Playing Dress Up

Posted: October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty

The question, “What are you going to be?” means something different this time of year, which is one of the many reasons why I thoroughly enjoy celebrating Halloween. Selecting a Halloween costume is terrific fun and a rare opportunity to be someone other than ourselves.

meandheather

This year, I was invited to many Halloween events (I always tell my students that I’m extremely popular). The party last Saturday was a “Saturday Morning Cartoons” theme, so I jumped in the way-back machine and dressed as Jem; she’s truly outrageous! My friend, Heather, went as Paddington Bear.

Saturated with shades of pink,  the ensemble I put together was successful enough for people to understand that I was Jem; alas, my costume wasn’t quite as good as that of the other Jem at the party, who had a more rockin’ 80’s wig. It certainly wasn’t surprising that another woman had a latent desire to be a super-cool, pink-wig-wearing rock star.

Tomorrow night, the Urban Family and I are are dancing at Beauty Bar, which is featuring an 80’s Halloween dance party. I’m going as Punky Brewster, ideally bringing her spunk and colorful layers to the dance floor. Jem seems too obvious, somehow, and the weather has turned colder.punky

Imbedded in these choices, linger decisions that adults are rarely asked to make—what else could you be? We are all diligently working on who we are, trying to become a better version of ourselves, the best version of ourselves, ideally.

Velma_Dinkley

Tricia Lunt?

At Halloween, we are enticed to explore different facets within, think of the men who dress as women (and who look fabulous in dresses, I might add). We are permitted–encouraged–to break free from our prescribed self, which is why when my friend suggest I dress as Velma Dinkely from Scooby-Doo, a childhood favorite to be sure, I turned to her and said, “but I’m Velma every day!” The glasses, the turtleneck, the sensible shoes: ask anyone who’s seen me hunt for my glasses.

On Halloween, I want to be someone else entirely.

So we reach beyond what we are to what we might be, or might have been, or might yet become. We revisit childhood and gleefully take up handfuls of sugar-coated goodness.

Halloween offers a trip down the rabbit hole, accompanied by the comforting assurance that when it’s over, we will come back to ourselves again.

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