I have to admit that once I was too old to go trick or treating, I lost interest in Halloween altogether. As adults, it seemed that the day turned into an excuse to either act like an asshole or dress like a slut. Yet, two years ago, I once again found myself excited about Halloween. At the time I had the pleasure of working with several people I considered (and still consider) good friends, and our workplace encouraged wearing costumes to the office. There was also a costume contest, which was much more competitive than I expected, considering the prize was a tacky trophy, which the winner would proudly display until the following year’s winner was chosen. The excitement of Halloween was contagious, and before I knew it, my boyfriend and I were plotting a couple’s costume.
The costume came together rather quickly after I spotted a cow suit on a costume-seeking trip to Goodwill. I should probably back up and tell you that I love cows. I had never spent much time around these gentle creatures, but once surrounded by them during six months spent in India, I grew to adore them.
I should also mention that when I adopted Marley six years ago, I adopted another cat. While perusing the Oregon Humane Society’s website, I spotted Marley (then named Squiggle…I’m not kidding) and instantly fell in love with his blue eyes. Imagine my surprise when I saw a note indicating that he was part of a bonded pair that must be adopted together. The other cat’s name? Cow! I knew it was meant to be and adopted them both the very next day. Cow, much like his name would imply, was a big, black and white cat with an even bigger personality. He acted very much like the cows in India, who knew they could get away with anything because they were worshipped. Some might say I worshipped Cow. He and I instantly connected in a way that I have never experienced with an animal. Many people called him a “mama’s boy” because when I was in the room, it was like no one else existed. I adored him with all my heart, which I can honestly say was broken when his life was suddenly cut short. It is his paw prints that I have tattooed on the inside of my wrists, something I did shortly after his death when my grief was utterly unbearable. I digress; the point is that at the time I spied this costume, I was a cow-loving lady with a cat named Cow.
And, the final part of this background story: shortly before Halloween, there was a flurry of e-mails in my office about purchasing a cow from a local farm and splitting the meat. In fact, the subject of one of those e-mails was “Happy Cow”. That didn’t quite sit well with me, a cow lover, as well as a longtime vegetarian, so I crafted a reply to the entire office letting them all know as much. My direct communication precipitated a slew of apologies communicated via e-mail, cards, and even gifts of cow figurines. Needless to say, I did not receive any e-mails regarding the purchase of a so-called “happy cow” after that day.
It is only now that I think I have accurately conveyed the hilarity, not only of wearing this costume to my office’s costume party, but also winning the costume contest! My boyfriend and I actually thought we were toeing a fine line when we decided to go ahead with the costume, as many people were still slightly afraid to mention beef or cows around me, so you can only imagine our surprise when we were voted the winners! We celebrated our victory at one of our favorite bars, surrounded by close friends. The evening ended just as hilariously when I stumbled out of the bar as a cow in very high heels and attempted to hail a cab, which upon closer inspection turned out to be a pizza delivery car. No cabs in sight, the cow and butcher caught the next bus, and much to my embarrassment, my rather intoxicated boyfriend/butcher tried to sell brisket to everyone on the bus.