Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saints & Sinners: My 22nd Birthday Masquerade

The Enchantress of last year's masquerade did indeed get married to a friendly, charming Beast (who, entertainingly enough, found someone to love him before his 21st birthday). So it seems my dreams come true. This was the year of the Fairy Queen and the Hasid, now Mr. Curious & Mrs. Hasid.

I'm thrilled to invite you to my masquerade ball once more. This year I turn...22. It's my doppelganger birthday. I haven't been a palindrome since I was 11.

Tonight's theme song is "Welcome to the Masquerade" by Krutch. (Lyrics here.)

Let's melt the plastic.

Previous years' entertainment has included:

Masquerade 2009
Masquerade 2008
Masquerade 2007
Masquerade 2006

The rules, as always, require you to devise an anonymous handle for yourself (comment under an assumed name, not your real one and not that of your blog), create a costume and offer me a gift. The gift does not have to be tangible. Your costumes and gifts should be creative and expressive of various aspects of your personality. You are welcomed, of course, to my party. It is a gala event, opulent and expensive, the glittering ballroom complete with red velvet curtains, dim lighting, winding garden paths and delicious hors d'ouevres and canapes. This is one of the many rooms of my ball (like the Masque of the Red Death, the rooms go ever ever on).The food is unparalleled and the beauties are peerless. Enjoy yourselves...the question, as always, is who is the monster and who is the man? Or perhaps more importantly: what makes a sinner and what makes a saint?

The fun does not end until Saturday night, when you should return so that I can try to unmask you, especially if you are a frequent commenter to this site.


Maskissimo said...

I have a wart on my nose and a statuesque raised-eyebrow smirk. Hand-me-down black robes hang loose and tattered about my wrists; I hoped that despite the invitation's specification it might be business casual. But appearances are not always what they seem. I got a charming little makeover before popping round tonight. I finally did it: I got my ruby collection sewn into my skin. And, so, sparkling with more spectacular spots than ever before, I offer you my gift: two red rubies plucked straight from my heart-flesh; one from me, and one from my lover. He sends his regards. And you know how it is to pry out rubies.

Tania said...

To my dear Chanaleh,
What can I wish you, a wonderful education? you have one. A talent for writing? You have it. A wonderful husband? you have one (and you do not need any more). there fore, my dear Beloved Chana, on your twenty second birthday I wish you that your offspring shall be just like you and there should be more individuals like you in our community.

Effy said...

Steampunk time traveler. Long bustle skirt; leather vest; striped shirt; top hat; cogs and chains adorning all, and goggles, of course.
My gift to you is one opportunity to travel back to another era - your own or another's. Best of luck.

Monk said...

I come dressed as a Cohen Gadol in full garb with the little pomegranates and bells ringing at the hem of my robe. And a tzitz. I say "Hi Chana!" "It's great to see you again," is your reply. Then I give you my gift: It is the ephod I am wearing, gorgeously elaborate with colored gems and a gold border. And books. Lots of books. And with a flourish, I disappear. But then you hear me whispering "Happy Birthday!" in your ear...

Oyassan said...

I ride up to the castle-like exterior on my customized motorcycle. Turning off the engine and popping the kick-stand into place, I remove my helmet and replace it with my signature white fedora with black band. I wear a white suit with inner white vest over a black buttoned-down shirt.

As I approach the grand entryway, a group of men in black suits surround me. One steps forward and demands that I hand over the special gift I brought. My reply is merely a smirk. Simultaneously, they all reach into a pocket and withdraw a small flash-drive-like device.

A chorus of "Masquerade"s sound as they activate the devices, then jab them just below the jaw on their necks. Black masks with rib-cage like white patterns grasping the face materialize, covering the entirety of their heads.

Sensing that they are not the party security, I remove my own device as my driver appears strapped across my waist. With a push of a button, "Skull" is announced, and I insert it into the driver. Instantly, I am embraced by a flash of purple light as my armor takes form around me.

"Now, count up your sins." I challenge.

I make short work of the hooligans. A few well placed kicks, punches and throws sends them all crashing to the ground, defeated.

Entering the grand hall, the candlelight glints off the glossy black and dark silver exterior of my helmet and armor. I adjust my fedora, and my tattered white scarf floats in a breeze felt by no one. I gaze across the vast room, spot the guest of honor and her royal companion, and begin my descent down the expansive marble stairway.

Some guests stare, pondering the nature of the skeletal motif of my armor. Others look away, disturbed by the two black lenses and slotted grin of my helmet. No matter, my gift is most precious indeed, and I must deliver it.

I produce two laminated passes, embossed with glimmery foil. They will admit you both to the Planetary Bookshelves. Administered by the Child of Fate, it is a vast white space, full of endless shelves of books on every subject imaginable. Within this place, you will find everything ever written on every subject imaginable, the sum total of Earth's knowledge. Simply supply the librarian with key words to narrow your search, and he will find the volume you seek, guaranteed.

Knowing your passion for reading, I imagine you will spend your time there well.

Content with the smiles and thanks of you and your soulmate, I step away and disappear into the shadows.

Lady in Cheongsam said...

I make my grand entrance wearing a
gold and silver thread embroidered Cheongsam, adorned with a magical phoenix and a fire-spitting dragon. My precious gifts to you are patience and perseverance. Let us celebrate the occasion with exotic foods, wine and sweet words. Happy Birthday, my dear!

moll said...

I am the haunting memory of things that were and aren't, that could have been and won't, locked deep in your mind's darkest prison. For so long I have troubled you, like earthquakes under the sea. At my doorstep you have laid nights of anguish, pain, and questioning. It is because of the love and hope you invested in me that I have hurt you so.

Yet it is because of that love that you have not only survived me but bloomed, flourished, and thrived. At the height of my power over you you did not let go of that scrap of faith, your trust and passion for goodness, beauty and wonder. You remembered the things in life you valued most, and created for yourself a life set off by those jewels - an act of no small courage or strength.

My gift to you is my soft fade to black. No longer will you be troubled by dark doubts and insecurities. You have learned from me and grown past me. No longer will I cloud your sight or the smile in your eyes. I am gone. A weight lifted, a soul cleansed. Where I once lay there are only bright dreams now, and sunlight stretching out into the future.

A Mask for Two said...

Who am I, but just a man
I come to this party with a plan
But somehow this year my presence has a different tone
To which I can say: I do not come alone
While my face is illusive due to a lavish mask
I know that said covering will not hinder my task
Cloaked in only two colors of exquisite material, my attire is composed
But one should not make assumption based solely on one’s clothes
Another hint you may use in your undertaking is my voice’s sound
Because to you, through it, I think I am quite renowned
So perhaps I have come because I could not resist the food so delectable
But I am quite sure the real reason is because the host is so respectable
So my present to you, the birthday host Mrs. Hasid, amidst your spectacular ball
Is that you should always find (and hear the voice of) clear reason, logic, happiness, good times and all

Wishing you a Wonderfully Happy Bithday!

- A Mask for Two

NinaLily said...

I pull up in my ice-cream truck, sweet and innocent-looking and hop out wearing a big puerile smile. Or so it seems from my profile but then you look again and all you can see is a sinister gaze and a scar above my eye. You think you see a gashed cheek, but as you look closer you think it was your imagination. I'm looking at you with curious, childlike eyes and my angelic beauty radiates over and around me like a halo.

I gracefully slip into the ballroom and as I come closer to your royal throne, oh fairy queen, I twirl as the light shines off me. The glitter in my black hair reflects the dark light gorgeously.

I kiss your hand as you sit on the golden throne and I wish you a happy birthday, but in my heart there is a struggle. You see, I think you are my competition in beauty, grace, intelligence and emotional depth. It is not easy loving someone who may outshine you. Because *I* want to be the Fairy Queen.

But I smile and kiss your delicate hand. I feel your admiration for my costume. I am half angel, half-devil with black feathered wings, soft to the touch but causing shadows and deep darkness in the mind. The right side of me is bright and shiny, the left black and gloomy. A slow, creepy kind of gloomy: The kind that sneaks up on your heart and grabs hold. This gloomy side seems more real, more fitting but that's only because I revel in its mystery.

My gift to you is the sun and the moon. You can choose only one at a time, depending on what your preference and mood is at that moment. I thank you for inviting me and wish you a birthday of Euphoria.

Then I'm gone.

There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery. ~Joseph Conrad

Colors said...

I wear a coat of many colors, feathers brightly flashing to entice my suitors. Who could resist as I shake my glorious plumes, dancing, glittering in the moonlight. I bring you but one fantastic feather. Small, but priceless.

Nobody/ οὐδείς said...

Arriving to the party in a white-tie outfit. Carrying a bottle of the finest Kosher wine in hand as a gift to the hostess (and host). My arrival is quiet,unpronounced and met with
minimal recognition--as desired.

Venturing over ot the bartender, I ask him to prepare the finest White Russian for the birthday princess, made with the kosher Khalua specially obtained for htis occasion. It is my request that the beverage is to be delivered anynomously.

The gift I bring is not one gift, but a series of a few items, that to many a person are unremarkable at face value. But to you, these items have a meaning deeper than what anyone else would see.

With that, I blend back into the crowd and join the celebrations.

Happy Birthday!

The Packager said...

I come to thee wearing worksman's clothes, all dyed in a dull green color. In my left hand, I carry a roll of bubblewrap, and in my right,Scott's masking tape. Also, before me lies an empty box waiting to be packed with some daily necessity's of life. However, in this box, there is not some daily necessity's, but a wonderful birthday gift just for you. And on the top of this box is written in nice gold lettering, "Happy Birthday!!"

Carpenter said...

I come as a workman, to offer you and your beloved "sukkas shelomecha"

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from someone who is dressed in rags and wants some of thar tasty food. Guess who?

The Mechanic said...

I come as a fix-it man with a toolbox and a flashlight always ready to offer you my services to fix that which is broken, build that which is not yet put together, and to wish you a very Happy Birthday!

Kedushas Tzion said...

I come dressed in a white kittel and black shtreimel. Before the Great War, I worked day and night to rebuild Torah in Galicia. I treated each student individually, understanding their needs and concerns, and taught them how to grow. (p. 5).

I was known for the having different types of people at my table, from the greatest Roshei Yeshiva to the simplest of workers, from newly observant Jews to elderly Chassidim, and modern people from Germany and Holland. I was able to connect with all of them and influence them. (p. 8).

I understand that you and your husband also share many of these characteristics. My gift to you is the sun. Just as it shines simultaneously on all types of climates, whether they be cold or warm, may your words also shine, impacting others positively, and helping them become mini suns themselves.

Turtledove said...

I come as a dove, luminescent in pearly white feathers, flying across arduous land and stormy seas for your Masquerade Ball.
I bring the softly sung song of the East, wishing you and your soulmate that you two should have the blessing of the dove: peace, joy, and eternal happiness with your soulmate.
Happy Birthday, Chana!

Songbird said...

My form-fitting floor-length teal gown shimmers a glamorous satin sheen. My lips are a rich red, and they part in your honour, singing a song composed for you: slow and deep, to tug at your heartstrings, a tale of emotions that stir the soul; then light and skittish as a breeze, pattering over the notes in a ecstasy of joyous excitement. Happy birthday, Chana, and may your year be like the song: a year of depth and meaning, of laughter and happiness.

The Scandinavian said...

We can be anyone we choose to, eh? Then I come to you as an old man, ancient, but still vigorous: his vitality unfled and his eye undimmed--that eye that remains him, at least. As gift, I offer you a flask of water that I have filled at great cost from the well of Mimir (or Miriam if you prefer that name). Quaff it and you will gain knowledge and understanding of many things that you had not known and that will not bring you happiness. I have offered this flask to many before you, but all have declined. Will you take it?

Heshmy said...

Neither early nor belated,
I found you just in time --
aided by celestial coordination.

Even beyond birthdays I am elated;
my every day with you a rhyme --
in joyous celebration!

My gifts today are not new;
they were already your
exclusive tokens,

but each day near you renews
them, larger than before,
a spell unbroken!

Both are of the deepest scarlet,
and pulse with powerful aura!
Safe behind glass, or cage of bands,

they drive me ever to give to my starlet
lass, and gratified-- grow more-- a
width further than physical restraint can

Though seeming flesh (one fawns, cords round a jet;
the other looms, a - shimmering, jettied flora)
in leap and bound both blossom, like fire fanned.

so much like you, objects of admiration!
heshmy if you can; caught, yours I am.
thing 1 & 2; who am I; whose weighty gifts waited?

Your Secret Bochur said...

I believe I owe a public apology to everyone here on this blog.

Last year, I pretended to be Heshy since I knew about the situation between Mr. and Mrs. Friedman and where it was heading. Luckily, he was saved by the train, for he did not write any such thing. I deeply regret what I did and hope I will be moicheled in the future.

In any case, I come with a hearty Mazal Tov and offer to grant any wish the happy couple desires.

Sem Girls said...

Chana darling,
I come wearing a pleated skirt, button down shirt, and bubbe shoes.
JK never!!
Whutsup girl? How's the married life goin'?
I am dressed in a sweatshirt, sparkly Uggs, and a short (but tznius!!!) jean skirt. I'm with my roommate and we're bringing you some of the ruchnius back from Eretz Yisroel. Remember, although materialism might be expensive back in Chutz LaAarentz, ruchnius is cheap in Yerushalayim, so we've got loads of it. We also hereby present you with one million free El Al first-class tickets to Israel, so that you will make sure to bring your children up with a love for Eretz Yisroel and Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

Hope this enhances your birthday!! :)

Cheers from Bayit Vigan! :)

Guess said...

I come dressed in mens clothing, since then I can wear pants and no one will stare...
Who am I kidding? I wear a pair of very glossy shorts (as this is an "opulent affair") and a very fancy tee shirt so I don't look out of place.
I offer you Bukharian delights :)

The Old Man said...

The Old Man enters, slightly late and a bit out of sorts, far different than in the past - but he wouldn't miss the Fairy Queen's masquerade, an annual treat. While regretful he couldn't attend her beautiful, fairy tale wedding to the Hasid, he has seen enough to know that the Hasid is not just special. Rather, the Hasid is the Only who could both maintain the balance of a crystal on the edge of glass yet also explode like a firework with the Fairy Queen without that being contradictory whatsoever.

For the first time, he speaks to someone at the party other than the Queen herself, giving a warm hug to the special man. "You have chosen well," he says, noting the obvious with a smile. The Hasid smiles back, then pries his Queen away from the always entertained friends. "Old Man! I'm so happy to see you! Thank you so much for coming!", she exclaims as always.

After some small talk, he once again takes his leave quickly, quietly exiting. But before he goes, he entreats them to promise they will in fact use the only gift he has left to give to such a wonderful pair - an invitation. ;)

Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

foundations of
leaden stone
for your home

or of ivory

diamond truth and faith
torah and mitzvot
your home.