How I Didn't Dress Like a Hooker on Halloween And Still Got Propositioned -- Sorta

I remained Halloween’s committed sycophant until my 28th year, when our love affair abruptly ended on the subway after a gay man called me a "hooker."

Oct 19, 2011 at 3:00pm | Leave a comment

I’ve had a long-standing love affair with Halloween. The night always seems to hold such promise and possibility. Traipsing about in the cool evening air in all your ghoulish finery. The fear of “The Thriller” lurking around every darkened corner. I carried my love of All Hallows Eve well into adulthood. Granted, the focus had shifted from the gathering of candy to the baring of breasts.

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In a stroke of costume genius, I’d decided to dress as my sorority sister, Tosin. Tosin was everything I wasn’t. She was tall and lean, where at five-foot-two I was rather defeated and stocky. My hair was cut short and Tosin had, overnight, acquired a waterfall of Remy 1B tumbling down her shoulders. I confined any efforts at makeup application to a strict regimen of eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss; Tosin was the envy of any seasoned MAC counter girl.

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But the greatest distinction lay in our respective styles of dress. I was almost exclusively in J. Crew skirts and Anthropologie sweaters. But Tosin? Tosin was a fashion icon who took every risk available, each new ensemble more daring than the last.

So I was Tosin. I found a green silk sweetheart-necked dress from Banana Republic and pinned the hem so it fell mid-thigh. Under it I threw a pair of skinny Sevens that I topped with four-inch leather boots. Giant gold hoops hung from my earlobes, occasionally getting caught in the curly hair piece that gathered at my shoulders. My lips were highly glossed machines of kiss destruction. And I was a hit! Men, unaware of the ruse (and perhaps thinking the look actually mine) loved it.

At night’s end, I sat awaiting the Red Line train, smiling smugly to no one in particular, congratulating myself on my rare bout of creativity. That's when I saw him, a man gesturing wildling in my periphery, frantically mouthing something.

Concerned, I took out my headphones to address what looked to be a middle-aged Mexican man in glasses seated to my left.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t hear you. What were you saying?”

He sulked in a way I thought no grown man should, before spitting out, “I said stooooooop! Stooppppppp! It’s horrible! It’s horrible! Stooopppp!”

“I’m sorry?” I couldn’t for the life of me think of what I’d done to offend him so. “Stop what?”

He pouted once more. “The gum! It’s horrible! It’s horrible! Stoppppp!”

Apparently, my rapid-fire gum chewing, and yes, I suppose, gum popping, had upset him. So I apologized. “I’m so sorry. I’ll spit it out.” And I did. Deciding I’d obviously righted the wrong, I attempted to put my headphones back on, but my seatmate wasn’t placated.

He’d moved further away to put sufficient space between us, and loathingly looked at me. “It’s horrible! Horrible!” I was getting irritated.

“I said I was sorry. I spit it out.”

“I’m not interested, you know,” he said, bitterly. I sighed, wondering how a perfectly good night could go to hell so unexpectedly.

“Not interested in what, Sir?” I asked, knowing I’d immediately regret my curiosity.

“In you,” he said, almost scoffing. He looked around, then brought his tone to barely a whisper, “A hooker.”

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I reeled back as if struck. “What makes you think I’m a hooker?” I asked, excitedly. “I’m NOT a hooker.” Annoyed by my outburst, he casually flipped his hand toward me as if to indicate “All of this you got on.” I was hysterical. “I am NOT a hooker! I’m NOT a hooker!” I repeated, starting to draw stares from passersby. “I’m a lawyer! I’m dressed up! For Halloween!”

“Whatever,” he responded dismissively waving me away. “Look, I’m just not interested, OK?” He looked around quickly, lowered his head and narrowed his eyes. “I’m gay.”

I couldn’t believe this was happening. “Fine. OK. Fine,” I said, wanting to be done with it all. “You know,” he said, making a show of dangling his wrist effeminately in my direction. “Gay.”

 I looked at him, not quite knowing how to react. “O—K. I get it.”

“You know,” he repeated, inclining his head toward the handsome blonde man sitting beside him, “Gay.”

“Sir,” I was almost at my breaking point, “I understand you.”

“Yes,” he replied. But just when I thought this insane exchange was over, and we’d finally seen eye to eye, he concluded for the umpteenth time, “Gay.” He then made it a point to demonstrate “gay” once again by forming his left hand into a closed fist, and simulating a blow job with his mouth. “Gayyyy.”

I returned my headphones to my ears, stood up, and abruptly walked away.

The next day when I relayed the story to Tosin, she, too, was filled with horror. Over and over, she muttered the same refrain, “But I don’t dress like a whore!”

“There, there,” I cooed. “I know you don’t. But somewhere out there on the metro someone begs to differ.”

Posted in Fun, halloween, hookers