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By Heather Maidat

When I was little, Halloween was all about the bag of candy. After outgrowing trick-or-treating, I thought it was about being clever. Now I think it's about getting laid.

Still in the clever stage, sometime after college, I made my own costume. I'm not proud of this even though at the time I was: I went as the last Von Trapp child in the Sound Of Music to get the outfit Maria made out of the curtains. So, as if Maria ran out of material except for the scraps, I made a jumper-like dress with curtain rings and the rod attached to it.

I don't know where the idea came from. I had not yet seen Carol Burnett's infamous Gone With the Wind curtain-rod outfit take off, I'm not a big fan of musicals, and I don't know how to make clothes. But like that old woman who lifted a car to save her grandchild, I was so inspired by the idea I suddenly knew where to buy material and sewed like an expert seamstress. I braided my hair above my head and made my cheeks really pink. That night I won for Original Costume and took home a prize of a Playdoh

But something was missing. Something inside me knew Playdoh wasn't the ultimate win (although it is close.) I wondered why none of the boys there flirted with me, why no one wanted to take home the clever-est girl in the room.

Then I got the pictures. Not only did I look ridiculous, I was standing next to an adorable girl dressed as a cute cat.

The next year for Halloween I went as a Newsy from the '40s. I wore a plaid cap and brown pleated pants. I made my own headlines, "Slow News Day" on the Post above Winona Ryder's picture, and "Fear Sells" glued to the Daily News. And to anyone who asked the dreaded Halloween question: "What are you?" which suggests that I failed at being who I was pretending to be, I'd offer a full-on performance calling "Extra! Extra!"

"Ohh," men would realize and get it. They would smile. And then they would go talk about my clever costume to this year's girl dressed as a cute cat.

Some friends had gone to a different party that year as male fantasies: a cheerleader, a catholic school girl and a girl scout, and had a great time. If this is the one day of the year I can be anyone I want, I thought, why am I going as someone who doesn't get hit on?

The next year I decided to go as Daphne from Scooby Doo figuring that being a male animation fantasy was even more interesting than a real fantasy. I found a velvet purple dress and stapled pink ribbon to the edges. I tied a green scarf around my neck and sprayed my hair orange. I was almost shy about how many boys might not know what to do with themselves.

Everyone thought I was an Irish Step Dancer. And guess what. No one hits on an Irish Step Dancer.

Later I saw the photos. This time I am standing next to a "Nurse" wearing a tiny dress, fishnets, a blond wig and an oversized syringe. I looked worse than an Irish step dancer. I looked like Ronald McDonald with Grimace's purple body. A Happy Meal with a green scarf tied around its neck.

Instead of asking myself "What are you gonna be for Halloween?" I should have been asking myself, "What is this need to get laid on Halloween?" As if I don't have the need any other day of the year. As if this is my only chance.

What am I gonna be for Halloween? How about someone who misses the innocence of trick-or-treating and my mom checking the candy for blades? Maybe the need to bring home a man on Halloween is just the result of years of bringing home the spoils of a big yummy bag of candy. This is just the adult version.

The next Halloween I was determined to be a straight-on male fantasy. I got the idea from the retro Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels" video. Male friends agreed the idea was a solid fantasy. One friend even gave it a name: "Sexy Librarian." I wore glasses, put my hair up with a pencil, wore a mini skirt and pinned a library ID card on my sweater. I carried a book called The One Hour Orgasm. I stepped out of my apartment and before I even got to the corner to catch a cab, two men asked, "What are you?"

Suddenly "What are you?" felt like a pick up line. My costume was working.

At the party, men asked what my book, The One Hour Orgasm, said. I wasn't prepared for that. I honestly didn't know. In real life one time I started to read The One Hour Orgasm and had a One Hour cry because I didn't have anyone to try the stupid thing with. I'm sure saying that as an answer would have gotten me laid but I'm just a nerd in sexy-librarian clothing so, instead, I snuck peeks at the book to cram between drinks so I'd have a legitimate answer.

By the end of that night I was slow dancing with a guy and it was a match made in Halloween Heaven. Me, a male-fantasy character from an '80s music video, him dressed up as a member of a made-up failed '80s band. The friend that brought me wanted to leave because a man who was dressed as a lactating woman and could squirt milk from his breasts was following her around. Failed '80s band guy didn't want me to leave. This was the moment I'd been waiting for every October 31st. But when the opportunity was finally here I got scared. This was the tricky part of the treat. Who was he under the costume and the make up? Why did I care? If I were really the fantasy I was pretending to be I'd have no problem with this. I'd recklessly yank out the pencil, giving way to long voluminous VO5 hair, fling my glasses off and have crazy sex with him against the card catalogue. But I couldn't even live up to a standard I had created. I was sure of who this sexy librarian was and she was way cooler than me. I told him I had to leave. He took my number and kissed me. It was delicious.

When he called the next evening and said, "Get down here already," I decided I could be as reckless as the sexy librarian. I popped in my contacts, wore my best underwear underneath jeans and a t-shirt and met him downtown at a bar. Would we recognize each other without our alter-egos? I was glad the guy I thought might be him was him. He was even hotter without the make up and I was geared up to carry off the sexy sophistication of someone who'd actually read The One Hour Orgasm. He said, "Where are your glasses?" He said he liked the glasses. He missed the glasses. He missed the "whole look." Later that night he said he had a headache and when a guy uses a cliché excuse housewives have made public since the '50s, it makes the whole thing even more depressing.

What a trick.

So here it is -- another Halloween and I'm thinking maybe it's my fantasy to be a male fantasy. Maybe I want to be the cute cat or the sexy anything but I'm really the girl who gets excited by an odd idea and will print and glue and staple for no other reason than because it's silly. And maybe the real hope is that winning a prize for being original, the hardest kind of thing to be, will turn some guy on.

What a treat that would be.

So… what am I gonna be for Halloween?

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