The best way to catch up with long-lost friends is to attend a costume party. Well, for me, anyway.
My university friends Veronica Beckman and Tim Baker have been hosting an annual 1980s party every Labor Day Weekend for the last nine years in Saugatuck, Michigan, where Veronica’s extended family own summer homes.
To mark the American close of summer, all the cool people in Chicago decamp to this resort town on the shores of Lake Michigan for a serious party. And serious costumes, the best of which wins a prize – and the chance to have one’s name engraved on a Rubiks Cube-shaped trophy.
It seems like Tim or this guy Jason take the prize most years.
This year did not disappoint. Tim, who gets top DJ billing, and a friend of his went as the Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd characters in ‘Trading Places’, a 1983 movie about the accidental changing of luck for a conman and trader. So Tim made his entrance as conman posing as disabled homeless man, while the other guy was in a suit. By the end of the party, Tim was in the suit and the other guy was in a Santa costume.
Other top costumes: Jason, as a Rubiks Cube that actually turned, a literal interpretation of ‘99 Red Balloons’ and my girl Tia (Breakin’, complete with boombox and Jheri curl!!). Veronica, for her part, is the only mother I know who can pull off a purple dress borrowed from a friend’s former swinging aunt.
I wanted to go as Cyndi Lauper but couldn’t find colored hairspray anywhere, so ended up as a Molly Ringwald-esque 80s girl dressed in pink, pink and more pink. Thanks, Ingrid for the backcomb and amazing metallic make-up!
Daniel, extremely kindly, stayed home with the girls so I could go to the party – THANK YOU - despite having his own amazing costume ready to go. Luckily, he can save it for Halloween.
Please see my profile on Facebook for a full range of hilarious photos…
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.