Sunday, February 05, 2006

I am usually a shy person who does not like attracting attention. I will, on occasion, physically hide from people so that I don't have to talk to them.

However, once in a great while I acquire a costume of some sort that endows me with boldness.

December of 1999 was the first time I discovered the delight of wearing something that attracts attention to itself and not to me. On the last day of classes before Christmas Break during my sophomore year, I wore a blinking red Rudolph nose to classes, to lunch, everywhere. And people that would ordinarily not even acknowledge my existence not only noticed me, they talked to me! They laughed and joked and smiled!

Next semester, I acquired "alien antennae". So did two of my roommates. "Alien antennae" are a headband with two springs attached, and at the end of each spring is a round silver ball. We got the idea from the Val Kilmer movie Real Genius, and we would all three wear these antennae around campus every couple of weeks. Once again, people talked to me because of the unusual and comment-provoking costume I sported.

Last night at work, I found the top half to a plastic Darth Vader helmet. Who knows where the voice-changing face part of that helmet is, and who cares! I wore that black plastic helmet-top for several hours, sometimes making kooo-paaah, kooo-paaah, kooo-paaah noises and telling people that they are no match for the Dark Side of the Force. And the magic of a costume worked yet again. The assistant manager, who usually regards me with some sort of vague suspicion (as if anyone as habitually quiet as me must be plotting something!), actually joked with me!

I love costumes. They give me some sort of power, the power to be someone bolder and more outgoing than I am myself. Come to think of it, I've always loved Halloween; I still dress up for it. And as for being on stage, well, back when I was in college...

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