Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I am Edward Scissorhands


I dressed up as Willy Wonka, today, a la the new Johnny Depp version, for the third Halloween in a row. I have been accused of having a Johnny Depp fetish, which is not entirely untrue. A friend had pointed out, however, that I dropped the ball by never bothering to dress up as Jack Sparrow for Halloween. But I have never even seen any of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

I am horrendously lazy, sometimes, even when it comes to fetishes.

Johnny Depp aside, I felt an immediate connection with the character of "Edward Scissorhands," right when I first viewed the film at a sneak preview in late 1990. I just knew that I had to make this my next Halloween costume. I didn't cut my hair for ten months.

There are favorite movies, and favorite books, music, etc. that become so much a part of your own character. I saw Edward Scissorhands as the perfect representation of my inner child: too freakishly different to fit in with a cookie cutter society; imperfect; and tragic in that he was not able to be together with the one that he truly loved.

I was startled to see, in the film, Winona Ryder create the exact same pained expression of heartache that Kathy had on her face, during an unforgettable moment of break-up discussion in high school (before we embarked on our real Will & Grace relationship).

The film was released shortly after I had become involved in an ex-gay ministry support group. One of the perspectives that this group had of gay men is that we were not "whole" as men. According to them, we gay men were missing something vital that would otherwise complete us and bring us to a heterosexual identity.

So, Edward was the perfect symbol of a man who had been made almost complete by his creator. In the film, Edward's creator dies before that last vital puzzle-piece is put into place--in this case, his hands. What a tear-jerker for anyone with abandonment issues!

My involvement in ex-gay ministry included an attempt at celibacy, an attempt at which I failed, repeatedly. Being alone is different than loneliness, but feeling lonely back then seemed that much sadder because I had deliberately chosen to be alone. Like Edward, I spent a lot of time feeling sad over the fact that I was "incomplete and all alone."

Indulging in my fantasy of being Edward Scissorhands, however, only nursed my perpetual self-pity. Looking back, I would say that dressing up as Edward Scissorhands for Halloween, and being him, however briefly, was therapeutic.

I no longer feel sorry for myself, not with the alarming frequency that I used to, anyway (I have moved on to greener pastures--into toxic anger, mwuah-ha-ha-ha!).
I still cherish my inner child, though. Because of that, I will still stop and watch "Edward Scissorhands" when I happen upon the film while channel flipping.

It is Halloween night, and I am sitting at home, passing out candy, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-many-years. I still love this holiday, I still enjoy dressing up. And I am filled with peace, tonight, in my tender feelings toward Edward Scissorhands, toward my inner child, toward myself.

8 comments:

Jason Phoon said...

hmmm , you and noel seem to be overthinking your halloween costumes ^__^

but yeah , i guess I would to if I was given the opportunity to dress up as something. Halloween is not really big in Malaysia, or Australia for that matter. At least where I'm from ..

Brenda said...

Glad to hear that you had some fun Peter:) I "Baily'd" up the neighbours and sugared up their offspring!

Quin said...

i cannot watch edward for the very reasons you mentioned.

i sob for hours.

thelastnoel said...

I'm glad to hear that your Halloween was thought provoking. I had a blast. I won best constume at work!

golfwidow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
golfwidow said...

If you want to see something oddly hawt, try to find a picture of Marlee Martin in her Captain Jack Sparrow costume.

I found it.

http://woonq.com/2007/11/celebrity-halloween-costumes

Vincent said...

We didn't do Halloween this year.....some homophobes were giving us a hard time at our home and we were focussed on dealing with that. We did help some friends get into their outfits and make up etc. My b/f's sister went as Tippi Hedren from the 'Birds' ...she looked amazing and won first prize!!!

Thankyou for sharing your experience regarding the ex-gay culture and your way of coping...xxxx

Peter Varvel said...

Hi, Vincent,
Thanks for visiting.
I am very sorry to hear about having to deal with homophobes, especially at your own home.
I am always easily discouraged when I hear something like that . . .

Remember Darlene on "Roseanne" was a bloodied Tippi Hedren one year?
Very memorable costume.