Ahh – finally tuning into murmurs of fall – had already felt the slipped angle of the sun, but that favored burn & gold season is now unmistakably in the air as well.
During these recent burning hot summer days (& more planetary record-setting, I might add), only the faithful were already in costuming mode – whether enthusiastically bouncing toward Burning Man or longing for dusk’s candles dripping in carved squash. I’ve never been to Burning Man (uh huh, please tell me you’re not surprised…) & although there’s a vicarious thrill via many family&friends (& MAH Glow), when you can offer me that sand-proof RV with bathroom, I’d love to join you (more)free-spirited folks one of these years. But then, it was probably more – well, intimate – when it was a village rather than a city. Like many things in life.
Nor am I a Halloweenie (though it’s one of those holidays Santa Cruz is famous for) – we made a few attempts in pre-kiddie days (notably as a carrot & ear of corn during the early community gardens era) & once, for work, I dressed up as the Eastern Access Road (remember that controversy?) but disappointingly, no one could figure out what I was. OMG, it was so obvious. I guess I pretty much gave up after that.
But I recently enjoyed outfitting myself with the invitation’s suggested Gatsby look for my cousin’s 50th birthday bash – oh yeah, this is my kind of costuming (& not only because I love Downton Abbey). The fine gals at Closet Capers were masterful at assembling the perfect collection of color, kimono, bag & bangles from the far reaches of their abundantly chaotic costume rental shop. I’m a little wary of the headband & feathers they insisted is essential to the look, but I totally love their dedication to community-masking.
A couple of years ago I had to go to a masquerade ball – being on the board of the sponsoring organization & all that. In order to mentally balance this slightly-worrisome obligation, visions of a hand-crafted mask caught hold, embedded with silver beads & gold strands & an old-but-still-adequate pair of glasses. It was a project, for sure. I totally loved making this mask & took photos of each laborious step, thinking that someday I’d post a ‘how-to’ about masks with embedded glasses.
Ah well. Long story short: DIY documentation lost, debut disappointing, maybe time for lasik.
But hey, another little life lesson learned:
#1: if you wear glasses, don’t assume your mask needs to have glasses, because when everyone’s wearing masks, it’s probably best not to see very well; even though bits & pieces are concealed, much is not.
#2: glasses make masks look kinda creepy because they reflect light; this lends your character (i.e., you) an additional air of weirdness that can make others even more uncomfortable than they already are with this whole mask thing going on.
#3: when you tire of not ‘seeing’, just take the mask off & put on your glasses; if you only have the mask, you may have to wear it the whole evening – ugh! No one wears a mask during the entire party…well, some people do, but you already know who they are, right?
Well, mask or not, costuming for Halloween still isn’t a likely candidate for most-favored holiday activity. Its ancestral ritual just may be though – in fact, I believe it already is.