Thursday, November 05, 2009


As in "I know you all, dear blog readers, are pulling your hair out to know the outcome of last Friday's costume contest."

There were about ten of us participating. Sometimes it draws a bigger crowd, it felt rather small this year. We had people as celebrities, people as puns (two people as the same pun, even!), people in cheap store-bought things, and one person in an unbelievably impressive latex mask.

But, the important one, as you might imagine, was this one (taken on the office camera):

Yes, my forty-some hours in front of the sewing machine yielded top prize! Huzzah with me: Huzzah! And the top prize, by the way, is a free day off with pay. If anything, I thought that troll-like mask would win. It was something to see. She got a runner-up, though.

Do you know what this means, friends? It means that, after years of working hard and trying to express my creative side with costumes, I feel my effort, time, attention to detail, and all of that other stuff have finally been recognized. Nineteen hours of gluing sequins to a pair of red shoes wasn't impressive. Painting my skin blue with eye shadow wasn't impressive. Painting my friend as Darth Maul wasn't impressive (that would have counted as my win, it was my work!). Before this day, I had never won a single costume contest. Not one.

Granted, two years ago, Fyrecreek as The Phantom got written in and took home the People's Choice award (a $25 gift card to Walmart, the land of almost anything you can possibly want. I think I bought a video game, but I digress). It wasn't really winning the contest because I didn't enter it, but I think that little victory is what gave me the nerve to enter it this year. Maybe judging standards were changing. In fact, there were people on the judging panel two years ago who said they volunteered to do it because they knew I was going to make something great and wanted to bring some quality to the people who win these things.

So, what does this mean for my future costume endeavors? I don't know. I'm still going to put everything I have into future costumes, that's just the way I build costumes. I have no plan for next year's costume yet, but there's plenty of time for that. I have a feeling they may try to vary who wins from year to year. With this in mind, one of two things will happen. I will enter with whatever fabulous costume I make and be expecting to not win, or I won't enter because I don't need to win. I didn't enter when I needed to win, you see, so now that I don't, it doesn't really matter.

Maybe that kind of recognition was a silly goal. But, it was my goal nonetheless (almost to the point of obsession, I admit it). I'm still baffled as to why it was so elusive! But, I've accomplished it now. I've finally gotten what I've wanted since at least college when I really started to exercise my costuming skills. It's a nice feeling!

Now, gentle readers, you won't believe this.

Enter Monday. WAM entered the costume contest too. She had a Renaissance wench outfit. It was commercially made of thin velour and she liked to tell people that she found it on sale ($8 marked down from $50). She had a huge problem with me winning the contest, which she expressed to at least three people, but probably more. I say at least three because those were the people who told me about it.

One of the reasons I should not have won was because I talked up the judges. I did speak with the judges. I went over to their table because it was the only one that that the candy I wanted on it. I snatched it up and spun around, intending to quickly walk away. One of them asked me a question (probably "So, you made that?" or something like that, I don't really remember) so I turned back around and answered their questions. I think part of what impressed them was that I had a character, not just a costume. A character who was scanning other contestants with her tricorder and keeping in touch with her ship via the communicator! Haha!

Another reason I should not have won was because my costume looked good, but it wasn't original. "If you've seen one Star Trek costume, you've seen them all," as reported by one of the judges who she complained to. He told me he responded with "you know she made that, right?" But, making your costume is immaterial to she who buys, I guess. "Between you and me," he told me later, "she wasn't even on the radar. If it wasn't you, it still would not have been her." That felt good.

Another reason I should not have won was because two of the judges knew me personally so they were just playing favorites. Pat was the recipient of that comment, and he told me he was on the verge of telling her to shut up, saying that I won because I worked hard, put effort into it, and deserved to be recognized for it. Humph!

WAM even tried to tell me that I shouldn't have won. She said it in a roundabout way, "I didn't think you would win," but I managed to avoid getting into that by saying I thought the mask was awesome.

Sure, I've been bitter about losing costume contests before, but only when I felt they really were not deserved. A purchased costume is low on my list of awardable costumes. I like to see others doing the things I strive for myself: creativity, effort, even a passion for it. Besides, my bitterness has never been to bash the winners to people around the office, but to just not enter next time. We'll have to see what next year will bring.


Anonymous said...

Your costume looks amazing! I'm very glad you won, it sounds like you deserved it. I'm very sorry that one bitter apple tainted your pie. Congratulations on a well deserved victory.


Fyrecreek said...

Zillah! I haven't heard from you in a while! Thank you! I hope you're well!

Anonymous said...

I'm very well, living in Canada now, I gave in to my heart and went to live with the guy I mentioned on the forums before they closed. Inyanna gave me the link to your blog, I've enjoyed keeping up to date with whats going on with you.