Tuesday, November 1, 2011


To understand what happened this year on Halloween, you have to know the expectations I held.  Coming from PVA, where Halloween is so highly anticipated and so thoroughly enjoyed, I just sort of assumed that everyone viewed Halloween as a chance to show off your imaginative costume-making skills.  I was feeling the pressure on the night of the 30th, realizing I had no costume, and that that was practically inexcusable.  So I looked around the room and started crafting my new persona.

Initially, I had the idea of wearing a mixing bowl on my head as a sort of half-costume, clearly something different from the norm but not too difficult or time-consuming.  Still, a lack of a real costume bothered me.  I started adding other random articles from around my room to make this beauty:
But a costume this eccentric demands an explanation.  With much ruminating and mulling-over, I decided to make a connection to Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky." Now imagine explaining this to many, many confused college students: "Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland, right? Right.  He also wrote its sequel, Through the Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There).  In that sequel, Alice finds a book that she holds up to a mirror so she can read this random nonsense poem called "Jabberwocky," and in that poem, a boy is playing make-believe in his room, using whatever he sees lying around to defeat the imaginary monster he conjures up. I am that boy. Bowl is helmet. Towel is cape. Lamp is sword-slash-object-of-bludgeonry. And I'm only wearing one boot because there were too many toys on his floor to find the other one."

It was exhausting. Initially, people were hesitant to ask me what I was because they assumed I was something super obvious, in which case it would be stupid to ask for an explanation. I had hoped there would be enough people dressed up that I was just passed over as one of the costumes too obscure to care about. Unfortunately, Wheaton disappointed me. I could count on fingers and toes how many people were dressed up for classes.  I might even be able to get away with just toes. Effect of this: I had to repeat my very long explanation more times than a little boy playing make-believe would have patience for. It didn't help that I had three classes, chapel, a rehearsal, a meeting, a seminar, and a costume party to attend in my costume. 

All this to say, I miss the enthusiasm of a school where the lame people were the ones who didn't dress up, or even worse, the ones who had store-bought costumes.  Where Facebook is littered with pictures of the day's festivities.  Where the senior theatre kids conspire to make the greatest set of Toy Story costumes ever.  (But really.)

On the up-side, I did win silliest costume at the party, and that's gotta be worth something (even just a fold-up pirate hat from the dollar store).

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