They used to be called costume parties, but now people refer to them as masquerade balls. My wife and I probably get invited to at least one a year. The rest of the time I masquerade around as a freelance writer and fitness nut. The masquerade costumes I wear aren't nearly as funny as the one I had resembling Fred Flintstone, because my everyday clothing and the stuff I wear to the gym just aren't that funny.
I think we all masquerade as something. Whether it's a suit and tie, a military uniform or whatever, our society seems to be full of individuals who have chosen a role and are intent in playing it out. The fact that we call the store a boutique instead of a costume shop is secondary. What we wear supports the masquerade we want to enact. How we carry ourselves supports the personality we've created.
My brother - when he was younger - wanted to be like Richard Gere. He watched all of Gere's films and studied him intently. After a while he had down the walk, the mannerisms, and the detached stare. A masquerade of the first order. I don't know if he had all the women that Gere apparently attracted, but I think that was the objective. Hey, if you're going to masquerade around like Richard Gere, then you should have lots of woman fawning over you as well. I always wondered at what point my brother stopped being the person I knew and started being a Richard Gere clone, because I no longer saw my brother when I looked at him in the eye. But that's the risk you take. He found something that worked for him and he went with it. His masquerade became reality.
Had a High School football coach that masqueraded as a hybrid between John Wayne and Vince Lombardi. Imagine John Wane reciting all the colloquiums of Vince Lombardi, but in that silly Wayne accent. I guess it worked. I sure can't imagine that coach having the same level of success if he imitated Richard Gere.
Kind of scary, but that is the stage we've placed ourselves on. All of us, young and old, big or small, we all have role models. Someone we want to pattern ourselves after. It's all a masquerade. Maybe we don't admit it, but it's true. And at some point the masquerade becomes a part of us. Doesn't matter where we live. It could be an atlanta masquerade or one in Louisiana. People in Atlanta masquerade around like famous people they see in films or in print just like anywhere else in the world.
Think about it. Your child's earliest personality traits were picked up from you. The way the mother or father walks talks and combs their hair. The child plays out a masquerade based on what they see in the parent every day. I'm over 40 and I still get caught up in the masquerade. At any given time someone will impress me with a trait and I'll try to incorporate it as my own. It many not last very long. I can't seem to remember all these little mannerisms that I find so attractive. But I try. Especially if it's something that impresses my wife. I've tried to masquerade around as someone I'm not and it just doesn't seem to work. Maybe I'm just set in my ways. That is, until I dressed up like Fred Flintstone.
Fred and Wilma. After 20 years of marriage I think my wife and I found our alter-egos. Not as sexy as Richard Gere, but then Richard Gere doesn't look nearly as sexy as I do in leopard skin.