it’s easy to get creative with this one. I’m imagining a costume like a kid might wear to be a bunch of grapes: Put on some sweatpants and a t-shirt, and attach inflated pink and white balloons to your person. Paint your face white, and draw big black X’s over your eyes (you’re dead, see?). Now you’re ready for a night on the town as the murder victim of your own immune system. Fun!
Shelby from Steel Magnolias
In order to capture as much diabetesness as possible with this costume, it’s crucial that you dress up as Shelby in the salon. You know the scene I’m talking about. Practice your terrible Southern accent, pile your hair up on top of your head (or wear a big ugly wig like this one) and tie a smock around your neck. For extra authenticity, spritz some orange juice on your face and carry a half-full glass with you. Every time you enter a conversation, start with “Don’t talk about me like I’m not here!”
No matter what I dress up as, I always tend to celebrate Halloween as a person who’s not encumbered by carb counts and boluses. I love that it’s the only holiday that seems impervious to over-commercialization. The bigger the haunted houses, the more ridiculous the scary movies, the earlier the pumpkin patches appear by the side of the road, the better. So this Halloween, I’m making myself — and the rest of the D-OC — a promise: the fuzzy yellow Peep costume is staying in the closet.