October 30, 2010

A Harrowing Tale of Halloween Hijinks

In my adult life have dressed in many different Halloween costumes, an evil nurse, a go-go dancer, a fortune teller, The Burger Queen, etc., but none of these costumes attracted attention like one in which I attended a dance in the late 1980's.

I have never been what you would call a 'Marilyn Monroe' type. I am better known for my glowing health, a cheerful spirit, and good teeth.  That must have been why, when I showed up to the party dressed as a politician who shall go unnamed, I got the reaction I did. 

Everyone loved to hate this particular politician, especially in my town.  She had an awful nasal whine, an uptight persona, a full head of dyed blonde hair, and her government had been responsible for closing down our university in the mid 1980's. I couldn't think of a better costume idea for the dance at the Student Union Building, and I put together an outlandish outfit for the occasion.  A good friend of the family had an enormous costume collection, which I had borrowed from several times.  I decided I would be the politician attending a ball to meet the Queen and went all out.  I chose a long sparkly sleeveless dress which had been tailored for a well-endowed woman and so I stuffed the chest area to the point of capacity.  I wore long white gloves and plenty of gaudy jewellery, strappy silver sandals, and a poufy blonde wig.  I wore an inordinant amount of blue eyeshadow and red lipstick and removed my glasses.  As I left the house I took a last look at my reflection and decided I looked absolutely hilarious.  I had just endured a heart-breaking but much needed break-up with my boyfriend, and my sisters and I were fully prepared to enjoy ourselves that evening.

When we arrived at the S.U.B. we were greeted by Didier, a Swiss-French art student whom I had known for a year.  Fully prepared to be received with a laugh, I entered the room in character and bought my ticket from Didier.  I was not greeted with a laugh and a good-natured 'great costume!', no.  Instead, Didier looked me up and down with a bit of a leer, and said quietly, "We must dance later."  Hmmm.  Not quite the reaction I was expecting, so I raised my eyebrow at him and moved on.  I had barely had a sip of my drink when someone asked me to dance.  Never before had I been asked to dance as many times as on that night.  Most of my partners were good fellows that I had met at least once, and I had a super time, but I maintained a slightly uncomfortable feeling that they had forgotten who I really was.  I never really knew if it was I they were asking to dance, or my alter ego, 'Grace', so when one of my dance partners asked me out on a date for the following night, I declined.  I wasn't ready to be 'out there' in any case.

When I went home and removed my costume, I felt relieved.  For a short time I had felt what other women like the real Marilyn must have felt, and I was glad to be me.

Okay, so my tale is not exactly 'harrowing', but it is a little unnerving.  And I like alliteration.

The photo is not the real Marilyn Monroe of course, but is a model advertising a 'Marilyn' wig.


  1. " known for glowing health, a cheerful spirit, and good teeth" ?.

    First off I remember the 80s. They were a total blind spot for the application of decent clothes to the backs of most women and that men gave ANY notice to you, any of you is a triumph of pheromones. For it sure as hell wasn't one of vision.
    Remember the hair that made your heads look outlandishly large, the jumpers with a breast flattening knit designed to turn whatever God gave you into fried-eggs. And Lordy, the Pants. Where do I begin with them. OH Right. The belt band so high that it could it might have been used as floss. With acres of rear panels doing more or less to the arse what the jumper did higher up. The real crime was the front. Anyhow, remember how the entire ensemble managed to turn women into something totally androgynous. And the only time on the telly that we saw anything sexy was a very odd ad for 501s, remember them. After looking at total sexlessness all day those ads were like porn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RKp1P2S2qs&NR=1&feature=fvwp
    Sooooo, while it could well have been the enhanced and stuffed chest. The reality is men being simple beings could distinguish a woman out of all the other peas.
    Of course, we also had to deal with AIDS, something which caused most if not all of the blandness.

  2. Ha! I'd like to try this - if I wasn't quite so over the hill. What a laugh. How simple men can be!

  3. The mass media thrives on creating images and fantasies to exploit our latent yearnings. Interesting to read how the males responded. Maybe you got their motivations wrong in this case.

  4. In this case I would say the theory that women are from Mars and men are from Venus may apply :)
    And heck, maybe those males found me more accessible that way. Who knows.

  5. More accessible? Oh, puhlease. I went blonde once, and a man I had worked with (not closely, of course) for three years, asked me, with quite a lear, "Hi, are you new around here." Uh, no. We've worked together for three years, but you never noticed, because my hair was not blonde.

    People are wired a certain way. Some things get their attention more than others.

    I think you were a very wise girl to see through their attention. I'm sure they all ended up with equally delightful girls who were more their type.

  6. Tracey: Yes, I think I remember you telling me that story, or telling someone. Thanks for the supportive comment!

  7. I missed these last comments.
    And I say HA.
    Women are such deep contemplative pools are they now.
    You've seen the rabid savagery you get with ten hens and one learner on a night out. The poor stripper is in fear of his family jewels if not his live.
    And don't tell me that if I parade twenty men half of them fit that you will go for the scrawny poet on the end. Oh no, you would go for the 6'+ blonde Germanic type that looks like he could toss you in the air and juggle you.
    Nor do I care what you've ended up with, for that's after you've GOTTEN TO KNOW him.
    You lot are as shallow as we are. The difference is we are HONEST about it. O:-)

  8. Ironically, Vince, I dated a skinny poet in college and then ended up marrying a tall blonde German. Make of that what you will :)

  9. Oh, I think Vince absolutely have a point. And, I believe much of it is just built into us. Blond stands out. It is bright and shiny. And, just genetically speaking, it is youthful. There are very few adults with naturally blond hair. I think we are genetically disposed to seek out good biological mates, and youth,like health, would factor in.

    I guess I was lucky to reproduce at all!

  10. Interesting thoughts Tracey. I have never thought about it in that light.


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