My Life

Seattle Stories: Fat Tuesday

Fat Tuesday, 1977. Seattle’s first one! My roommate and I wandered around in a happy, slightly-tipsy daze, not looking for anything in particular, yet somehow finding plenty of everything.

The creepy white Papier-Mâché smiley-mask I’m wearing in the picture below came home with me that day. I loved that mask. Unfortunately, I have one of those faces that doesn’t have a natural smile when I’m relaxed. You know, ‘resting bitch face’. I was tired of strangers commanding me to “smile! You’ll look prettier!” and when I saw that mask for sale at an artist’s booth, I lunged for it.

I carried the mask in my purse for a month, and did not hesitate to whip it out when the random smile commands from strangers came my way. Take that, busybodies who think they can command my face to do their bidding! Once the novelty wore off, I hung my smile on various apartment walls for the next decade, effectively freaking out everyone who came to visit. Aw, don’t be scared! SMILE! You’ll look prettier!

Here’s a link to a brutally honest article about Seattle’s first (“the infamous one”) Fat Tuesday. Remembering the First Fat Tuesday: Marie McCaffrey’s Exact Recollections

And here’s a couple of videos documenting that first Fat Tuesday. 


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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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