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Eric sat dejectedly, staring at what looked like two painted cardboard with necklaces glued to each of them. He knew his annoyance wasn’t fair, but he had been looking forward to this costume for weeks. Ever since he had watched the Kanye West and Lil Pump music video, he knew what he would be for Halloween. He had immediately dropped a screenshot in his group chat, letting his friends know that he called dibs, as if any of them had given any thought towards a couples costume.
“Uhh, all yours bro.” Jack had replied, before continuing the never-ending argument about whether Tom Brady or Joe Montana was “the GOAT.” The debate had raged on for the last four years, and it appeared it would continue until they all died of old age. Eric, however, had different things on his mind. Halloween had been his favorite holiday since he was a kid. He had loved trick-or-treating as a child, the obnoxious pranks as a teenager, and the wild parties in college. And now, in his twenties, he was looking forward to the costumes. Gone were the days of his parents dressing him in hand-me-down knockoffs. Gone were the days of tossing a throwback Larry Bird jersey on and calling it a costume. He was an adult now. He had the time and money to make an outfit he could be proud of. And he was coming for his work’s costume contest with a vengeance.
However, there had been some snags. Despite all his excitement in early September, over the next few weeks Eric had completely forgotten about Halloween. He had been swamped with several projects at work, and had his mind occupied with more pressing matters. Still, he figured, come mid-October, someone would create the costumes he wanted, and he’d be able to order them. The internet had always been there for him. He was prepared to spend the money. What he was not prepared for was the fact that, apparently, he was a costume genius. At least, that was the only reason he could think of to explain the fact that not one single store or website was selling Kanye and Lil Pump costumes.
“Seriously?” He had yelled at his computer in frustration. “There’s twenty different Taylor Swift costumes but not one of the greatest artist of our generation? And it’s the fucking 21st already. Everything else is sold out. Goddamn it.” He had vented to Alyssa, letting her know that, sadly, his costume genius would not be realized this year, and they would have to go as something lame and overdone, like Steve and Eleven from the Stranger Things.
“What about all these DIY tutorial videos?” She had asked. “All it takes is some cardboard and cloth. I could probably put these together in time for the contest.” And just like that, she was his savior. He had wrapped her in a hug, told her how much he loved her, and looked forward to the 31st, secure in the knowledge that they were going to crush the costume contest.
Or at least that’s what he thought, until he showed up to Alyssa’s apartment an in preparation of heading to his work party. His excitement turned to disappointment as he saw the two costumes sitting on her kitchen table. “What do you think?” Alyssa asked him eagerly, before seeing the expression on his face. “What?”
“I don’t know, babe. Do they look like the costumes from the music video to you?” He attempted to hide his discontentment, but it was written all over his face. Alyssa looked at him with shock and annoyance. “They look pretty close to me.” She said flatly. “And I spent the last week making them for you, so I don’t understand your attitude right now.”
Eric ran his hands through his hair and muttered. “I’m not trying to give any attitude, I just thought you said you could make them like the video, and –“ He was cut off immediately.
“Excuse me?” Alyssa said loudly. “I worked my ass off making these costumes because it was important to you and now you’re telling me they don’t look good enough for you? If you have such high standards, why didn’t you make them yourself?”
Eric took a deep breath and replied. “I appreciate your hard work. I’m just disappointed that they don’t look like the ones in the music video.” Alyssa stared at him, eyes wide with anger. She, too, took a deep breath before responding in measured tones. “Well, if you’re too good to be seen in the costumes I slaved over, you are welcome to go in your street clothes. I’m sure Tom would be happy to take your place as Lil Pump. I spent too much time making these to not wear it in the contest.”
Eric blinked in shock. “Wait, do you think you’re going as Kanye? That’s – whatever, not the point. No, I want to wear the costume.” He forced himself to calm down. He knew he was being irrational and grumpy. The fact that his girlfriend has spent her time and energy on an elaborate costume that he wanted was amazing, despite how it turned out. He reached for her hands as he spoke.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to undermine all the work you’ve done. I really appreciate it. And I love the costumes. I just put too much pressure on Halloween and the contest. The prize is only, like, a $100 gift card to Outback Steakhouse. Let’s get these costumes on and enjoy the party!”
Alyssa sighed with annoyance, clearly not very moved by his speech. “Great. Thanks. I’m gonna finish up my makeup and stuff.” She walked down the hall, only turn halfway for one last parting shot. “Oh and by the way, I’m going as Kanye. There are stick-on face tats for you on the table, Lil Pump.”