vendredi 30 octobre 2009


Happiness is not having to think up or wear a Halloween costume this year. I am done with that. I spent 22 blissful years living in cultures where the whole Halloween thing is either non-existent or reserved for a very small percentage of the population, generally young children.

In America, adults carry on the Halloween tradition. No wonder the French call us "grands enfants". The first Halloween I spent back in Seattle, we were invited to a Halloween party. On the day of, we decided to spend no more than two hours on costumes. I went as Patty Smith, and Walt went as Roy Orbison. Our decisions were based on what was in the closet and what could be cheaply purchased at Fred Meyer. I bought a pair of black skinny jeans and orange converse high tops, wore a white blouse I already had, borrowed a skinny tie and an electric guitar, and had my sister Carolyn cut a black wig into a Patty Smith-like hair style. Quelle simplicité!

The best thing about this costume was that it came pretty close to being normal clothing, so I didn't feel the discomfort that comes with wearing a constricting costume, elaborate make-up or giant wings or other appendages.

The next year, we were also invited to a party. We decided on our costumes about five minutes before leaving. Walt put his bathrobe on over his clothes and wore a pair of slippers. E basta! I put on a black dress, black boots and black stockings, and we stopped on the way and bought a black witch's hat at Bartell Drugs for about 5 bucks. There was actually another person at the party wearing her pyjamas (she actually had curlers in her hair).

We have no Halloween party to go to this year, but the World Series is on television. Anyway, I would probably not wear a costume even if I had a party to go to.

The best costume at the first Seattle Halloween party I went to was that worn by my brother-in-law Terry. He decided to "be" Truman Capote and I do mean "be". In addition to looking like Truman Capote, he had worked hard to imitate his voice and mannerisms, and had even memorized a number of Capote's famous quips. Best of all, he resolutely stayed in character all evening. He just became Truman Capote, embracing all of the existential implications. His wife, my sister Carolyn, went as Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate. She stayed in character too. They inspired me to "be" Patty Smith all night. Of course, I had to explain to some of the youngsters who Patty Smith is (!). There was a photo booth at the party, so we did a lot of posing. Someone I have never met, who lives in NY, told the hostess of the party that I looked so familiar to him. She told him I was "Patty Smith" and he said, "That's it! She does look like Patty Smith." It's all in the attitude, as expressed in the pout.

Click on the title for Martin Scorsese's top 11 horror films of all time. It's from the Daily Beast and includes video clips from each one.