Without the slightest qualm about being labelled a killjoy or bore, I can safely say that I do not like, do not see the point of, and cannot wait to see the back of Hallowe’en. The ubiquitous lack of its customary apostrophe is enough to put me in a bad mood. What happened to it? It was there when I went to school, but is now lost. Are we so lazy? In any case, this is the minor quibble. The bigger problem is the excuse it gives to grown individuals to behave even more idiotically than normal. I would be as charmed as a snake if it was just the kids. I saw some really pleasant little tykes this evening, out accompanied by adults, and wanting nothing more than a handful of candy in exchange for doe-eyed cuteness. All power to their elbow. I only ask that when they grow up they, well, grow up.
I won’t labour the point. Instead I’d rather celebrate the kind of dressing up I like to endorse. While the West went mad for witches for a weekend, I went shopping for something rather more refined. The German appreciation for professional attire, even among academics, is putting pressure on my suit rotation, and it doesn’t help that two-thirds of my wardrobe had to stay in Canada. Airlines are increasingly enrolled in weight-watching programmes, much to the customer’s discomfort. So, a new grey flannel suit is now in my armoury. Nothing garish; nothing notable; simply a classic cut and fabric and minimal fuss. I trust it will repel the worst that Berlin’s winter will throw at me.
Most people have forgotten, if they ever knew, that dressing up everyday is a joy. Perhaps if we reminded ourselves once in a while that the fabric of life has a lot to do with fabric – the whole looking good feeling good bit, which is pithier than you might think – then we’d probably take a lot less relish in grease paint, pointy hats and, what seems inescapably to go with them, getting pointlessly drunk.
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