Dressing Up

It’s Hallowe’en. I’m seeing how long I can lay in bed with my dog before something happens – an urge to stand, a hunger, a plaintive look from her that begs for a patch of grass and some sunshine. So far so good, it’s pushing ten and neither one of us has budged.

I’m reflecting on the past couple of weeks. I haven’t been dating due to the long hours at work, and the few men I’d been digitally juggling have been sucked down the black hole of cyberspace. The second round is cropping up. Their profiles are wordy and earnest; men looking for love, soulmates, partners in crime, and the last piece of the puzzle that they call their lives.

In the meantime, while sensitive new age men haunt my catalog of single and available potential dates, one question pervades: what the hell am I doing?

I’ve spent the past weeks battling for professional survival while watching others do the same – a theatrical life and death struggle to put up a musical about teenage cheerleaders. I haven’t worn the date dress in weeks. I’ve fretted about the health my anthropological dating project. Meanwhile, in New York the Occupy Wall Street protestors brace for a long, cold winter, attempting to change our political system through non-violent means, while men and women, fellow member of the human race who want similar things, job security, freedom, a full, easy, and healthy life for themselves and their children, dress in blue suits and badges and view their allies as enemies. The FDA has a crack down on lemonade stands. Monsanto lobbies to make home gardens illegal.

Life seems upside down.

Hallowe’en is a confusing time for many of us. Caught between identity crisis and sugar coma, its hard to know which direction to walk.

Long story short, I’m not sure I want to go on a date with someone who signs their emails “joy” or “happiness” or wears the mantle “sensitive,” or “caring,” or “sensual” like a badge. Or that I want meet someone who is catalog shopping for his soulmate, or searching for his Mrs. Claus.

Words are cheap and we rely on them so heavily. We cover ourselves with them, dress in them, sleep with them, bathe in them. We walk with them, sit with them, eat with them. We wear them.

We’ve relied on them for far too long.

For all the labels we cut and paste and throw on ourselves and others, only one is accurate: human being. All the others are costumes, easily worn, easily thrown away. So, this Hallwoe’en, as many others in the past, I think I will pretend to be me, all labels intact. And maybe, tonight, at the Hallowe’en parade, I’ll a score a date with someone pretending to be himself.

Or maybe he’ll be dressed up as a ghoul.

Or a slutty nurse.


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