Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday: Unhalloween costumes

Dressing up is fun. I have always loved a good costume party or themed dance event where dressing in character is encouraged. Of course, it is most fun if everybody has a good attitude and fully commits to the permitted silliness. The ironic component of that statement is that individuals who tend to refrain from childish costume fun seem to do so (at least in part) because of a fear of appearing foolish. Yet if everybody cast away his or her inhibitions about it, then nobody could feel foolish. Therefore, those who insist on attending dress-up functions deliberately or even smugly un-costumed create the only reason to feel self-conscious.

I happen to love Halloween because it is one of the few times in life when donning a costume is publicly acceptable. I'm just not shy about that kind of thing. Then once you're wearing a costume, what's the point of sitting around the house in it? Costume parties are okay, sure, but why not go out to dinner? Wear it to work or to the gym? People will stare at you. What is wrong with that? Most of the time those people who stare admire and envy your audacity and will often compliment your creative or cute or sexy costume.

During high school I had fewer reservations even than now. I was extensively involved in the performing arts departments then, a path which favors confidence and a healthy ego. My theatrical director even called me an exhibitionist once. But that's another story.

Franklin was one of my first boyfriends. He, too, was not one who could accurately be labeled 'shy.' The movie Men in Black was released in the summer of 1997, and it was a pretty big blockbuster that year. I still really like it. Franklin was a big kid: he was into superheroes and the dashboard of his car was completely covered with classic action figures and small vintage toys.

He arrived at my house dressed in a black suit. When he flipped open his MIB identification, I knew exactly what to do. A few minutes later I had raided my dad's closet and grabbed my sunglasses and we were ready to roll.

My well-prepared mother would never allow this special--if completely spontaneous--moment to go undocumented, and thus we have the proof of our alien-fighting escapade captured on film.

You might notice the date stamp, commonly included on these 35mm prints, which indicates that these photos were taken on September 2, 1997. Nearly two full months before Halloween, this outing had nothing to do with any costume-appropriate holiday. In fact, Googling the 1997 calendar tells me that September 2nd was even a Tuesday night. A school night.

I don't know what we did after taking these pictures. Certainly we got in Franklin's hot Chevy Corsica and went somewhere to draw attention to our eccentricity. An AM/PM seems to ring a bell in my memory and would be a reasonable assumption. I'm really not embarrassed by this admission of childish behavior at the ripe old age of 16. I imagine plenty of kids my age were either involved in far worse or bored out of their minds that Tuesday night. Whatever we did, and even if our shades weren't as cool as Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones' Ray-Bans, I assert with confidence that I looked dang good in my dad's suit.

1 comment:

Bridget said...

You do look good. I just love that your mom took a picture!


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