I usually love Halloween.
Last year I wore two costumes, one for day, one for night. (I tend to overcompensate for a costume-less childhood: Growing up on a farm meant minimal trick-or-treating.)
This year, I put just the barest minimum of effort into my transformation.
At first, I wasn’t even going to bother. But then I looked around and thought, “What’s out there that already looks like me?”
One look in the mirror at my never-ending bangs and I had the answer: Emily the Strange. Just add a dress and some Mary Janes and presto sort-of-chango: Costume.
Emily is always surrounded by her cat posse, though (Miles, Sabbath, NeeChee and Mystery), so I recruited LeeLoo to the cause with a black cat costume for dogs. She’ll tolerate it, as long as the costume-wearing is quickly followed by the ingestion of cheese.
So, contrary to my early ambivalence, I woke up yesterday morning all bouncy and full of Halloween cheer. Cheer that was slowly siphoned away by the absolutely gloomy and incredibly apathetic day.
What’s up, San Francisco? We can’t get dressed up anymore just because the Man put the kibosh on the Castro Halloween tradition? Now we all have to go to work as everyday overworked employees? We can’t mix up the humdrum with a little dress-up fun? We think we’re too old to be spooktacular?
My friend K (who was Ugly Betty for the day) and I shared a morose lunch, looking out the window at all the far-too-normal passersby. For the entire hour we sat at the Utah eating our BLTs, not one costume walked by. Even on a normal day in San Francisco, you usually get more than that!
And then the ultimate deflation: Nobody at work even noticed that I was in costume. Joke’s on me, I guess… that was my original ironic intent, but it totally backfired. Either that, or nobody at my workplace pays any attention to fictional counterculture characters that start off all badass and underground and then end up turning into an overexposed Hot Topic sellout.
I don’t know what the funk is all about… perhaps it’s because November just snuck up far too quickly this year. Perhaps it’s because my birthday (and the accompanying acknowledgement of encroaching middle age) is now truly inevitable. Perhaps it’s just because I’m overdue for a haircut.
Or maybe I was just possessed by the true spirit of Emily: “Wish you weren’t here!”
Whatever it is, it’s time to move on. I’m ready for you now, November. Bring on the birthday…
-Lo, who prefers treats unless the tricks are done by ponies.