heidi montag, outside costume shop
November 1, 2008
whore or madonna? that had been heidi’s totally serious halloween dilemma in the costume store, whore or madonna, madonna or whore, etc. etc. oh god, decisions. heidi hated making decisions for a lot of reasons but mostly because they closed off possibilities, because really if you thought about it decisions killed possibilities, choosing one choice over another was like murdering possible good things that could happen in the future. it was kind of like abortion in that way, which heidi was also against, anti-choice, those pictures they showed her and spencer at the private meeting in the dark room, they projected them up on the wall, oh god, the little hands and fingers floating over the wall like ghosts. she had started crying then, which she had not expected, she had not expected that the meeting would cause tears and she had not planned her make-up accordingly. normally she knew when she was going to cry because it was on the sides for that day and so she could plan for it, she could be ready for it, but these tears had come out of her eyes naturally, like sweat that hurt, and in the dark spencer had grabbed her and held her and said, “it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay,” like a boyfriend in a movie.
but spencer wasn’t here at the costume store and she was in charge and that was good because spencer had chosen their costumes last year and was a real butt about it and that was a bad time in their relationship and she didn’t want to go back there. heidi didn’t believe in the past, she believed in the future, she believed in possibilities, she believed in all her future wishes that hadn’t yet been granted. standing in the aisle, freaking out at all the different possible choices, she had done her breathing like she saw on TV yoga, in, out, in, out, in, out. she had reassured herself that she didn’t have to worry about this decision because it wasn’t like this was her main costume (barbie, which she had done badly in seventh grade but which she hadn’t been confident enough to do again until the surgery) or even her secondary costume (sarah palin but really respectful and totally not ironic like everybody else well maybe a little ironic but not totally), no, this was her third costume, which was really not even that important, not at all.
it was still kind of important, though, of course, sort of important or maybe even probably very important because, in truth, halloween was heidi’s secret favorite holiday, the one she privately loved more than all the others. she would never say that out loud, she would always say that easter was her favorite holiday because of jesus and how all the eggs reminded her of babies and like the really cute easter dresses you could wear but really that was just her outside favorite, the one she told people. halloween was her real favorite, her inside favorite. sometimes she wondered if jesus was mad at her for not picking one of his holidays as her secret favorite. she wondered if jesus could be mad at her for having thoughts that weren’t perfect and christian and good and right, if it could be like “minority report” where he could tell the things she was thinking right when she was thinking them and watch them like on a TV screen in heaven. heidi knew that she wouldn’t go to hell for secretly loving halloween, she knew jesus died for her to be able to have halloween as her secret favorite holiday if that’s what she wanted, but what she wondered was if jesus would be personally annoyed or angry with her for not picking the right holiday. she wondered if when she got up to heaven and met him on like a cloud or by a pearly gate or something if he would be like her mom and sigh really deep and say, “i’m not mad, heidi, i’m just…disappointed.”
halloween was heidi’s secret favorite holiday because halloween was a time when you were allowed to try to make everyone pay attention to you and look at you and love you. if you did this other times of the year it made you a whore, an attention whore, god how many times had she heard that, how many times had she cried, in the shower so you couldn’t count the tears. but on halloween it was okay to be a whore, it was encouraged, it was celebrated, there were costume packages, like the costume package she had been thinking about buying, that were labeled “whore,” and lots of girls were buying them and dressing up as whores and it was okay and everyone loved them for it.
she thought halloween was really like a christian holiday because it was a day that everyone could be loved, even ugly and fat people, all of the whole of everyone. the only thing you had to do to be loved was to dress up in a costume, which was heidi’s other favorite thing about halloween, the costumes. obviously she had always loved dressing up, of course, who didn’t, but what she liked about everybody wearing costumes was that everybody was real and not real at the same time. this was complicated in an algebra kind of way but really important. like, everybody was wearing costumes, so everybody was like fake, like not real. but at the same time, you could almost always see through their costumes to the person they were inside, you could see parts of them, their eyes or nose or their tattoos, you could see the real them. and even if maybe they were wearing a big rubber mask or something and you couldn’t see their bodies, you still could see the real them, because on their outsides they were wearing their real inside fantasies, their secret dreams. heidi thought that wearing halloween costumes was like having your inside parts and your outside parts all confused and mashed up, kind of like those skeleton costumes where people have their bones on the outside of their bodies. heidi felt like this kind of all of the time, all mashed up and inside and out at the same time, and so she loved halloween because everybody was the same as her for one day, she wasn’t alone anymore.
but at the same time picking her costume was also so stressful, so completely anxietyful and hard. heidi looked at the wall of halloween costumes, all of them hanging in plastic bags, hundreds probably. each one held the future, she thought, each bag was full of possibilities and if you picked the wrong bag you would get the wrong future and all the other possible futures would die and fall away and you would be ruined forever. she had narrowed it down to two choices, whore or madonna, madonna or whore, but it was still so hard. she had always loved madonna, madonna was her favorite singer, her icon, her role model. but the thing was her favorite madonna was “like a virgin” madonna and the madonna costume they had was “vogue” madonna and even though that was okay it wasn’t her favorite.
and then the whore costume was very flattering, would really show off her body which she was proud of, which she worked so hard on and wanted people to see and be impressed by, but at the same time it was kind of regular and there would probably be a lot of girls with the same costume and even though heidi would look better than all of them, she still wasn’t sure about it. it was so hard, choosing.
and she really just didn’t know what to do, she had been standing there a while, looking, and so in the middle of the aisle she had finally closed her eyes and asked god which costume she should pick, if he would please, please tell her so she could make the right decision. before she could even finish asking, she saw a picture of herself inside her head and in the picture she was wearing the whore costume and she looked beautiful and there was light all around her, perfect soft white light, clean like soap. she had opened her eyes and pulled the whore costume off of the wall and it felt perfect, the weight of it was just right in her hands, and holding it she had had the right feeling in her stomach and the right feeling in her heart and the right feeling all the way down to her toes, she was right, it was right, everything in the world was right. she had made her choice and it was the right one and there would be so many amazing possibilities that could happen in the future because of it. she would be a whore and everyone would love her and everything would be alright.