mardi 2 novembre 2010

l'Halloween, bienvenus les trick or treaters

Fia sprouts wings

I have discovered a new polemic. To clothe or not to clothe one's dog, and by "clothe", we may understand "disguise" or "dress up".

The polemic arose on facebook the other day when Fia posted pictures of her in her Halloween costume (Yes, Fia has facebook friends and her own profile. I suppose that might be fodder for another polemic.). Here, as there (Yes, I am one of Fia's friends, as well as the creator of her
costumes), I try to take an irenic position, respecting all comers and their points of view, while asking the question: can a dog retain her Fundamental and God given Doggie Dignity while wearing clothing of any sort, and a pink boa shot with silver, black feather wings and a pink pipe cleaner halo decorated with little silver stars in particular?

Some feel they need go no farther in making their argument that a dog cannot retain her dignity in clothing than pointing to
my own photo of Fia in her costume.

I would be tempted to say "Point taken" except Fia makes her Bette Davis eyes unclothed, as well. I present my evidence:

Case closed.

There are other examples, but she happens to be wearing her halo or her pink boa, so it might be argued that she is, actually, clothed, although I am not really sure she is capable of forming a judgment about a boa as distinguished from a collar, and, to be honest, she scratches at the collar trying to remove it more than she scratches at her boa.

And, now that we are on collars, are there not collars that, it could be argued, attack the dignity of the dog? Or, because dog's just wear collars and that's that, anything goes?

Now, for those who say that a dog should just run and play, I will say -- like Mel C. --, one feminist to another, that sometimes a girl's got to work it! I mean, what girl can't run up and down a soccer field, dribble a defender or tackle a forward, shoot on goal or block a shot for 90 minutes and then shower and put on her Manolos -- like Bev -- and a little lipstick, and head out for a Cosmo and a little gossip, stopping off to see her financial advisor on the way, or chase her squeakie soccer ball, chew up a log from the hearth, devour a bone and still wrap her boa around her sleek black furry neck and pose for another portrait or ten?

I will say that some of the most ardent and committed dog lovers I know win prizes for their dogs' Halloween costumes. They know who they are.

As for Halloween in France, it appears to be une chose établie et en train de rentrer dans les moeurs. The number of trick or treaters was up, and when I polled them at the gate on their level of satisfaction with their trick or treating activity, i.e. the number of houses handing out candy, they grinned and held up bags full of candy, answering, "Oh! Oui! Regardez nos sacs pleins!"

And the costumes? Better and better. You'd nearly expect the little ghouls -- and the very big ones, who looked closer to 22 than to 2 -- to open their mouths and speak English.

Our neighbor installed a strobe light just inside his door. I could see it from where I asked for first names, greeted parents and distributed candy at my own gate.

"Tu devrais aller voir mon mari," said his wife, when she stopped with her two little sons and her neighbor and theirs. "Il s'est déguisé."

I asked my husband to go get my witch hat and hair from the upper shelf in the closet, and taking a break between groups of trick or treaters, I crossed the street, rang the doorbell and crouched down low, ready to let out a blood curdling cackle.

The door opened. I sprang and cackled, my neighbor bent and screamed, and I looked at him and we screamed at each other like idiots. The other neighbor's 3-year-old daughter was already terrified (she said), I glanced her way to see if she wasn't about to start screaming, too. She did not. She just kept looking at us with eyes about like Fia's, one finger crooked in the corner of her mouth, hanging onto her big sister's hand. This is how we know she do so much cinoche.

"Ha!" said my neighbor, jubilant, triumphant (the French say "ha!"), "Je t'ai fait peur!"

He was really enjoying himself now, and he had outdone himself, and even the father a little farther up the street, who had put on a flowing cape and Darth Vader mask to accompany his daughter in a witch costume digne de the witches in Eleanor Estes' The Witch Family, and her little brother, who was, I believe, a ghost, and who complimented my carved Jack O'Lanterns, sitting up on the tops of brick pillars. I stared at his face, pale and cracking, his hair gelled into little studs all over his head. I marveled at his creativity.

"C'est super!" I acknowledged, feeling my time might have been somewhat better spent disguising myself than dressing up my dog, who was napping with her ersatz grandmother in the dog bed, her costume sitting on the dining table. "Ca a l'aire d'un masque de beauté."

"C'est un masque de beauté en argile!" he said, positively delighted with himself and the creative genius he exhibited in transforming a clay beauty mask product into a Halloween make-up. "J'en fais de temps en temps. C'est ça qui m'a donné l'idée."

Would it be copycatting to use a green algae mask next year to obtain a witch's pallor? Halloween costume hints from the French. Hunh.

So much for l'Halloween being a passing thing and another unappreciated invasion of American culture (which, if you don't know it, the French can't get enough of, like le McDo, as long as it doesn't end their own superior one).

L'Halloween c'est installé pour la durée

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