Tropical Attire Encouraged

A friend of mine has been texting me nonstop today to find out if I'm going to a Tiki party tonight. Clearly he doesn't know me well. If there's one thing I don't like it's a good time and if there's another, it's a costume party that demands skimpy attire, which is the only kind of costume party there is.

Can't we have some kind of "warm your tootsies by the fire" snow party where you're encouraged to come dressed as your favorite avalanche survivor?

Who are these people longing for a chance to take it all off? It's currently summer in Los Angeles. How many more pieces can be removed before we're just naked?

I realize I sound like an awful prude, and that isn't it at all. I'm very liberated in spirit. I'm just not liberated in wardrobe. I'm all for being as free as you want. I just don't want to have to join in because I have a mind made for fast living and a body made for Norway. Is it cold in Norway? You get what I'm saying.

Have you ever seen one of those eggs where the shell doesn't form and harden all the way for some reason so it's kind of pinkish and soft and translucent? You might need to have spent significant time with an egg-laying chicken or duck, which I have, long story, to know what I'm talking about. But anyway, that's the color of my skin: deformed eggshell.

And I'm wobbly and squishy, and I have abs in there but I don't know how many. If a great set of abs is a six-pack then I think I might have a four pack of something soft, like Capri Sun. You could try to bounce a quarter off my juice pouch abs, but it would hurt so please don't.

But back to this soiree and the texts I'm ignoring: The invite says, "Tropical attire encouraged." I like that it's not so pushy as to say "dress code enforced" which is up there with "no substitutions" in terms of rules that make me want to break them just because you're not the boss of me, but I also find it a bit misleading because I guarantee if I show up in my preferred summer wear of jeans and a sweater I will be the only one.

And then all night, I will have to field this the question: "Aren't you hot?"

Do you know how hard it is to shake your head and say you're actually quite comfortable while wiping beads of sweat off your upper lip and fanning yourself with a dirty paper plate? Here's a trick: As you go through the buffet line, "accidentally" grab two paper plates. Then you won't be spraying yourself with macaroni salad, which, while refreshing, is murder on a black sweater.

And here's another tip for people like me who prefer the security of outerwear. If it happens to be cold out but you continue to wear a jacket indoors because this is how you feel most comfortable and attractive, people will constantly ask if you're cold. You will want to say yes as an explanation for why you're wearing the coat. "I tend to run cold" you will be tempted to say, hoping the way you're holding a frosty root bear against your forehead, perched next to the fan and panting isn't giving you away. Take it from me: Don't do it! If you do then your gracious host will turn up the heat and in essence cook you right out of your jacket.

One of the scariest nights of my life involved a date I was on where the guy kept cranking the heat because I was saying I was cold, and then, when I could finally take it no more and went to take off the jacket, he balked. "No, leave it on," he murmured into my sweaty ear. "Let's pretend we're at a ski resort!" I'm not sure if he was trying to seduce me or kill me but it was far too hot for any kind of role-play.

"How about I'll be a skier and you be a snowboarder, and I'll do my best to avoid you," I suggested as I stuck my head in the freezer.

So anyway, I'm probably not going to be going to the party, but I will be turning up the AC and having my own Winter Wonderland party of one. Well, one and a half if you count my dog who's always wearing fur. Sweaters encouraged.