Chris and my annual costume party is this weekend. In our younger, hipper, childless days, we threw big, booze-soaked bashes that typically ended with one or more distinguished think-tankers vomiting in the kitchen sink. Now, as two-kid parents hanging in the suburbs, it's down to a mid-sized dinner party.

No matter: The costume ideas that our politically-obsessed friends come up with have remained consistently inspired. Two most memorable concepts from years past:

1. Early in the Bush term, a friend came dressed in a floor length fur coat with a string of baby dolls tied to her ankles with fishing line. She was, of course, Leave No Child Behind.

2. In 2005, the year of the Scooter Libby-Judy Miller saga, the theme of the party was "Great Couples." So a colleague and her hubby, playing off Libby's bizarre riff about the tangled roots of aspen trees, dressed up like two trees, and wandered around much of the night linked by fake roots. (OK. Maybe you had to be there for that one. But they won the Best Concept award that year.)

This year's theme is "Change!"--which intially struck us a nicely broad but has turned out to be a bitch to execute. (I now regret not going with our original theme: Gender Warriors. But we were afraid we'd wind up with two dozen rifle-toting Sarah Palin's) I still have 24 hours to come up with a good costume based on change of any sort: physical, political, metaphysical, sexual.

Any brilliant ideas?

--Michelle Cottle