Monday, October 6, 2008

Turning Tricks (Or Treat!)

October is here and now I can officially express my enthusiasm for Halloween.

(I refuse, REFUSE, to even look at bags of candy or Jack O'Lantern paraphernalia a day earlier than October 1st. This is not easy. As soon as August 15th hits, every outfit in the drugstore industrial complex rolls out it's seasonal offerings of candy corn and Frankenstein-head-shaped buckets.

This signals the start of the early bird holiday push towards Christmas that preys on our hopes of "just having a restful holiday for once." If we can prepare everything and and have it ALL DONE by October 31, then maybe, just maybe, we won't have a nervous breakdown trying to get all our shopping done and we can enjoy our family and friends and maybe this year we'll MAKE gifts for everyone, and won't everyone be impressed with what we've done and finally we can sit down to a meal and not snipe at one another or get drunk and exhibit untold levels of emotional cruelty, and you won't wear that awful thing in front of your grandmother and can't you at least taste the damn turkey without covering it in salt first because it might actually be GOOD, you know, and then everyone will remember that this was the best Christmas ever and won't it be perfect...PERFECT?

Christ. No wonder Americans are so twitchy. Stores trundle this stuff out and the tribe senses an imperative to stock up. Harvest season is no longer about reaping the wheat to prevent starvation and death through the bitter months. It's about bringing in the five pound bags of Snickers bars and the 25% off ornaments to forestall the winter of our failed expectations.)

For those of you who know me personally, I'm sure my love of Halloween comes as no surprise. I'm a big fan of skulls and eyeballs and I use them whenever I can in my personal decor, in the home, on my clothes. The cheap plastic stuff doesn't do it for me. Anything carved or etched, in wood or metal is great and I am especially drawn to items surrounding Day of the Dead Celebrations.

The thing I've never really gotten so much into where Halloween is concerned is dressing up. Every other seasonal activity I'm all for: Trick or Treating, Haunted Houses, Pumpkin Patches, Carving Jack O'Lanterns, Watching Scary Movies. Just not dressing up.

When I was little I dressed up every year: I was a Witch (the year in which I startled an unsuspecting pack of neighborhood dogs and they chased me all the way home), Death (I was nine), E.T., Princess Leia, and one year I kicked it old school and went as a ghost - just a white sheet with holes.

As I got older, and performed more often, the allure of dressing up for All Hallow's Eve lost its luster. When dressing up as someone or something else is a part of one's daily life, getting all gussied up for Tricks and Treats can be a real hassle. So, I don't do it so much anymore. (I will say that I accompanied my friend R. to a costume party as part of a group dressed as mormon zombies. THAT was a blast.)

As an actor-type who routinely gets the opportunity to don a costume and "conceal me what I am" - as our friend Bill says - I am afforded the luxury of experiencing a change in how others perceive me. Most people don't get this chance on a regular basis. Dressing up as someone else tantalizes as, for one night, you have freedom to try on another skin, whether that skin be Anakin Skywalker, Hermione Granger or Elvira. It is something different. Play acting.

Which brings me to this:

Is it just me, or do we seem to see a shit-ton of fetish hookers out on Halloween?

It's been gaining momentum in the past ten or fifteen years, this "Halloween is a night for the women folk to lash out of their vanilla sexuality and tramp it up like they're getting paid for it". The streets teem with "Sexy-Dorothy" or "Sexy-Wonder Woman" (who, for some reason, shows even MORE skin than her already revealing one piece from the original comic does.). Or "How about "Sexy-Nurse" or "Sexy Police-woman?" We don't care what it is as long as "sexy" is part of the title and there's the shadowy implication that she will escort you to your car for fifteen minutes and return with Twenty-Five bucks.

What about "Sexy-Linda Tripp" or "Sexy Condeleeza Rice"? Does the costume include spanky pants and thigh high boots? Hot diggity. Put it on.

I want to iterate again (that is, reiterate) that I am no prude. What people do in their bedrooms is strictly up to them as far as I'm concerned (as long as no one's an unwilling participant). And I have most certainly had the urge to throw off the trappings of my nerdy loafers and grease myself up like a Pussy Cat Doll. I think testing the boundaries in that way is natural and healthy.


With the numbers of women filling the streets dressed as "Sexy-Shirley Temple" it feels like this Hooker-chic type costume is the go to. There is a lot of talk about "taking control of my sexuality" and "I wear a thong and a bustier because it makes me feel good about myself." Really? Putting on clothes that present you like a Barbecue Sandwich to be devoured and forgotten makes you feel like you've returned to the innate power of woman kind?

I don't think a woman expressing her sexuality should be punished or made to feel less than who she is. Nor do I think men should . If I weren't hearing the the same rote justifications on why women choose this sort of Halloween gear, I'd probably chalk it up to some good clean fun. But I don't hear much thoughtful reasoning. I hear the same old..."I do this because it makes me feel good." line over and over without a second's thought.

Just think about it for two seconds. That's all I ask.



Now, If you'll excuse me, I have to make my costume for the 31st. I'm going as Chewbacca...if he were a hooker.


Fremodada said...

Chewie as a hooker would be the best outfit of all time.

However, I think we're going to be seeing a shitload of Sarah Palin's this year.

Fremodada said...

Actually, Sandy Marshall *almost* wore his Jango Fett costume to the Indy IV opening.

Crazypants said...

Your blog has inspired me to dress as a Sexy Barbecue Sandwich this year. How I pray it gets me laid!

Henri D said...

Second wave feminist. not a costume idea. sexy zombie. a costume idea.

rebar said...

>>as part of a group dressed as mormon zombies.

Correction. You were part of a group "dressed as mormon Polygamist zombies."

Or, as our family album put it, "Big Zombie Love."

God is in the details my friend.

Personally, I would stand and give the golf clap to any lady dressed as following:

- Sexy Typhoid Mary
- Sexy John McCain
- Sexy Flaming Bag of Poo

But I repeat myself.

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