For all of this year’s flaws, this year’s Halloween fell on a weekend, making for a weekend full of festivities. It was a “Halloweekend,” if you will. The fall weather was so crisp it made me want to break into my president’s backyard and play croquet again. I bought pumpkins. I bought materials for pumpkin spice cookies that I never made. My suitemates pasted spider stickers all throughout the apartment and I hung up some cobwebs and fake spiders, plus a “trick-or-treating” doormat.
In order to finish decorating for Halloween, I purchased a full-sized skeleton to put in my suite and after picking it up from my post office and hauling it back to my school, I got to work sticking candy bars in its ribs. There I was: a girl, listening to the Corpse Bride Soundtrack, while carrying her life-sized skeleton down the street. I then proceeded to fill it with candy. Now it sits in a chair in the kitchen and scares the shit out of me when I go into the kitchen at night.
Halloween was in full effect.
That Thursday, I began my “Halloweekend” early by watching my school’s production of Bull in a China Shop, a new play about the true story of Mount Holyoke’s first female president. It contains themes of feminism and lesbianism in the 19th century. It had a glittery set, wonderful acting, and some doses of comedy. I enjoyed it, is the point.
For some more theatre, I went to Sarah Lawrence’s annual production of Rocky Horror Picture Show the next night. The cast acted out the show in front of us while the film was being projected behind them as part of a beloved SLC tradition. Having missed it my Freshman year, I vowed to watch it the next, which obviously did not pan out, so this year I was determined to go. Unfortunately, everybody else was determined to go. The entire school turned out to see it with people filling up the lobby and then lining the street down to the intersection to see the show. Let me just emphasize that no sporting event this school has ever put on has come even remotely close to that kind of turnout.
My friends and I were huddled together under umbrellas as it poured down rain and the street lights flickered, setting the mood for our dark and stormy night. When we were eventually let in everyone was squeezed into chairs or squished along the back wall, making it so that people had to be turned away and they had to promise to put on another performance. If it was your first ever “Rocky Horror experience,” as it was for me, you were marked on your way inside with a red lipstick “V” on your forehead and had to play a round of freeze dance in the middle of the room until you were among the finalists.
From there, it was a typical production of Rocky Horror with everyone getting up and dancing and shouting at the screen. Many of the scenes in the film, in particular the sex scenes, have an undercurrent of coercion but, since the show’s main theme is sexual liberation, the school decided to honor the film in the spirit with which it was intended. All of the sex scenes were edited out with dance numbers from Glee, we were encouraged to shout the word “daddy” anytime they said the word “master,” due to its connotations to slavery, and, when acted out, the whip that Frank-n-Furter uses is replaced with a nerf gun. The nerf gun however was not loaded because guns are also bad. It ended up being a glorious night of loud music, one-liners, and perverted outfits with a red, glittery “V” lipsticked to my forehead the whole time.
The next day, being the day before Halloween, I hung out with friends. I always pick out my Halloween costume about two years in advance. There are few things that I take as seriously. My Halloween costume was (drum roll, please) Gloria Steinem. Throughout the day I was Gloria Steinem in street clothes. At night, I was Gloria Steinem undercover at the playboy mansion, about to fuck up Hugh Hefner’s day.
It was a versatile costume.
The party was us sitting around, listening to music, while eating candy and junk food. Hill House put on our Halloween trick-or-treat event on the actual day of Halloween and I donned my Gloria costume once again. I was in full costume and had my skeleton beside me to hand out candy in. For once our RA event had a good turnout. It was a Halloween miracle.
The Tragic Queen,