Thursday, November 5, 2015

How I made the ultimate wheelchair costume: Lt. Dan

It's been nearly a week since Halloween, so I am sure you are on pins and needles to hear about my most favoritist of holidays [Tangent: ...or not....let's face it...I know you all are placating me and couldn't care less as to how my costume went or what I dressed up as etc....but I CARE, DAMMIT and this is my blog!]. Let it be known that 2015 was the year that I finally made my childhood dream of being Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump a reality. [Tangent: Is it weird that being a 'tute lovin', hard drinkin' surly vet was the costume dream of a seemingly normal little girl (ha!)? Well, let's face it, the pickins' are indeed slim in the wheelchair character market!] This year I was fairly hell-bent on being Aladdin (street rat version...not Prince Ali version), but Jamie didn't want to be Abu or Jasmine...he wanted to be Jafar but didn't have the time or energy to make that happen. Luckily Lt. Dan has always been my default plan B! This year was the year! And Jamie's beard was approaching the perfect length to play Forrest...only running across America Forrest not sitting on a park bench Forrest. [Tangent: My man will get much more wear out of shortie running shorts than he would a white suit...don't make it weird.]  




This was also after our original idea of me being Lt. Dan and Jamie being an ice cream cone [Tangent: "Lt. Dan...ICE CREAM!!!..get it!??! Click here for visual.] was vetoed by my sis who told us what we already knew...that only 5 people would get it. C'est la vie. Since I didn't get to see it in 3-D, you are getting a 2-D photoshop approximation.

What We Were:

What We Considered (a lazy photoshop rendering): 
As always, because we LOVE doing things the hard way, we made our costumes basically from scratch...or thrift store scratch at least. Which for me was super easy, but for Jamie proved traumatic. Apparently I had a really positive goodwill day where I bought the perfect Hawaiian shirt and army green pants [Tangent: Both White Stag brand...ThankYouVeryMuch! Oh la la.] and even a smiley face t-shirt, but the simplest elements like striped socks and shortie shorts were apparently, as told to us by the very apathetic Sports Authority employee, "Out of style". [Tangent: It was a very unlikely source for harsh fashion criticism!] At that point, we had a light bulb moment. Where does one go to find things that are a little out of style? WAL-MART!! This was not an easy decision, I haven't been inside the walls of a Sam Walton facility in years and neither has Jamie [Tangent: You can read my reasons in a vintage blog here. I wish they were purely political, but honestly I'm just shallow and prone to shopper's anxiety!]. We were breaking our streak...but it was for the greater good- HALLOWEEN! Of course immediately we found a myriad of striped sock options. [Tangent: In your face, Sports Authority!]

It was there that we also also found a genius solution to our wig problem in the form of $3 Duck Dynasty beards. [Tangent: If you don't know, Halloween wigs are generally of the overly styled or silky persuasion and that wasn't exactly the aesthetic of we needed. A man who had spent years traversing the country on foot or a homeless war veteran wouldn't have the hair of a Craigslist call girl. It just wasn't going to happen.] So we took the wigs and turned them backwards and concealed the moustache portion under our headgear. Look how natural mine looks! It was kind of shocking! 
This year, I also enjoyed crafting...so much so that I felt like I should become a cosplayer [Tangent: Only I'm not into Sci-fi or Comics or Harry Potter...so I would likely be shunned by the community.] Because Jamie is a slave to authenticity, he wanted that yellow shirt to be perfect, so I gussied up a thifted polo with some green binding. Then, when all of the Bubba Gump shrimp hats were on back order [Tangent: ...at least those on Amazon because I am a card carrying prime member! Jealous?] I simply made Jamie one out of a $3 hat and a cut up canvas tote bag and paint! I am fairly certain this is how my art minor is paying off. 
Then the most fun part was absolutely making myself look like an amputee [Tangent: Which my friend pointed out would likely offend the amputee community...but I guess it's not Halloween until you have appropriated a culture. I just liked the visual trickery!] I approached it kinda like how they did The Lion King stage show, just black out everything you don't want the audience to see. [Tangent: I was the Julie Taymor of Lt. Dan costumes.] Apparently I wasn't far off, because my strategy was how they did the green screen in the movie. 
The night of, we had an amazing time and went to my friends Kate and Trey's annual Halloween fest. I was stoked to be in my probably my most comfortable and least expensive costume to date. All of the costumes we saw in person and in social media were amazing, [Tangent: I saw a Wedding Lydia and Beetlejuice that was so perfectly executed that I couldn't stand it!] and I was happy that our looks were so well received. A couple people confessed that initially they were picking up a Tom Cruise in  Born on the Fourth of July vibe...at least that gives me an idea to add to the list for next year...

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