Friday, October 4, 2013

Practically Perfect In Every Way!

False eyelashes are a damn miracle. Trust.
The most amazing thing happened to me last weekend.

Well, there were a few amazing things. All in one evening. I'll cover all of them.

They all revolved around my (rather last-minute) decision to attend Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland on opening night, September 27th. I had never previously attended this event as I had thought it was mainly geared toward kids, but I wanted to do something different on my annual birthday trip to Disneyland this year, and figured this would be the perfect thing to try. I also realized that most adults would be dressed in costume, which is pretty special as adults aren't normally permitted to enter Disneyland in costume.
This also scared me, because I hadn't dressed up for Halloween since 2005. Don't get me wrong—I've always adored Halloween. It's one of only two holidays that I actually look forward to all of the stores putting out the decorations for months in advance (the other being Valentine's Day). But dressing up for Halloween, for me, always meant the possibility of more fat shaming. I didn't want people to look at me and think that I was the "fat version" of whatever I as trying to be. So I never dressed up. This year, with my new attitude and weight loss, I plunged into the lost art of creating the perfect costume. It had to be Disney (natch) had to be relatively had to be completely fabulous. There was only one obvious answer: Mary Poppins.

A rare full-body shot that I'm actually happy with!
As a kid, I loved the film, but honestly, I tended to lose interest after the part where everyone jumps into the chalk drawing. That was my favorite part—those penguins! The colors! Mary's beautiful dress! But I knew that Mary would be the perfect costume, so I set out scouring the internet to buy accessories (my plain black hat which I later decorated, white gloves, a bow tie) and picked up some other elements from good ol' Old Navy, purveyor of fine articles likely made by slave children in Cambodia. When my costume came together, I was excited to debut my look at the park.

On the evening of the party, I put the whole outfit on for the first time, and was really pleased with how it turned out. Once inside the park, I saw a few people dressed up like Mary Poppins (but I thought I looked the best, of course). The best part of the evening came as I met up with a friend of mine in the middle of the park. He and I hadn't seen each other in a while, and were planning on spending most of the party hanging out and catching up. After we hugged and exchanged greetings, I noticed a Disneyland employee standing (quite literally) right next to us, watching us. Just standing there. No talking. It was very awkward. She was a sidler. Like that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine works with a guy that sidles up to her silently and scares the shit out of her, so she gives him a box of Tic-Tacs to carry in his pocket so she can hear him coming. When I turned to the cast member and asked if I could help her with something (I may have been a smidge bitchy, but hey, I could write it off as part of the Mary Poppins character), she hit me with the following:

"Um, yeah, I was just wondering, you have a great costume, and I was wondering if you'd like to be in our Halloween parade tonight. I've been on the lookout for some of the best costumes of the night, and yours is really fantastic."

Wait, what? Come again?

Our 10:30pm parade cavalcade group!
I was shocked. Of course, I agreed, and was scheduled to be in the parade at 10:30pm that night. The best part, though, was the realization that here I had been scared to dress up for Halloween for the past 7 years. Afraid of how I would look. Ashamed of my body and the thought of being a laughing stock. And once I finally faced that fear, and embraced a costume, not only did I feel great, but I was chosen out of hundreds of people to be one of nine people in a parade cavalcade in my most favorite place on Earth. Now that's pretty cool.

Needless to say, being a part of the parade was an absolute blast. I felt like a celebrity. We got to see the backstage area and watch the dancers prepare and the floats get ready. I smiled and waved at children on the parade route that had no fucking clue who I was supposed to be (RESPECT THE CLASSICS, MAN). The cast member in charge of wrangling all of us told us that Disneyland hadn't asked guests to be part of a parade in over 10 years. Even cooler.
View of the parade route from the vintage fire truck.

Besides learning the lesson that, despite their comfortable and matronly appearance, heeled Oxford shoes are NOT a pleasure to be in for 5 hours straight, I realized that taking chances and putting yourself out there—challenging yourself to go out of your comfort zone—is incredibly, ridiculously important. It's a lesson that I've really been enjoying during my whole post-weight loss surgery process, but it's special situations like the Disneyland parade that really reinforce that I'm on the right path. You'll never know what you're missing out on if you don't take chances. At least, that's what I would imagine Mary Poppins telling me.


  1. Yay! I love this story :) You're costume kicked butt. I am so proud *sniff*

  2. What an awesome story and a dream come true! So happy for you! Also, you look amazing...and I'm not just talking about your costume!