A sense of adventure requires something of a sense of humor, too. When our friends up the street, who live in a small enclave of artists, invited us to a Mad Max costume party, I wasn't terribly excited about it. After all, costume parties and I have never gotten along very well, and some small disaster seems accompany them. Plus, I wasn't that keen on the latest Mad Max, which, to me, felt like one big car chase in the desert. I kept expecting the characters from that 70s kids' show, The Banana Splits, to pop out at any moment. Not to mention that after making breakfast, cleaning rooms, and our usual crazy days keeping up with the B&B, we were headed to a poetry reading by Marvin Bell (it was incredible!) on Shaw Island earlier in the evening. But I decided not to be a spoil sport or a prude or just plain boring, and pulled together what I thought was a pretty respectable Mad Max costume.
Picture goggles, black, post-industrial clothing, including the funky shoulder armor they wear (okay, mine was made of fabric, not repurposed tires, but stay with me here). I was pretty much geared up and decked out, right down to the black makeup around one eye.
My husband refused to play dress up, despite all my warnings that he would be the only one not in costume. We got to the party, and--yes, you guessed it--no one but me was in costume. They'd postponed the costume party to celebrate Matt's birthday, which I also didn't know about.
Deciding to make the best of it, I cracked jokes about starring in the next film until one guy said to me, "I didn't know you were in costume. I just thought you had a black eye, and I didn't want to say anything."
The real party is now planned for September. This time I'm going as myself, but with a large and belated birthday gift for Matt.
Jill McCabe Johnson's research and writing practice follow the tradition of the French Medieval poetic form, the "chanson d'aventure" or song of adventure, where a writer walks into a new environment for enlightenment and inspiration.