Thursday, October 28, 2010

I don't know. What are YOU gonna be?

c. David Grim (taken 10/23/10)

Every Halloween it's the same story. I hear about all the cool things to do and I want to enage fully in the spirit of the season. I love this holiday, as I think I made clear in an earlier post. Yet somehow I always get too distracted to put together a costume. I get an invitation to a party that suggests that I don a disguise, yet I end up feeling too lazy to bother. It just doesn't seem worth the effort at the time. Besides, what would I be? I guess I could go out to one of those megastores and figure it out. I could rent a pre-made thing and be done with it. I could even just get a mask. But I never do.

Have I ever worn a costume? Sure. Back in the day I actually gave some thought to what I'd be weeks ahead of time. But other than teh time I was inspired by teh movie "Dead Presidents", I've always been overshadowed. I've had a few friends that have really put a lot of energy and time into making their own stuff to wear. One guy used to use what he learned from the world of stage make-up to create ensembles that would make me retch just to look at them. On one particularly memorable occasion he donned the look of a burn victim, complete with pus-filled blisters that he would cut into periodically with a razor blade when no one was looking. I couldn't even eat M and M's at that party.

Another friend used to regularly make an elaborate spectacle out of himself. He made a suit completely out of bubble wrap and wore it over his tighty-whitey's. Another time he chose a Hawaiian shirt and carried around a jerry-rigged beachcombing device. He had fun putting that in people's faces all night. His most offensive selection was when he chose to be a "special needs" student for Halloween. I'm not going into the details of that get-up. People were either entertained or scandalized by that. There was very little middle ground. It's really a shame that I don't see him anymore. I always miss him especially around this time of the year.

In recent years I have let my reticence to put something together serve as an excuse to skip the festivities altogether. Inevitably, if I show up in regular clothes I end up feeling lame compared with all the folks that made the effort. Then I promise myself that I'll try harder next year. But it doesn't happen. This time around I just went out resolved to enjoy other people's costumes without feeling self-conscious. And I took my camera with me. It turns out that the way I've been shooting the last few years is particularly conducive to shooting subjects with make-up and garish clothing. So I had lots of fun regarless.

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