Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween in Paris

I'm a die-hard member of the adults-dress-up-for-Halloween school, one of those deep maternal character flaws that always made my kids cringe in embarrassment.

Needless to say, I've grown out of that habit -- though not the will to do so -- living in Paris.

Naturally I was overcome with childlike glee when I happened upon Aux Feux de la Fete, a costume and fireworks store on boulevard Montparnasse. I popped inside to find out what the offerings were.

The owner was one of the most thoughtful Parisian shop-owners I've encountered. I asked him if Halloween was really popular. "Oh, l'Halloween, c'est surtout pour les jeunes," he said with a chuckle. "A few years ago, a lot of adults were having costume parties, but that's pretty much leveled off. Mostly it's les petits."

"Do they go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood?" I asked.

"Oh, well, not door-to-door," he said. "But they do stop in at the places they know to show off their costumes. They have little parties at home, peut-etre. But when the children visit my shop in their costumes, they bring me the candy, not vice-versa. C'est charmant. Many of these little ones I have known all their lives -- since they were in the ventres of their mamans." He made a big gesture of a round belly. "Now they are grands comme ca," he added, holding his hand at chest height.

Monsieur may have mostly the younger crowd as clientele, but he certainly is well-stocked for the more -- dare I say mature? -- generation as well.

There is something so quintessentially French about Marie Antoinette wigs, of course.

But you have to admit, nothing is more French than being Johnny.


David said...

Did they have any of those Sarah Palin wigs?

Going Like Sixty said...

I would LOVE to go to a real costume ball!
You know, the kind that lasted for days and everybody just moved into the castle/villa/chateau!

"Oh, I am so debauched!" I would utter on the way home.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

My daughter called tonight for the annual "what shall I be for Halloween?" advice. I suggested Sarah Palin and she said, "Naww, EVERYONE's going as Sarah Palin this year.

She liked the Tippi Hedren-ornithologist and Winona-shopper ideas, though.

Meg said...

I attended a Halloween party last Saturday and there were at least 5 Sarah Palins. Four Uncle Sams, three Old McCains, two Bill Clintons (still?), and a George Washington in a cherry tree.

I love the Tippi Hedren idea!

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