That Special Outfit

Last spring, I ordered an outfit I longed to wear for a special occasion. I imagined all the smiles and compliments. When The Preciousss arrived, I couldn’t wait to try it on. One size fits all, right?

I broke a seam.

Once again, the size of my waistline — let alone my shoulders, hips, and arms — exceeded my taste.

But I didn’t return The Preciousss.

For most of that year, weight loss dragged and backslid. When early fall rolled around, our doctor put my husband MacGuyver and me on medically supervised diets.

We lost weight. Fast. In a month on the diet, I wondered if I could the outfit would fit for a special event in November?

The answer was YES. Here it is.

That’s IT?

T Rex suit

“Can you direct me to the banquet?”

I’d seen the T-Rex costumes in viral videos. They made me smile. They made other people smile. I had to have one. Had to.

What’s the suit like?

The suit is listed as an Adult suit, one-size-fits-all. I’m 5’3.” MacGuyver who is 6’1″ couldn’t wear it.

My head is under T-Rex’s chin and looks out through a clear-ish plastic window, which isn’t shaded enough to prevent the determined from stepping up and peering inside.

I decided some black tulle could camouflage my face. More later about how that worked out

Even at my height, my feet and lower legs were visible, so I wore it with black slacks and shoes.

Those are my hands inside the gloves, like mittens, only T-Rex orange.

Also, see that orange circle on T-Rex’s flank? That’s the backing for a battery operated mini fan that inflates the suit.

You step into the suit with feet in the feet holes, shrug into the suit like a jumpsuit, start the fan and zip up the suit in front until the zipper ends below the viewing window. Notice I didn’t say, put your gloves on first.

The suit fills fast unless a seam splits. MacGuyver patched the original split seam with clear packing tape. I don’t leave home with the T-Rex suit without a #DinosaurFirstAidKit.

On to the New England Crime Bake, a conference for mystery writers and fans of crime fiction!

T-Rex walks again!

Crime Bake holds a themed costume banquet on Saturday night. Last year’s Guest of Honor author William Kent Krueger inspired a Minnesota-themed banquet. I figured a T-Rex had to have wandered over to Minnesota at some point in pre-history.

Besides, thanks to the diet that got me into the suit, I couldn’t eat at the banquet anyway, so I decided to swan around the hotel lobby in the suit.

“I ate author Sharon Daynard? Sor-ry! I thought that was part of hors d’ouevre service!”

As I dressed in my hotel room, I’d forgotten my occasional claustrophobia. Yikes! I clambered to unzip the suit and rip the netting away from my face. Whew! Couldn’t take much more of that.

With my room key tucked into my paw mitten, I set off, ready for adventure.

T Rex at cocktail party

“I caught a pterodactyl. You wouldn’t believe the size of that sucker! Hahaha!”

Long Tall T-Rex

The suit inflates to more than 6 feet tall. To get out the door, I had to bend over at the waist.

Plus, there’s a fully inflated tail to manage. I had to straight-arm the door open to waddle my way out into the hall.

At intervals down the hallways, I had to bend over to duck to the exit signs, let alone sprinkler heads ready to snag the delicate suit.

My room was on the lobby level, so guests could see me coming their way, a giant T-Rex in a sea of plaid shirts.

Reactions

The T-Rex mitten paw prevented selfies, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Children beamed, so the T-Rex turned their waves as best she could.

Yukking it up and snacking with — or is it “snacking on?” — author J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes.

A hotel server cracked, “Halloween was two weeks ago.”

More professional or rather unflappable New Yorkers and Bostonians attending the conference ignored the T-Rex.

Others merrily posed for photos.

One of my other friends challenged me with the existence of T-Rexes in Minnesota.

I channeled “Spooky” Mulder. “There could’ve been.” #IWantToBelieve

No one expects T-Rex to deliver sparkling repartee.

The few steps leading to the pre-banquet party gave me pause. To see, check out this blog post by author and Crime Baker Dale T. Phillips as T-Rex considered climbing the steps with her long tail.

On the edge of the crowd, the Crime Bake Guest of Honor Kent Krueger chatted with another writer near the bar. Kent and T-Rex locked gazes (well, he spotted the giant T-Rex headed his way), so I waved at him. He returned my wave with a wry smile.

Soon, I found a point of entry allowing for me and my tail.

Hot, hot, HOT

I could only trundle around for about half an hour in the suit. The fan doesn’t circulate air but inflates the suit. Plus, long sleeves, slacks, and, well, black boots. Can you say, “Steamed T-Rex?”

So, if you get one — a Jurassic World T-Rex costume — if you’re not super-fit, forget about anything more strenuous. That said, my compliments go to the dancers , the riders , and the pro football cheerleader giving it their all while in the suit.

  • For more T-Rex fun — especially active T-Rex fun — check out T-Rex Tuesdays, available on your fave social media outlet. @TRexTuesdays
  • Also, Megan Nicolett on “The Verge” wrote about how the suit is the movie Jurassic World’s real legacy.

As for me, who knows where I’ll show up next as T-Rex?

Thank you to Julianne Holmes, Sharon Daynard, and Liz Mugavero for photos!

 

 

 

 

4 Comments
  • Marion
    March 30, 2017

    LOVE this, Rhonda!! I had no idea that you’re a Rex! You are Fabulousness, Personified! 🙂

  • rhonda3
    March 30, 2017

    Thanks, Marion. 🙂 You’re a Rex, too. 🙂 You just keep to the human street clothes. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, too.

  • Marion
    March 30, 2017

    What I loved most about the article was the element of surprise–you do suspense SO well! You had me, you had me there–as I read about your Special Outfit, and an occasion…I wondered, “Kentucky Derby?” Travers Day, on the Clubhouse Porch?
    “Dubai World Cup?” “Hamptons Classic?”

    Ya had me, I was thinking of something flowy and lush…of a big, beautiful hat. So you can imagine, how I laughed OUT LOUD(-ly)! The flowy DRESS I’d envisioned was a long TAIL. Your big, beautiful hat…a big, toothical HEAD. I LOVE how you drew me in. If you write suspense books with as much grace and talent, Mary Higgins Clark is in for a trouncing. 🙂 <3

    • rhonda3
      March 30, 2017

      Thank you kindly, ma’am, for the compliments. #TRexBowsFromWhatWaistSheHas
      Mary Higgins Clark has absolutely nuthin’ to worry about from me.

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