Over on our Instagram page, we’re posting a weekly installation from Clare Johnson’s Post-it Note Project, a long running daily project. Here’s her wrap-up and statement from September’s posts.
When I lived in the UK, wearing costumes was called fancy dress. Fancy dress parties, Halloween in general, seemed to mostly be a thing with university students. Looking at post-its from my life back in Seattle, I notice a lot more fancy dress—costumes, but also weddings, where other people are truly wearing fancy dresses. Both versions are things I love witnessing—endlessly fascinating, creative, strange—but pretty much never long to do myself. I am the most perfectly fervent appreciator of drag and burlesque, and the worst person to invite to a costume party. I am the adolescent hiding in the remotest part of the bowels of the Langston Hughes theater minutes before my 8th grade play, hoping the director couldn’t find me to force me into makeup. These post-its from October 2015 run through fancy dress moments, from watching a music video (seriously, songs in 3/4 or 6/8 time just slay me, who cares if the video itself is basically a faux-BDSM ad for a stupid sex-negative movie) through to attending a Halloween party in New York (costumes do lend themselves to some amazing conversation). In between I’ve jotted down something someone said about a wedding, which still makes me laugh, but I can’t remember now who said it, or what we were actually talking about. On 10/18/15 I was in Walla Walla, about to head home after my first out-of-town reading. I grabbed one perfect swim in the motel pool, surrounded by rainy morning fields out of fogged-up dirty windows, and three floppy-haired kids splashing around. One boy’s fancy mermaid tail suddenly became visible through the chlorine; it made him so, so happy.