The party was in the Legend's Room at the Gabba (a cricket and Australian Rules Football stadium). To go along with the theme of the room, people were invited to dress up as a "legend".
Unfortunately, what exactly constituted a "legend" was left somewhat vague. That scared me. Was it supposed to be an Australian legend, a sporting legend, a Hollywood legend? What definition were they basing this on? My husband was no help.
I decided to put that question into cyberspace - hoping to find an idea that was original, do-able, and not lame.
My initial search came up with an Australian nursing legend - Elizabeth Kenny. She gained worldwide recognition for her treatment of polio patients. "Great!" I thought, "I can dress up as a nurse". My creative mind starting whirring - thinking about how Paul could dress up as one of the Flying Outback doctors. I even contemplated building him his own cardboard plane to wear.
But reality and a few problems set in. First, just try to find a "nurse's" costume that's appropriate for a work function. Not easy! I was not willing to go as Elizabeth Kenny the "naughty nurse!" Also, Paul didn't like the idea of everyone calling him a "bush" doctor all night. (I won't go there). And finally, I was worried that my idea might be a little too "cerebral" for a party. Based on the fact that the best costumes of the night ended up being Amy Winehouse, Shrek, and The Duffman (from the Simpson's), I was probably right. I'm sure we would've had to explain what Australian legends we were to all the Australians!
After that, there were other brainstorming ideas - Sonny and Cher, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, Anthony and Cleopatra. None seemed that appealing. I was beginning to wonder if whoever came up with the costume idea was part of a conspiracy to stop me from buying a new party dress!
I asked Paul what he wanted to wear. His only requirement was that he wanted to a costume that wouldn't be too hot to wear in 30C heat. And, he preferred a costume that involved shorts. Instantly the khaki short/shorts wearing Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, came to mind! So instead of heading out to buy my fancy dress, I stopped at the Australian Zoo gift shop and bought us some khaki shirts and name tags. Paul assumed that I'd come as Steve's wife, Terri. While I'm sure Terri is a nice person, she's not that well liked in Australia and frankly, she kind of wears "mom jeans". You know - the ones that button up under your boobs. So, in the end, it was my vanity, my inner need to be loved, and the opportunity to crimp my hair that led me to iron on Steve's daughter Bindi's name tag to my shirt! I became "Bindi the Jungle Girl".
Once we got to the party I found out that there was in fact an option NOT to dress up. So, probably 75% of the women there were NOT wearing costumes. They were wearing party dresses, not snakes, and carrying beaded purses, not a blow-up crocodile! My husband failed to forward THAT email to me!
So while I missed the chance to glam up, we did have lots of fun, were only slightly creeped out by the "who's your daddy comments," and didn't once have to explain who were were dressed up as. I was even excited to come home with one of the decorations.
So - when you come visit us in Australia - for a small fee - you too can have your picture taken with Steve Irwin! And Bindi too - if you're lucky!!