How Many Times Can I Say ‘Sexy’?
I feel it in the air, sense it in local thrift stores and smell it on the breath of every remotely hip person in town. No, not curry—Halloween is almost upon us. Although it’s often hard to tell here, what with “keeping it weird,” “doing your own thing,” and “year-round Burning Man,” I found proof at Target: Christmas decorations side-by-side with candy corn. Trick and treat.
This won’t be a nostalgic comparison with Halloweens of my youth. And it won’t be a rant about our fabled downtown antics, either; as a fan of public outdoor gatherings, cross-dressing and martial law, it’s sort of a perfect night for me.
What I’m pondering is the “Sexy Costume.” On the one hand, it’s fantastic fodder for parody. On the other hand, too many humor-impaired people buy into the trend without noticing their plummeting dignity or missed opportunity for creativity. Why be another Sexy Nurse when you could be Sexy Uninsured Mother of Six? Sexy Schoolgirl Again? Why not Sexy Child Left Behind! And what better way to promote environmentalism than Sexy Electric Car, with Equal Opportunity AC/DC Plug!
While men are not immune from disappointing costume trends, it seems the unspoken rule dictates they add layers at Halloween (capes, tunics, muscles) while females subtract. But consider passing up that timeworn Plumber With Butt Crack and be Sexy Meatball, Sexy Mount Shasta or maybe even Sexy City Hall Camping Bedroll.
The American tradition of trick-or-treating was introduced at the turn of the last century and gained a foothold in the 1930s. Costumes for all were relegated to scary apparitions suited to celebrating the oncoming dark time of the year and the spirits (good and evil) who could pass through to our world on this Hallows Eve. Exciting, but not sexy.
At first I opposed the new randy Halloween, citing artistic reasons, not puritanical. Then, in a moment of fishnet-vampire clarity, I saw the bigger picture. If Halloween had become eroticized this easily, could other holidays be far behind? And more to the point, how could I personally benefit from Sexy Thanksgiving, Sexy Christmas, and yes, even Sexy Presidents’ Day Weekend?
The natural evolution of protest, at least from the viewpoint of the extremely lazy or unmotivated, starts with simply not participating. (Apparently I’m currently protesting vitamins.) Nothing says, “I won’t stand for this Sexy All Hallows Eve!” more than sitting on your couch watching Entourage. The sacrifice, of course, is a pillowcase full of candy. But the precedent set will reap huge benefits. Once it’s time for Sexy Tofurkey at Thanksgiving and Sexy Ham at Easter, you can practice the same protest and be venerated for your decision to skip family functions on moral grounds.
(Imagine how exciting Sexy Abe Lincoln and Sexy George Washington will be. Not many obligations to dodge for Presidents Day, but I’m a little giddy with anticipation.)
Christmas, Earth Day, Ramadan, Memorial and Veteran’s Days, Labor Day, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah: your less zealous observers anxiously await the Sexy Magi, Sexy Mother Nature, Sexy Imam, Sexy Dead Soldier, Sexy Pipefitter, Sexy Seven Principles and Sexy Jackie Mason. (Clearly some holidays need marketing attention.)
Before you protest my protest, chew on this nugget: Once Hallmark starts marketing Family Reunions, wait for the Sexy to kick in and then thank me. (“Sorry mom, I just have to take a stand—for the future of America. And tell Sexy Aunt Frances I’ll miss her slaw.”)
The calendar year is rife with opportunities to stay home, not participate, and scoff at the masses, huddled or not. All it’s going to take is the inevitable contamination by Halloween of all other holidays, and don’t think for a minute that it can’t happen. Remember, the first time you see a Sexy Martin Luther King, Jr., that I warned you. And if you decide to skip the march, parade, or vigil, well that’s your decision. (MLK Day falls on a Monday in 2011, the same night as Dancing With the Stars, just so you know.)
When my doorbell rings on Oct. 31 and I’m faced with a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, a French Maid, a Catholic School Girl and a Lil’ Kim—all under age 9—I will scream a real scream of terror, then hand over the treats, because the real trick is my silent “thank you” as I think of my obligation-free future.
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