Oct 31, 2011
It can't be ignored so why try? Today is Halloween whether we like it or not.
Curmudgeon that I am, I consider Halloween exclusively a children's holiday and always have. I don't think I've ever participated as an adult. For one thing, my teeth can no longer handle Sugar Daddies and Mary Janes, and Halloween isn't Halloween without Sugar Daddies...
Maybe it's that I dress up strangely often enough that I don't feel the need for another opportunity. This year, however, after our little cabaret adventure, I felt it would insensitive not to give poor Cathy a call, and see if she'd be free for some evening festivities.
I suggested she dress up as Jane Wyman.
Well! She didn't like that one bit!
Friends, many of you are no doubt familar with Oscar-winning actress Jane Wyman, perhaps from her Eighties-era evening soap, Falcon Crest, or maybe you know that she was married to then-B actor Ronald Reagan, before Mervyn Leroy introduced him to Nancy (how do I know these things?).
Jane's best-remembered films today are probably the two technicolor melodramas she made in the mid-Fifties directed by Douglas Sirk and co-starring Rock Hudson -- Magnificent Obsession and All That Heaven Allows.
Cathy's response to my suggestion was to ask, Seriously, who dresses up for Halloween as Jane Wyman, and do they get any candy? Then she hung up her princess phone on me. She thinks she most closely resembles Audrey Hepburn.
I think you'll agree that the resemblance between mid-century Jane Wyman and my cousin is remarkable, especially when dressed in opera-length gloves and McCall's 9152.
I am very fortunate that the big Halloween parade takes place just a stone's throw from my apartment (If you have a very strong throwing arm), and we are invited to a late dinner with friends on the Upper West Side. Will we be able to stay up that late? That's always the question since we're all very early-to-bed types here. (I was under the covers by 10 pm last night.)
Doesn't Jane -- I mean Cathy -- look lovely in her cocktail dress and faux white mink stole?
Should Cathy tell people she's dressed as Jane Wyman, or is this simply an invitation to derision?
Friends, in closing, I must ask you: Do you dress up for Halloween? If you do, do you actually leave the house or just sit around watching football and waiting for trick-or-treaters?
Have you ever dressed as something/someone so obscure that nobody knew what you were talking about? Did you care or was it enough that it was your private joke?
Finally, if you were going to dress as Jane Wyman for Halloween, would you wear a little adhesive name tag that said "Hello, my name is Jane Wyman" or would you just wait to be asked?
Whether you're participating or not, Happy Halloween, everybody!