Life Lesson 7,245:
If you’re a grown woman and your boss asks you what you’re going to dress up as for Halloween, do not say “a stegosaurus.” Just say “dinosaur.” Your specificity will undermine your professional adulthood.
I have a problem. It’s called “terminal honesty.” This is probably the result of being a chronic liar in the sixth grade.
Parents: “Daughter, did you do your homework?”
Me: “Yes, absolutely, loving parents. I have completely mastered long division”
Three Days Later, post parent-teacher conference
Parents: “Daughter, you have apparently not done homework for three months.”
Me: “…Oh. I thought you were talking about my homework four months ago. I did that homework. Were you talking about recent homework?”
The disappointment in my parents’ eyes eventually (it took awhile) guilt-ed the devious liar-ness out of me. And resulted in my horrendous honesty in the face of nearly everyone, including my overly normal employers.
Out at lunch yesterday, we were discussing my coworkers’ many children and Halloween. As the only employee in this group who hasn’t made any tiny people, I tried to avoid any awkward participation in this conversation. Until all eyes turned to me, anticipating my contribution of Halloween plans.
Devoid of children of my own to draw attention away from my inner child (who escapes often), I maintained my aura of expert cool by mentioning that I’m attending a party at a local art studio. (Sounds cool, right? Yeah, we’ll just skip over the fact that this is also the place where I go to watch movies like “Sharknado” and “Laser Blast.”)
“Oh?” said my boss. “What are you going to dress as? It must be a costume party.”
“Oh, I’m going as a stegosaurus. I made the costume this past weekend.” I replied.
And then, as the expressions of my boss and coworkers changed into frozen smiles, I realized something.
- It’s unacceptable to be a grown woman who dresses as a dinosaur for Halloween
- “Stegosaurus” is a really specific dinosaur for a grown woman to mention. This would only be eclipsed by something like “ankylosaurus,” but in your 20s, it is not socially normal for a non-archaeologist to differentiate dinosaurs.
- Adults do not make their own costumes. This implies too much dedication to dressing up.
- It’s always safer to say “a witch.”