New social situations can be more fraught than a costume party. What if you’re the only person who dresses up? What if you’re the only one who doesn’t? Misjudge a theme and your costume becomes a prison of your own making for the next three hours, or 90 minutes, or however long you can bear to stick it out.
No image better represents the stakes than that tweeted by LA-based screenwriter Katie Dippold: “[Throwback to] Hallowe’en when I dressed as the Babadook but my friend’s house had more of a grown-ups drinking wine vibe.”
Her haunted middle-distance stare and the slight clench to her jaw betray her excruciating internal dialogue: I’ve made a huge mistake.