Saturday, October 29, 2005

Getting a Mask On

Monday night Andrew will dress up once again for Halloween and head out with his friends collecting candy door to door. It will probably be the last time he experiences the whole thing unselfconsciously as a "kid."

Adults seem to need good reasons to put on goofy costumes and make fools of ourselves. Well, I guess that's not exactly true. Making fools of ourselves comes pretty naturally, but the dressing up part sometimes requires a little extra motivation.

I just ran across a piece by Garrison Keillor on Halloween that made me laugh. If you need a reason to get a mask on with the kiddies on Monday, Keillor's your man. Here's a section of the essay addressed to his daughter:

....Everybody is misunderstood most of the time. Back in my bohemian days, I liked to put on a flowery shirt and fringed vest, as if I were a true individualist, and now I wear a suit and white shirt and tie and try to impersonate a businessman. Either way, strangers take one look at you and with great confidence come to conclusions about you that are dead wrong. This happens to us all every day.

And so we should all celebrate Halloween.... We make our choices in life based on lousy information, and get stuck being who we are. You: attractive, impetuous,... with a savage wit. Me: rumpled, preoccupied, shambling, dropping things. And do we regret this? No, not really. A person only needs to be truly understood by two or three people. Everyone else is audience.

So, on the Eve of All Hallows, let us paint our faces and put feathers in our hair and venture off along the curve of the Earth and be somebody else. I will go as a Special Prosecutor in a shiny suit, carrying a black briefcase, who after 7 p.m., turns into Raffaello, King of the Tango, with pointy shoes, trailing a cloud of lilac cologne. I will be a figure of stark terror and also a font of erotic energy, a scourge of miscreants and a friend of adventurous women. And when the candy is gone, I'll turn into your father again and send you home....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This piece by Garrison Keller is hilarious. I can't remove from my mind the Lake Wobegon Lutherans who secrectly dress up as the equivalent of Rafaello's and throw of their overly subdued life styles for a taste of the erotic.

5:11 PM  

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