You know what’s the great thing about Purim?
That’s right everything. Even the 10-15 minutes I spent in waiting for the hangover to get to a little bit better, which just like last year went surprisingly fast. Only 15 minutes later was I back on my feet stable and conscious again. Don’t I just love my metabolism?
Anyways back to the holiday…
Here’s what my family did for costumes:
For the night my mom and dad were the Beverley Hillbillies. The rabbi mentioned them in a recent drash so it was appropiate especially with our costumes for the next day.
As for me – I spent many hours puuting together my life-sized Pac Man costume. I was half done the ghost costume (the dudes that chase pac man in the maze) but I ran out of duck tape. And because I wanted it to be a surprise so even though I was looking for a partner, I didn`t really publicize the need very well. Yeah, PR isn`t my thing, you knew that… (and yet I`m in journalsim). During the day, I ran around the rooms, trying to eat little children, interrupting things and causing disturbances. It was funny, but it would’ve been better with the ghost.
This was my family’s themed costume: Great Masterpieces – we were all famous paintings, canvas, framing and all.
Mom and Dad: American Gothic (together obviously)
Me: The Scream (Edvard Munch)
My sister: Mona Lisa
We made and bought the clothes for the actual costumes themselves. But as for the canvases, we painted them and attached them to frames bought as well. My mom attatched belts to all the canvases so they could literally be attatched to our bodies so we could hold them hand free, and not have to worry about them kneeling over us. We could also do our poses too.
As for the holiday itself, it was naturally a lot of fun. I’ve had to lower my expectations of the amount of fun I can have in this city (getting around, people at different events, the types of events, availability of alcohol), which really hit me my first Purim after yeshiva. I realize that Purim there is out of this world and I have to make the best of what’s around. And if something nuts happens, even better!
I spent the night at an NCSY event, eagerly awaiting the moment to bring out the Pacman costume. It was a packed yet fun night with the NCSYers, which included a much needed huge all you can eat buffet dinner after megillah reading and some dancing. I don’t like being critical, but I thought it was more fun last year. Probably because it was so bizzare to hear secular music being played by the DJ at an NCSY sanctioned event, yet we had fun with it. Especially with the Macarena and the Cha Cha Slide – felt like a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party like back in the day, except I never went to one with a mechitza 😉
Later on I went to my friend’s place because he wanted to see Pac man. His family may be crazier than mine when it comes to Purim. They have a party at their place every year, with megiallah reading. This year they had a Wizard of Oz theme. They decorated their house like the movie sets, played random sound bytes from the movie, had a butter churning contest (unusual….), and of course dressed up in costumes – including Toto.
I went to a late megillah reading the next morning (9am davening, 10am), then spontaneously went out and bought and made mishloach manot over the next two hours. I won’t say how much all the food cost, but I was surprised how cheap it was. I was very close to not doing any because we had gotten some pretty extravagant ones already it seemed the standards became too high to even try. Nonetheless I was pleased with my results. I acted like a complete buffoon when a buddy of mine dropped by to give me mishloach manot when I placed on the piano in the room beside the front door, unknowing that it was about to fall because I placed it on an uneven surface. While grabbing pac man to show him, the beer and donut fell to the ground, spilling half the beer.
Great…. acting like a drunk without a ounce of alcohol inside me…already.
After that episode, I dropped off the mishloach manot, came back home and prepped with costumes. As fun as it is wearing them, getting ready is not, especially with time restrictions, badly scheduled mincha times, and mother breathing down your neck trying to get everyone ready. Nonetheless, we made our grand entrance at our shul party. Our reputation is ridiculous. People surrounded us taking pictures like the papparazzi. It felt kind of strange, yet cool. I’ll take that attention over the “you don’t belong here looks” from little observant kids (which I got anyway).
I sat with a few high school guys, where one of my closer friends reminded me of a younger version of myself at a previous purim party. Without the vomit. Good times (then and now)
The party was nothing special – shtick, dancing, eating, scaring little kids with pac-man, singing all of birkat hamazon very loudly due to stage of sobriety (or lack of it) and other purim shenanigans. After noticing a car parked on the sidewalk in front of the shul entrances (huh?), we went home, where I spent the next 15 minutes “recovering”.
I love this holiday and everything about it.