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Yoda, a stormtrooper and an Indian walk into a bar…

I’d never gone to a costume party for Halloween before this year. I know this is odd, but at least I am familiar with the concept of Halloween, unlike a friend I had in middle school who had lived abroad her whole life. I took her trick-or-treating for the first time in the 90′s and she was befuzzled by the concept, asking, “So, we dress up and they’re just going to give us candy?” It is sort of weird when you look at it from the outside in.

The party was held at a bar and part of the fun was guessing what everyone’s costume was. Some people were obvious and were greeted with, “Oh, you’re a butterfly!” at the site of over-sized wings that almost knocked over drink cups all night. Other costumes needed time for all the clues to arrange themselves into the answer, like the guy in a scruffy blond wig and a flannel shirt who I couldn’t figure out until I saw the shotgun. “Kurt Cobain!” (I didn’t say they were all tasteful costumes.) There were three Amy Winehouses who were all dressed differently, but all looked scraggly and half-crazy. I wanted them to get into a cat fight to film for YouTube. I chatted with two people dressed in full clown makeup and floppy shoes who I would never be able to recognize in real life. If I did, I would probably be surprised to see them not caked in white foundation, though seeing them dressed in clown makeup all the time would be surprising too.

During the party I sat down at a table and surveyed the scene. I realized that the surrealness of the evening wasn’t caused just by the strange outfits. It was seeing people who would never interact with each other in reality or fiction chatting and dancing the night away. Yoda would never hang out with an Imperial Stormtrooper in the Star Wars galaxy, but there they were walking past each other without reaching for a light saber or blaster. I don’t know in what universe a six-foot tall Indian would hang out with a flapper girl from the 20′s, but there they were in the corner.

I thought about my own friends and the people I hang out with. I know someone who makes chain mail and someone who sews cool outfits from old fabric, skills I do not have. My friends listen to different music than I do and read books I haven’t read. But there is also a lot of sameness. Although I am intrigued by people who are different than me, I also gravitate towards people who are similar. This blog and the Internet have allowed me to meet people from different countries and different generations which I would never have met otherwise and I think my life is better for it. I wondered what our real lives would be like if we surrounded ourselves with more people who were different from us. It’s only when all who surround you are different that you truly belong.

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25 Comments

BrightAngel • November 19, 2008 at 11:09 am

Great Thoughts.

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The Ben Show • November 19, 2008 at 11:15 am

So true, blog world does open us up to people we’d never otherwise know.

On your “better version of me” post: I can so relate, and you were very eloquent in your description of this phenomenon. As I’ve embarked on this latest, well, let’s call it lifestyle change (I’m not supposed to say diet am I?) – okay it’s a diet, I realized that my previous all time high weight – 193 lbs, is now a weight I strive for, and one that I’ll have to lose 20 pounds to even get to. My previous low was also 170 pounds, so I know what it is to compare myself to my “skinny” me – the “perfect” me.

Can’t wait to read your book!

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LOLfitness • November 19, 2008 at 11:30 am

So what did you dress up as? Also: picture!

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Jolene • November 19, 2008 at 11:35 am

Thank you Jennette! I think this is a very important point. Important enough to bring me out and actually comment :-) Thanks.

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Erin • November 19, 2008 at 11:40 am

@LOLfitness -

THIS!! I can’t believe you didn’t spill what you wore!

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JEM • November 19, 2008 at 11:50 am

Great post, great point! I very much agree.

However, No pictures? I would have loved to see you in costume!! :-)

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PastaQueen • November 19, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Uh, yeah, I don’t have access to my pictures right now…hint, hint…(hope my boss doesn’t read this)

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Lynn • November 19, 2008 at 12:27 pm

So very true! Brilliant post!

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hanlie • November 19, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Very thought-provoking post. You are so right!

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Naomi F • November 19, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Just a side note…for people of color…halloween is both fun and exhausting….cultures aren’t costumes, and so many people don’t get that at all.

That being said, Indians would have hung out with flappers in the 20′s…or may have even been flappers…we just may not have done it in buckskin and chicken feather costumes. :^)

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s • November 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

@LOLfitness – what? i thought she was a butterfly!

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E • November 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I’m really glad you transitioned your blog into whole-life-stuff and not just weight loss, because this is a great post. I am hopeful that that kind of reality is what we’re moving towards and that these new communities and interactions are a step along the way.

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kyle • November 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I am liking the non-weight loss related posts. Granted I love those too, but this was a good one.

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anji • November 19, 2008 at 6:35 pm

I actually was wondering if people still dressed up as Indians for Halloween… then I saw a group of my four friends (non-natives) dressed up as Indians…. and wasn’t sure what to think about it. Though, I know of a lot of natives who have dressed up as cowboys just for fun.

I dunno. Not sure what to think of it… i mean, we have enough issues as First Nations, not sure if we want to tackel the Halloween costume thing, when we’re fighting for our land and clean drinking water and equal opportunities and keeping our indigenous rights.

Pick your battles I guess!

Anji

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Bella • November 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm

@LOLfitness – I was thinking the same thing. You’ve gotta tell us what you were!!

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Natalie@Something Beautiful or Humorous • November 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm

@PastaQueen – I’m going to have to be the dumbest person because I didn’t get the hint, but I still want to know what you dressed as.

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Helen • November 19, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Wow. Just wow. You are an amazing writer…weight loss or no weight loss. :-) This was fantastic…thank you!

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Esmeralda • November 19, 2008 at 10:47 pm

On my blog I recently met a guy who lives in Siberia! Wow!

I also know someone from Austrailia, several someones from England, and a couple fellas from Canada. Nowhere near the variety you have on your blog surely, but nevertheless, I totally get where you’re coming from.

You make freinds by interest rather than freinds by proximity. I adore that.

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Loup • November 20, 2008 at 5:11 am

First time I experienced Halloween was in Rochester, stuck in a hotel room with a Jack o Lantern, wandered out and was stunned. It seemed I had stepped into an Anne Rice novel :-)

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Brass.lady • November 20, 2008 at 5:28 am

I just wanted to say congrats for your weight loss success and that I love your blog. Greetings from Greece…

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JEM • November 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm

@PastaQueen -

LOL—Got ya! I’ve been there!!

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firewings • November 21, 2008 at 11:22 pm

That’s an interesting thought. I’ll have to stew on that.

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Isabelle • November 22, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Yes, that’s what I love about blogging too. But then I’m an extremely nosey person. Being able to read other people’s diaries – fascinating.

You do write well.

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Boilergrad93 • November 22, 2008 at 6:52 pm

About me:

I’m a 38-year-old Black female. I’ve never been married and I don’t have any children. I LOVE sports, pro and college football, college basketball, NASCAR, baseball, hockey, etc. I have a masters degree in social work and have worked at a bank for the last 6 1/2 years.

About my BEST friend in the whole world:

HE’S a 34 year-old White male. He’s married (for the second time) and has 2 teenage children. He HATES sports of any kind, but loves hunting and his motorcycle. He has a HS diploma and works for a hardware company.

On the surface we have absolutely NOTHING in common, but he’s been my absolute best friend and part of my family for 14 years…..go figure :)

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Some Blogging Chick • November 22, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Ooooo…deeeeep! Ummm…no sarcasm implied there. For serious.

I get what you mean. At some point we ditch the old high school mentality and realize it’s not about being the same. It’s about being open enough and humble enough to realize someone doesn’t have to be like you to be worth getting to know.

I used to dread growing up but it’s actually ever so much more fun.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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