I have been thinking a lot about costumes.

Mostly because of Anna. Anna is wonderful.

You can completely count on her to put together a fabulously crazy outfit. Even when she’s traveling.

If you decide you want to do Ironic Aerobics (which I often do — step touch step touch step touch KICK jazz hands!), Anna will have a better costume than you.

She’s teaching me.

When I was being Metaphor Mouse, and trying to come up with a better way to interact with filing and all the dread and horribleness associated with said files, her contribution was:

What’s your costume?

I didn’t get it.

But then I did.

When you put something on for the duration of a task or a project, you’re setting a boundary. You’re marking time.

You’re designating the space in which something happens. It’s a more conscious interaction with your own capacity.

And you’re symbolically taking on something that symbolizes a specific quality that can serve you in doing what needs to be done.

You’re appropriating an identity (or a part of an identity) that can be put to use for what you’re working on.

What’s your costume?

I tend to think of costumes in terms of identity. In terms of passing. In terms of play.

But I haven’t been thinking about using them specifically to make work better.

Anna has her Working On A Difficult Project Gloves.

Jenny the Bloggess has her confidence wig.

I have my tiara and my pirate hat … and an entire box of playclothes that is going to live at The Playground (see my love-letter for more on that).

Putting things on. Taking things off.

I’ve been having my whole hissy fit growth period (see, I’m totally a grown-up) about being a grown-up.

And now I have to do stupid annoying grown-up shit like meeting with my CPA and my attorney and the other pumpkins and mice in my grown-up Cinderella entourage.

And dammit, I want a costume.

I don’t think I have the confidence to wear an actual Confidence Wig (ooh, another link).

But I am a fan of play.

And of rituals. Of starting and stopping.

And putting something on and taking it off feels like ritual. And also like play.

Like the spirals of deconstruction-and-creation in Shivanauttery.

So I’m looking for an outfit. Or part of an outfit.

Here’s what it needs to do.

Inspire confidence. Make me laugh.

And be different enough from Usual Me to feel like play … but not so different that I can’t walk down the street without causing traffic accidents.

And I’m going to wear this to a meeting with a total grown-up, so it can’t be too outlandish.

It could …

  • Make me look “like an adult” while simultaneously poking fun at being an adult by virtue of being a costume.
  • Be invisible. Or symbolic. Like a piece of jewelry.
  • Be fun.

What do you think?

Also, did I mention that this weekend is Purim?

Purim! I’m going as a pirate. Probably.

And today I will be baking my blog-famous hamentaschen (this post from a year ago might be the funniest thing that I’ve ever written, thanks to Stu, the creep).

You can make them too if you want. Last year a bunch of people did and it was highly entertaining.

Comment zen! And play with me!

You are more than welcome to leave suggestions for costumes for me, and you can also brainstorm ways to bring more costumery into your own life.

Either one works for me. Or something completely different.

What I don’t want:

To be told that this is stupid.

Or that I don’t actually need a costume (um, I know that already) because transformation happens inside of you. Or anything about magic ballet slippers that are actually regular slippers because the oh look the magic is in my heart.

What I would love:

To play with you. To have a drag show. To be as silly or as not silly as this subject demands.

To put on my feather boa and hang out with the commenter mice. And blow extravagant kisses at my Beloved Lurkers.

The Fluent Self